terça-feira, março 25, 2008

Check out Earth Hour!

domingo, março 23, 2008

Once every few months I get in a weird mood and wack off some of my hair. Generally, it looks okay afterwards, so no big deal. I just did it now, when my hair as been up all day and is not clean, and I think I might have screwed it up.

This morning Ju and I dyed Easter eggs with natural dyes - onion skins for gold and red cabbage for blue. It was a fun experience and made the kitchen stink a bit. I used the onion skin to tie dye a white shirt with a stain on it - it came out quite nicely. Ju is excited to eat the blue eggs for breakfast tomorrow.

sexta-feira, março 21, 2008

Every time we ask for a pizza from Pizza Hut, they screw it up. Every time. Every time we wait and wait and wait for it to come just to send it back and ask for another one that is what we actually asked for. Anywhere in the States, this would spell death for the managers and whoever was screwing up phoned in orders, but not here. Here it means I am hungry and it's 10:30 and I still have no pizza.
One of the problems with living right next to the pool is that we get to partake in any and all parties NOISE until said party ends. Sometimes people just sit out there all day with the radio up loud on one end of the patio and sit and talk loudly over it at the other. The longer they are there, the more beer is consumed, the louder they get. One night there was a teenager party where so may people went in and out of the pool that it was a quarter emptied by the end of the night. Another time there was a party on a Thursday that decided to have karaoke start at 1 AM at top volume, which woke everyone up and was stopped immediately.

Today there is, I think, a family who has been out there since about lunch time. They have a radio, as usual, and it's blasting some god-awful station with lots of commercials, set up on the side of the pool facing our windows. They have put a table right beside the bathroom window and have been talking loud, as usual, and having rather lengthy verbal arguments about random things that proceed to get louder and louder until the grumpy looking 20 something man starts saying "porra" (fuck) every couple of words. The idea was put out that perhaps one of us should go into the bathroom and stage a very loud and stinky situation to get them to vacate the area, but the sporadic rain has kind of killed their party for us, thank goodness.

I feel safe in writing about this in the fact that I don't think any of them speaks English well enough for me to worry about them finding my blog and deciphering this post.

terça-feira, março 18, 2008

I try to put Ju to bed on time every night - on time being somewhere between 7 and 8 pm, clean, teeth brushed, etc. Some nights he gets in bed and stays there and goes to sleep after some in the dark play time. Other nights he gets all the books off the bookshelf, plays with trains in the dark, or otherwise makes messes and gets out to ask me something repeatedly. I have started to have to ignore these constant "MOMMY!.... MOOOOOMMMMY?!" calls, otherwise he just keeps thinking up things to ask for or about and never goes to sleep. Last night was another one of those nights.

"Mommy? Mooooooommmy!"


"Mommy, I wanna water."

(getting water) "Okay, here's your water. Now go to sleep."

- about 5 minutes later -

"Mommy! Moooooooomy!"

"Go to sleep Ju!"

"Mooooooomy! Mommy?"


"Mommy, I wanna another pano" (pano is a cloth diaper - he has slept with them since he was a baby)

"Then get one. It's time for sleeping. Get your pano and go to sleep."

- another 5 minutes or so passes and the garbage truck goes by, making lots of noise as it always does -

"Mommy! Moooooooomy! Moommyyyyyyyyy! I wanna see a garbage truck!"

"Ju, it's time for sleeping. Lay down and go to sleep! No garbage truck!"

"Mommy! Mommyyyyyyy!? Mommmmmy!" (at this point, I start ignoring his calls and don't answer any more)

He continues to call for the next 5 minutes or so, then he starts to sound kind of like he's going to cry.

"Mommy! Mooommmyyyyyyyy! Help me! Help me, Mommy! Mommmy!"

So I got upstairs and see he has some how climbed on top of the dresser and cannot figure out how to get back down.

"Ju, what are you doing up there? How did you get up there?"

"Mommy, I see a garbage truck an uh, it was woooooosh, crash, an in a mommy's room an já foi" (já foi means it's gone)

"Ah, you climbed up here to see the garbage truck and it was noisy and then it went past mommy's room and then it went away?"

"Uh-huh! Yes. I see a garbage truck up there, waaaaaay over there."

segunda-feira, março 17, 2008

You know how negativity spreads? Don't contribute to it!

There is a certain family (who's son is sweet and lovely and I have nothing against) who has done nothing but complain about our school the whole year; the school "breaks up friendships" because the classes have to be remixed each year, the toys are not new, the class room "is shit," when we send notes home around the children's necks it's "horrible," and the school is always asking for money or donations for some thing or another. I've about had it up to the moon with these people, trying to placate their constant complaints just so I won't have to listen to them anymore. You'd think I was a horrible teacher, that the school was the worst kind, and that no one knew how to treat children. You'd also think that if they hated American styled schooling so much, they wouldn't have put their child in am American school. Makes sense.... This is not a case of this-is-our-district-school-and-we-have-to-send-our-kid-there - it's a private school and they can take the kid out and send them somewhere else any time.

In contrast, I have some wonderful parents who constantly want to know what they can do with their child at home to help him follow what he's learning in school, say they agree 100% with time out for hitting or breaking rules, and seem to genuinely TRUST the school and teachers to TEACH their child. And to give them limits.

Now, unfortunately, it's true that teachers try very hard not to treat the student based on the feelings about the parents, but it can happen. And at the end of the day, which child would you rather spend time talking to and interacting with? The one who's parents trust you and think you're doing the right thing, or the one who's parents think you don't know how to properly treat their child? Which child are you going to to out of your way for to enhance a teachable moment? Which child are you going to spend more time explaining the right and wrong way to? It should be all equal, I know, but sometimes when you have a class full of crazy kids, you hate to waste your effort and love on a child who's parents think you are horrible and don't trust what you teach or say.

I'm not saying that you always have to agree with your child's teacher or the teacher will not treat the child fairly, but think about the negativity you spread with constant complaints, and then think about where the negativity will spread to next, and you may see how much damage it can do.

domingo, março 16, 2008

Ju woke up early one morning this last week and came down to have breakfast with me. I love these little moments we can have in the morning, except when I have to run out the door to the transport van and figure out what to do with him to keep him out of trouble until papai gets up or his nanny arrives. This particular morning, we were eating our bread with cheese and watching Lela who was watching some birds in the garage. Ju started telling a story:

"Ju is up there, waaaaaay up there and throw the rocks, wooooooo, waaaaaaaay over there. And ah, throw the rocks, wooooosh, wooosh, throw the rocks in the 'rua' (street in Portuguese), waaaaaay over there."

"Oh really, you threw the rocks into the street from up there? Well, we don't want to throw rocks into the street because you could hit someone in the head and it would hurt. We don't want to hit people in the head with rocks. People don't like it." I say

"No, I don throw the rocks in the head, no. I throw the rocks at the moon!"

domingo, março 09, 2008

A conversation between Ju and I this morning.

"Mommy, I wanna banana."

"Okay, do you want it squished?"

"Yes, I wanna squished banana with teetee" (tee tee is powdered milk)

"Okay, here you go - Ju-ju has to eat by himself because Ju is a big boy."

"Mommy help you?" (he never says "help me" only "help you" because it is a memorized chunk of language)

"Mommy will help you at the end. Ju has to eat by himself now."

"No, mommy help you at the end, no! Mommy help you ALL the time!"

Of course, this last phrase was too cute for me to take, and I did end up feeding him the banana.