Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I bet few people will see this as it has been a very long time since any posts were made, but here we are in costume.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

First Meal

First Meal, originally uploaded by Jamie Hide.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Cohen at Grandma G's...

Friday, June 29, 2007

New Layout

Yes, you are at the right place. I have been thinking about a big change like this for a while. Finally with the help of grandma and aunt's help, I've had enough time to play guess-until-it-works with the new blogger layout.

Karla was a little reluctant to move away from the original look of our blog, but I liked the idea of adding a few new features to the blog. Besides she's taking a nap right now.

Across the top, there is a pretty photo that I plan to change from time to time. This one is Fernie, in honor of that being our new home. Above the photo are two sets of tabs. These are links to take you to pages that might be of interest to you. Immediately above the photo is a set of links related to our family. Higher up, on the right, are a few websites that are of general interest.

So, what do you think? Comments are welcome.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Picnic at the Park

Here are a few pictures from our picnic at Prince's Island with Uncle Jeff

Aysha Helps Her Brother

Jeff, Aysha, Duck

Aysha Loves Apples

Tanning Slide?


Cohen Rides

Aysha on Horseback

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We're Back

After one very long day of travel, we are back in Canada. The trip was mostly good. Both little ones were well behaved. Aysha slept most of the last legm but Cohen got a little upset with being confined to yet another plane seat for hours. The trip went off without any major disasters - one torn bag (little, if anything appears to be missing) and lots of waiting.

Our expert packing got us as far as New York without problem, where we had to shift two pounds out of a 52 pound bag into the 48 pound bag. When I asked if I really had to move the weight, the check in agent told me that the overall balance of the plane might be affected if I left it.

Today we are opening and reorganizing the bags to see us through our three week Tour de Germaines before heading down to Fernie when we can finally unpack everything once and for all.

I rode Jeff's winter bike out the the Canadian Border Security office today to do the paperwork to clear our shipment. It took me 45 minutes each way. It was great to be back on the bike, to be whistling through the cool morning air appreciating the little floating cottony seeds in the sunlight. Karla told me it was completely impractical to ride when I could have taken Jeff's truck, but it was just too marvelous to resist. The ride home was not quite as marvelous owing to the fact that my behind was aching by the end of the ride and my legs were feeling the two years of tropical lifestyle.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Really Going

Yesterday, after almost 20 hours of work over three days by Karla and a few by myself, we sent 13 boxes, including the treadmill, Aysha's bed and my bike to Canada. It was unbelievable how difficult it was. Rules needed to be bent all over just so we could get our stuff out. The final step was a three and a half hour inspection of everything. The police opened up all our boxes and emptied them onto the table and looked through each item while the box was flattened and reconstructed inside out. After that we got to repack the bag and then it was banded and wrapped in cellophane. So finally, at 5:30, we got home.

Now it all feels like we are really going. The past few days have been so focused on getting the shipment sent that we haven't had much time to think about other things. Now the house is empty - almost. It's painted white like it was after we arrived, and all the original ugly decorations have been replaced.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Getting There

It's Sunday afternoon and we're done the first phase of packing. It's really time to leave now. We've painted the apartment back to all white and re-hung the ugly paintings that were here when we arrived. It only slightly resembles home now.

Aside from the treadmill and Aysha's bed, all the boxes are packed to send by cargo to Canada. We think that we have left about what we can take on the plane with us. Tuesday we will start with the red tape that we need to clear before we can send the cargo.

Yesterday was my birthday and this message

in the shower greeted me when I woke up. We had a meal out with friends and a game of settlers before Aysha got overtired and cried until everyone went home.

For those of you with a bit of time to kill, I discovered this very funny British comedian called Robert Newman who presents a 45 minute long "History of Oil"(the link is to the Google Video of the whole performance). Not only is it very funny, but he makes some very thought provoking points. He's pretty radical, but seems to walk-the-walk. His show is run on bicycle powered lights. He's a new favourite of mine.

In other family news, our first Kiva loan has been all paid off and we have re-lent the money to another person. Benita, our taco seller, paid off her loan, and so we have begun funding Ramon, who wants to take his grocery business on the road. Both are in Mexico. Our Asian (Cambodia) and African (Kenya), are being paid back more slowly over 12 and 18 month terms instead of the 6 months term in Mexico.

Only four days of school left - we'll be home soon!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

More of the New Kid

Here are a few more pictures of the new Kid. I took these last week, but haven't had the time or energy to post until today. Each time I have to relearn how to do it (I was never a great memorizer), and the logic of how to upload pictures from camera to photo-shop to blogspot hasn't quite sunk in yet either!

Cohen at nearly four months of age loves to stand. He has been able to support his weight on his legs for some time now.

Jamie says he thinks Cohen will go from lying to walking, skipping rolling (he hasn’t repeated that since we tried the videos), sitting, and crawling!

Last weekend we had an evening of Karaoke at our apartment. One of the female American teachers brought a microphone to Colombia that plugs into the TV and has a large array of popular songs programmed into it (the words appear on TV). After you sing, the machine even rates how well you did. I scored from as low as 55% to 98% (it really helps if you actually know the words). Jamie scored as low as 12% with “Summer of 69” by Brian Adams (it was picked for him – he hates Brian Adams), but redeemed himself with “I Will Survive.” The following picture shows Cohen just hanging out with dad during the event.

Jamie liked this picture a lot more than the one above. Both he and Cohen look better, but the one above is funnier.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pool Time

Aysha gets ready for the poolside

Cohen and Mom

The swimsuit edition

Stay back!

Keep your hands off my baby!

Two kids on the chaise-lounge

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cohen Rolls Over (or The Grandma Special)


Yesterday, Jamie’s Mom called to say that they found Granddad dead in the morning. He was on the floor and his bed had not been slept in.

Our world is altered. Yet Aysha and Cohen demand so much that it is only in the quiet moments, when they are asleep, that grief seeps in and we realize how much. They are sleeping now, and my way of dealing with grief is to write…

I am flooded with memories. Granddad taking pictures at our wedding with his digital camera – something he had well before most people. His ease with technology amazed me. He knew his way around computers, phones, DVDs – almost any new technology, while people of my parents’ generation struggle to learn the basics. Once we had a conversation about musicals, and a couple of days later Granddad showed up with a CD copy of “Jesus Christ Super Star” that he had made from his records, and a perfect replica of the booklet that went along with it carefully hand cut and bound! That sort of thoughtfulness, generosity, and creativity, was typical of Granddad.

I’m picturing Granddad working on his garage, building alternative stairs into the basement, fixing or building whenever he thought of a way to make an improvement. And I’m hearing Granddad then telling us about each project in about a hundred times more detail than anyone really cared to have.

While most 80 year olds found it difficult going for a lap around the neighborhood mall and out for coffee, Granddad was out on the ski hill!

I’m remembering how proud he looked on our wedding day, and how his eyes lit up a few years later when we told him I was pregnant. His hugs and kisses were always unreserved and wholly accepting. From the first day I met him, I felt welcome and soon loved.

I remember the moment Granddad really took note of Aysha. After a walk around Fernie with Aysha, Jamie’s Mom, and my Mom (who was visiting at the time), we ended up at Granddad’s. Six month old Aysha was being particularly smiley, and as Granddad gazed into her little face he said, “She really is a doll, isn’t she?” I knew that he’d first seen how truly beautiful his great granddaughter was. I feel sad that he will never meet Cohen, whose middle name is Granddad’s own.

This coming year, when we will be living in Fernie, our lives will be less complete than they would have been with Granddad with us. I’m grateful for all the richness Granddad has added to my life, and I’m grieving the loss of that richness for the future, not only for me, but for Jamie, Aysha, and Cohen.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Literary Hour

Aysha and Dad share a story. I shot this one on the same day as the last one with Aysha. After we took the first one, she watched it and asked for more. So we read a book together.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cohen's Debut

Cohen wanted to join the party too. He's not the only one, though. Since I posted the first video, both Uncle Jeff and Paco, Grandma Bernie and Grandma Linda's puppy dog, have made video visits via email to our family. Thanks for your videos! Aysha loves them (almost as much as the ones of herself).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Aysha goes...

The second installment (one take)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Video Blog Post

I know. You're thinking, "Oh boy, oh boy! A video post!" Maybe you're also thinking, "We've had nothing but pictures of Aysha and Cohen for a while now. I wonder how the parents are doing." If you have, this post is for you. But enough typing, let's get on to the video...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Aysha Goes a Riding

We went to the PTA carnival at the school this weekend. I had to volunteer to work a shift in the morning. Later we went back, and Aysha had her first donkey ride. Actually, she only rode in a donkey cart. Here are a few photos of the event.

She seemed very concerned about the working of her conveyance. She didn't crack a smile once, but she cried when she realized it was time to get off.

She has been doing well on her potty training. She still has an accident or two a day, but surprises us with self-initiated trips to the potty every day, too. Uncle Jeff arrives tomorrow night and we'll be away from home (but probably not from potty - Everything but the...) for a few days. We'll see how she does.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mi Gordito (My Little Fatty)

Last week we took Cohen to the doctor for a six week check-up. I had thought he could have his first vaccinations, but it turns out that he has to wait until he is two m onths old. Upon examining him, the doctor said, “Wow, he’s big!” He weighed in at 5.4 kilos (just under 12 pounds) and 56.5 cm. That places him at the 75th percentile for weight and the 50th for height. I’m starting to worry that he has a weight problem!

Aysha has accepted Cohen very well, and insists on kissing him goodnight and on holding him various times throughout the day. There are times, however, when she would like a little more attention than we happen to be giving. Then she points to the baby seat and says, “Put Cohen down!” as she would like to be picked up and played with.

I love my little gordito, but dislike having to cart him around all the time. I definitely prefer the stage when babies begin to walk and talk. I find infant care infinitely tedious and boring. There is not a lot of mental stimulation involved, nor the sense of satisfaction that I get from my paid work. I feel this way even though I am fortunate enough to have someone come in and help with child care and cleaning five days of the week. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a stage that will pass, and in about a year and a half, I’ll have a toddler who says cute things and is able to play independently at least some of the time. I have to remind Jamie of this as well, because he has even less patience for childcare than I do.

I know I shouldn’t complain. Cohen has been a much easier baby than Aysha was. He has his fussy periods, but generally he cries less and sleeps more. He is even sleeping from five to seven hours at night without needing to eat. I try to get him to go to sleep about the same time as Aysha (around 7:30pm), and wake him again for another feeding just before we go to bed (around 9:00pm), and he generally sleeps until 2:00am, at which time I feed him and he goes back to sleep until sometime between 4:00am and 6:00am.

On Friday I saw his first smile. I was talking to him and his face lit up. It happened again on Monday morning when we got up in the morning and I brought him into the living room and lay him beside Aysha (she was laying on the sofa). As soon as I placed him beside her, a grin spread across his face. I think he likes being near his big sister. Both yesterday and today Cohen has smiled at least once. Seeing him smile helps make the tediousness of childcare appear worthwhile.

To fulfill some of the creative void that has occurred due to staying at home, I have been working on a scrap book of Aysha’s first year. Friends in Kuwait gave me a Baby Scrapbook as a gift when Aysha was born, but I had completed all of one page since then. I hauled it all the way from Kuwait to Canada to Colombia, with the intention of working on it. Well, now is the perfect time. When Claudina is here, and Cohen is sleeping, I have time to work. It doesn’t take much brainpower, but it does provide an opportunity to do something in which I can see progress. It’s not a work of “art” (I am really a bit of an arts snob, and generally see scrap-booking as a lesser form), but it will be fun for Aysha to look at in the future. I may be persuaded to eventually do one for Cohen as well, just so he doesn’t feel left out, but I doubt I will ever do more scrap booking than that. I can think of a lot of ways to better spend creative energy.

Aside from scrap-booking, I’ve been using my time at home to make doctors appointments and to deal with health insurance issues. The whole family has now been to the dentist. Aysha and I have finished, and Jamie has two visits remaining. I had five teeth worked on (four old fillings were replaced), and Jamie is having seven done. My check-up, cleaning, and other dental work came to about $200 Canadian. Since we won’t have dental coverage in Canada, we decided to get as much preventative work done here as we can. I also intend to have eye surgery done (so I won’t have to wear glasses) and I want to see a skin specialist here too in regard to some strange dark spots I developed on my legs during pregnancy.

Some family members have requested an Aysha update in regard to “chupo”. She asks for chupo every now and again, but it seems more a game, or a way to get attention, than an actual attempt to have us give it to her. When we ask her where it is, she giggles and answers, “In the basura. Chupo – yuck!” She even pretends to cry once in awhile when she is asking. It is one of those fake cries that she uses when she wants to appear more upset about something than she actually is.

Jeff arrives in two weeks. I am excited, and I know Aysha will love having her uncle visit. If we are able to get organized the whole family will go to the national park, Tyrona, just outside of Santa Marta. We’ll see what the doctor says in regard to mosquito exposure for Cohen. Well, that’s the update.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

New Video

Here it is. Under threat of blacklisting, we (all of us) have been inspired to produce another video of the kids.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Chupo - Yuck!

Yesterday was a big day. Aysha and I went to the dentist. I had scheduled my appointment for 2:30 with the “adult” doctor, and Aysha’s for 3:00 with the children’s doctor. I reasoned that if she saw me getting my teeth checked first, she would then be more willing to have someone else look at her teeth (the girl rarely allows Jamie or I to take a peek at her teeth, and our tooth brush time at our home is a daily struggle). True to Colombian scheduling, the visit turned out nothing like I had planned. The children’s doctor called us into her office early, while my doctor wasn’t ready until well after Aysha’s appointment had finished.

The amazing part of this story is that after the doctor had turned a white latex glove into a balloon, tied it with dental floss, and drew a face on it, Aysha sat perfectly still and allowed the doctor to not only examine her teeth, but to clean and fluoride them as well! I couldn’t believe it! When the doctor said that there was some plaque on the back teeth, Aysha said, “Sucio!” as if she understood everything, and willing allowed the teeth to be cleaned!

The result of the visit? Aysha has no cavities. But she does have an overbite (as Grandma G. suspected), and the doctor says the reason may be the “chupo”. The doctor said that chupo has to go.

I had been talking to Aysha about getting rid of chupo next week, when baby had his six-week checkup. Jamie and I hadn’t done it earlier, because we wanted to wait until Aysha was used to the new baby. The doctor’s orders were motivation to bite the bullet now! We came home and I said, “Aysha, the doctor says that you can’t have chupo any more because it is hurting your teeth. Let’s put chupo in the basura (garbage).” And we walked right over to the garbage and Aysha giggled as she watched me throw chupo in. She said, “Chupo yuck!” and we closed the lid. Claudina then took the garbage out.

Two minutes later Aysha started to cry, “Chupo…” but we explained once more where it was and why, and then Jamie took her swimming at the pool. When she came back and asked for chupo as she was getting out of her swim suit, I explained again, and asked her what would help her to feel better. She immediately responded, “Painting,” so we did some painting and she didn’t ask for chupo again until bed time. There were a few tears when she was in her crib, but not many; she slept through the night, and only asked for chupo once a few hours after she woke up today. I said, “Chupo went in the garbage, remember? It’s gone now.” She giggled again, and hasn’t asked for it since. She even lay down for her morning nap without a problem!

I’m once again in shock. If I had realized that it was going to be this easy, we would have gotten rid of chupo months ago! Or maybe it is only this easy because we waited until now. I don’t know. In any case, our first day without chupo has been miraculously less painful than we’d anticipated. I’m starting to think that Aysha understands a lot more than we give her credit for.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back in the Old Days...

I know it has been a while since there has been a Cohen update, but I saw this and had to watch it twice...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Baby, New Video

Here ya go. Enjoy!

Karla's Pics

Today we somehow found time for Jamie's Photo Tutorial. I'm finally learning how to post pictures to the blog from my own computer. I took a few photos of Cohen last week and wanted to put them up for family viewing, as well as a few others I took three weeks ago of Aysha and Dad in a bouncy castle (from Silvana's B-day party).

A Few Days Old
This is the Life!
Sweet Dreams
Bounce With Me

Dad Falls Down!
Don't You Know How to Bounce!Rest Time - Bouncing Wears a Girl Out!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Goods

This morning, I finally found a little time to post the pictures that many of you have been waiting for.

Such wrinkled little feet.

More feet

Big sister checks out the situation

I'm a serious little baby.

Is this my good side?

Four more pictures, and then we're done.

All this posing wears a little guy out.


A little snooze