Thursday, September 27, 2007

Infinite Love

I don't know if I can put into words the love I have for my Isa. Every time I think of her my heart swells and I can't help but smile. I could be in a crowed bus, at the grocery store or just watching tv at home and if I think of her a smile comes to my lips. I have always been a affectionate person, when my little brother was born I was always kissing him, hugging him and calling him all kinds of funny names. In fact my pet name for him for a very long time was 'lover', now at 15 years old, I have been asked to stop calling him that.

After my parents and little brother moved back to Nicaragua I went through some serious withdrawal and so my husband got me a cat. Let me tell you that I poured all my hugging and kissing and cute name calling on the cat. And like any self-respecting cat he was completely disgusted but tolerated me.

Then when Isa was born, I fell in love all over again. But I was scared to hug her too tight or to kiss her too often, she just felt so delicate. My awkwardness did not last long, soon enough I was able to show her all the love that I had for her. We would have so much fun together, cuddling, and kissing. I have a million and one pet names for her, I had to stop calling her by her many names because I was afraid that she would not know her own name. Now that she is an active toddler, she does not allow me to kiss her as much. She says no bepos mama, bepos is how she pronounces besos which means kiss. Now I have to ask for her permission to give her a kiss, but every once in a while I sneak one in and she laughs and says ' no bepos mama, no bepos'.

There are times when I miss the baby that Isa was, but I love the vibrant, active toddler that she is and look forward to seeing the young little girl that she will become. I have a need to go into her room right now and hold her in my arms, give her a good squeeze and shower her with kisses...but I can't because she is sleeping and Isa sleeping makes me really really happy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Traditions: The Good, The Bad and The Scary

I can't believe that September is almost coming to an end. I really thought that I would not be able to get through the month, what with birthday parties almost every weekend, getting prepared for the two upcoming trade shows that we will be taking part in (more on this to come) and all the work that had to be done on the business.

I am looking forward to October, it is one of my favourite months because we always head over to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and celebrate the Husband's b-day with them. October is also what I consider the beginning of Fall, all the trees change their colours and begin to loose their leaves, the air is crisp, and everywhere you walk there is a blanket of multicoloured leaves that crinkle under your feet.

I also love Halloween, which is interesting because I did not get to experience Halloween until I was 11 years old when we came to Canada. I remember one year when I was about 8 living in Nicaragua all the parents of the neighborhood that we lived in put together a big Halloween celebration for us. What this entailed what that we could get dressed up and go to certain houses and they would have candy for us. In reality we ended up going to each other's houses to Trick or Treat but it was a great deal of fun and we sure where not going to complain about whom we got candy from. Candy is Candy.

In Nicaragua when I was a child we obviously did not celebrate many of the 'holidays' that are celebrated here. Certainly we don't have Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Easter bunny, and even Valentines' Day. What we do have are Pagan-Christian celebrations and one in particular puts Halloween to shame. Also our celebrations are certainly not PC (politically correct), they can be racist and sexist.

One of the celebrations that I remember with fear and I think is the reason why I sometimes have nightmares of being chased, is a pagan celebration that we have where young people, mostly young guys and kids would paint themselves with black paint or even tar and attempt to paint people black. I can't really remember the purpose behind the festival, I don't really know why they have to paint people black, all I know is that it is quite scary to have a mob of black bodies run after you in order to overtake you and cover you in black paint. What you usually do is stay close to your house and as you see the mob coming you quickly run inside and protect yourself. This is what happened one year when we went with the family to visit friends and took 'part' in the festival. I was terrified. The house that we were are had a balcony on the second floor and we would go out there and watch the people running for cover. Needless to say I never ever took part in this again.

There is one celebration that I absolutely love and miss, it is called 'La Purisima' and it is held in December and it is the day in honour of the Virgin Mary. It is mostly women and children who take part in this celebration, and to children it is like Halloween because we go from door to door and get candy and presents. In reality what happens is that everyone on this day opens up their homes and invites anyone and everyone to come in and sing wonderful, beautiful song to the Virgin Mary. At every house you are given something sweet to eat usually made with rum. After you have sung a few songs you leave and as you leave you get a candy, or a fruit and off you go to the next house. My mother would usually go and sing in a different friend's neighborhood every year, we would go in a big group from house to house with candles, singing and laughing, full of sugar (and rum for the adults). I went to one 'Purisima' here in Canada when we first arrived and it was such a sad affair because it was cold and we could not go out walking and so it was held in a gymnasium where we all just sat around signing in a huge brick box. My mother and I never went again.

This sure has been a long post, it has brought back lost of memories and made me a little homesick. I am a little sadden that Isa will not be able to experience the same wonderful celebrations that I did, the ones that made me feel so full inside. Even today in Nicaragua things are no longer the same. Many traditions and celebrations have gone or changed but new ones have been created as well. I keep telling myself that our family will create new celebrations, take part in new festivals but there are times when I find it hard not to look back.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Party Continues

This year I was able to put together a little party at Isa's daycare to celebrate her birthday with her classmates. It went as follows:

Date: Monday September 17, 2007

Time: Again after nap time (around 2:30)

Place: "School" a.k.a. daycare

It was quite an exciting surprise to the birthday girl to see not only her Mamá arriving at her school but her Nana as well. Even better was the fact that they were both carrying trays filled with cupcakes smothered with vanilla icing and sprinkles. Many of the invited guests were still sleeping but were soon awoken by the shrieks being emitted by the others, who were dancing and singing to birthday music. Once everyone was up and changed they were all invited to sit at the table with their birthday hats and served a yummy cupcake.

Birthday wishes were sung to the birthday girl who was very much taken with the lit candles on her cake that she ended up hurting her finger. There was a small pause as she realized that her finger hurt but with a quick kiss from Mamá she was able to continue singing.

As soon as the singing ended all 12 guests dived in into their cupcakes. Many took their time to savour their treat, others were not as patient, while others did not seam too interested in the sugary snack preferring to eat their healthy bagels. Overall, the majority of the guests enjoyed the icing quite a great deal, the birthday girl true to form inhaled her first cupcake and asked for another one. With her second cake she only went as far as licking the icing off and taking only a couple of bites, but no worries she had friends who were able to help her.

After everyone had enjoyed their vanilla icing, guests were treated to more dancing music. Everyone enjoyed dancing to 'If your happy and you know it" and "Mambo #5". The birthday girl performed her signature move of running around in circles and falling over. She gave a few performances before she was whisked away by her mother and grandmother.

It was an early departure but a great deal of fun was had by all. The happy day ended with a screening of Dora in parents room while Mamá took a short but necessary rest.

The End

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Feliz Cumpleaños to Isa!!!

I meant to put up a post this weekend to commemorate Isa's 2nd birthday but sadly I was not able to. No worries, this means that I can write about all the wonderful festivities in one post and put up some pictures (which I spent about an hour editing yesterday).

Here it goes...

First Event

Date: Sunday September 16, 2007

Time: after nap (say 2pm) until bath time 7pm

Place: Grandpa and Nana's house

The birthday girl was a little late to arrive at her party as she was enjoying her beauty sleep and her Mamá took too long to get ready. She arrived at the party location at 3:30, most of the guests where already waiting, they included the grandparents, Tía Caro, Tío Lance, Tío Miguel and Great-Aunt Jen. The last party guest to arrive was Tío Chente as he had also enjoyed his beauty sleep.

Guests were invited to spend some time in the garden and enjoy the nice weather before Winter arrives. Everyone moved inside quite soon as dinner was about to be served and those dressed inappropriately for the outdoors, or those with colds were getting a little chilly. The birthday girl's place was set with new Dora themed dinnerware, this was greatly admired and commented on quite frequently by said person. Dinner consisted of steak, potatoes, roasted corn and salad.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, conversation revolved around the birthday girl's resent move to a toddler bed, the upcoming election and the yummy food. Once dinner was finished, the birthday cake made by Tía Caro was brought in.

This is Isa's favourite as it has strawberries and whipped cream... in reality it is everyone's favourite. Birthday wishes were sang, the candles were blown and the entire cake was consumed.

Once the eating portion of the festivities were over, everyone retired to the living room for the opening of presents.

The birthday girl really enjoyed herself opening her gifts, she was particularly taken by the tissue paper but once she discovered her Dora pajamas she had no interest in anything else. She demanded to try them on right then and there. As soon as she had them on, she was able to return to her task at hand. All presents were opened and ignored at once. She them proceeded to run around in circles. Her parents were quite concerned as they worried about the upcoming bed time.

The celebration was a great success, everyone really enjoyed themselves. There was good food, great wine, an absolutely delicious cake and best of all family. The birthday girl refused to depart from her party until she had gone to feed the ducks in the ravine. Her parents were really anxious to get her home to start wining her down and get her ready for bed.

The birthday girl fell asleep in 15 minutes (to the relief of her parents) with visions of Dora and Boots in her head.

Feliz Cumpleaños Isa. Con todo nuestro amor Mamá y Papá.

Event #2 to come tomorrow

Friday, September 14, 2007

Toilet Training...Not Happening

I like my diapers mama

Isa will be turning two this weekend and I have been wondering if I should be encouraging the potty training thing. I have to admit that I am not looking forward to the training, quite frankly I would like to whole thing done with and by some sort of miracle have a fully trained child without me having to put too much effort. I know that this is so not going to be the case, and though I am not grossed out at all by the process I am just not looking forward to having to be consistent about it and always be aware of her bodily functions. When did she last pee? When did she last have water or juice or food? Did she poo already? Will she poo again? These are the kinds of things that I will have to be very much aware off.

In any case I have started looking out for signs that she might be ready to begin but have not noticed much change. For instance she does not really go for long periods of time with a dry diaper, she certainly does not tell me when she is going to go pee pee or poo poo. In fact if I ask her she denies it and runs away. I also asked the day care if they think that she is ready to begin the training and this is what they said..."not Isa, she is not ready at all". They don't think that she is there yet, though she does know what the potty is and she has sat down on it, she is still not ready. They told me that it will probably be a couple of more months before she can start and that we should not worry about it. Who's worrying? Not me. I am going to leave it up to them to tell me when she is ready to go. Her teachers have SOOOO much more experience with this than I do and as soon as they tell me she is good to go it will be full steam ahead.

I have decided that I will go out and get her a potty and have her get comfortable with it. My hope is that she will get used to it, start using it and begin to put two and two together. My biggest fear is that she will have a negative reaction to it at some point, though I guess if that happens I just have to remove it from sight and bring it back out later. Not a big deal when you think about it.

If you have some tips on potty training and would like to share, please leave a comment. I know that I can use as much help as possible. You are welcome to share your story of how your child(ren) were potty trained and what worked and did not work.

My next challenge...transition to the big bed. We are in the process of transitioning Isa to the toddler bed as we speak. It is certainly not fun at all, more on this to come.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Isa shows you she likes you...she lifts up her shirt

I am not sure if I have blogged about how Isa loves good looking men. This daughter of mine enjoys flirting with men on the subway on our way home from day care. But she does not flirt with just anyone, no no she only has eyes for the hot guys.

I am always amazed at how good she is at it. She would spot some guy as soon as we get into the train. Then she makes sure that she makes eye contact and gives him a big smile. She quickly turns away and every once in a while she will look his way and try to get him to smile at her.

unfold trying By the time we are leaving the train she waives goodbye and gets a wave back from him. Can you believe it. I am always watching things unfold desperately trying not to laugh and not to look at the guy because who knows what he may think.

Well, today at her day care they had a visit from the local firefighgters who brought along the fire truck. I am sure you can well imagine where this is going. Her teacher tells me as I go and pick her up that Isa really liked one of the firefighters, as soon as she saw him, she walked up to him, lifted her shirt to show him her belly button, gave him the look and a big smile and sat down next to him. Her teacher told me that she did not leave his side for the entire time he was around. I could not stop laughing as she was telling me the story. I kept picturing her lifting her shirt up and being all proud of it.

Boy I really do hope that this stops by the time she is a teenager, I don't want her showing off her belly button to every guy she likes. She is just too funny:)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

And She's Off....

Just wanted to share another video of Isa, this one is of the first time she crawled. For a very long time she would just get on all fours and move her body back and forth, back and forth. Then she started to move backwards, until one day in May she actually put everything together and moved forward.

The only reason why I was actually able to capture the event was because I was filming her do her back and forth movements. Then all of a sudden she started moving forward. It took all the restraint in the world not to put down the camera and run to her to give her a big hug and kiss.

So, as I used to say when I worked at Famous Players Theater...sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Good Old Days

There is so much to say but I have no energy to get into it at this I will upload a video of when Isa actually enjoyed eating many things beside just cheese and bread. Rest assured that I was always ready to jump in should she take a bigger bite than she could handle...just in case you are worried:)