Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas in Zihua

Merry Christmas to you all! We hope you shared good food and good times with good people this holiday. Here's a little photo tour of how we spent ours.

Mom and I sat up late on Christmas Eve sewing some last minute stockings and chatting. I woke up at midnight, after having fallen asleep on the sofa, to the sound of fireworks and dogs howling. It seems as though just about any occasion will do as an excuse to make loud bangs here. Rob rolled in at two in the morning after a very busy and also very successful dinner service at the club.

It was very hard to keep Lucas away from the tree and the taunting new digger at six thirty in the morning, so after half an hour of me trying to convince him to watch just a little more Pooh's Christmas, we were up rousing the house with loud sounds of delight. A big thank you to Deb who graciously lugged the ten-pound vehicle to Zihua in her suitcase for us. Lucas is in love with it. It was quite a struggle to get him into bed last night without tucking the digger in beside him for the night ...

Lucas was very intrigued with his Christmas stocking, and dutifully showed Daddy everything he found in his, and then in Abuelita's. He was, however, slightly disgruntled that Daddy received a Hot Wheels ATV in his stocking, and was sure Santa had made a mistake.

We were thoroughly spoiled by family who generously sent things down to make Christmas very special indeed. Although we missed everyone terribly, it was a warm reminder of how much we all do value our family and our friends. We were touched by the phone calls and emails we received. Here is Lucas with his new easel. Mmmm...chalk tastes goooooood...

After a lovely day of swimming, ice cream and relaxing, we ended the evening with shrimp ceviche, a roast pork, roast potatoes, carrots, a bottle of good wine and a game of Settlers.

Happy Boxing Day!

Monday, December 19, 2005

How can you tell it's almost Christmas?

Lucas and Daddy are OBSESSED with their chocolate advent calendar that Grandma and Grandpa sent. Mommy gets NONE... (Has she been bad?)

Pillo figures if he walks around with teddy all day too, maybe Santa will bring him a slab 'o bbq pork for Christmas.

Therefore with not many other visual clues around here, we continue our search for our Christmas in Mexico. Tree is up (as well as undressed and redressed many times throughout the day a la Lucas,) lights are strung, gifts are wrapped, stockings are non-existent (but hung metaphorically in our minds,) bugambilia wreath is hung, pork roast is purchased (come on...I know we eat a lot but we can't manage a turkey just the four of us!) and we know that Christmas must be just around the corner.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas - however it comes to you!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's a Boy!

A big congratulations to Lindsay and Ewart who just recieved Owen William into their lives last Monday morning. We can't wait to meet him... isn't he gorgeous?

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Soggy Apology

Christmas cards are coming your way...but they are all water damaged. :( A very full glass of water was tipped over on the whole pile of open letters. Oops. So please accept our apologies for the ratty look of them. Mom says it gives them character. (I think that's kind of like when she used to tell George and I that if a bird pooped on us it was good luck!) Hope you're all well! Ting

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Here we go again...

This week I started teaching a course to prepare students for something called a First Language Certificate. The job is great hours (one a day, Mon through Friday) and is very close to home. My class currently consists of only five students; a very interesting mix including the director and owner of the English school I'm teaching for, the wife of Rob's assistant, a guy who lived in Vancouver for nine years, and two young adults. I think it will be a great class, as they are such an enthusiastic bunch. Unfortunately it is creating some difficulties with organizing Lucas' bedtime, as it falls right smack in the middle of it. So far it has worked out with minimal tears on his part, but quite a bit of stress on us adults! We're having to choose between a very early bed time or a rather late one. Last night I tried early, and he slept thirteen hours, imagine! Needless to say, we tried early again tonight!

Rob is working long and odd hours as the busy sesason slowly rears its ugly head here in Zihua. Mom, Lucas I have been busy with my Aunt Pat and cousin Deb, who are here visiting for a couple of weeks. Rob and I made a very exciting discovery of a children's' play-place and activity centre that has just opened, and we have registered Lucas and myself for some classes starting in January. We've trimmed our synthetic Christmas tree but are still struggling with the stocking dilemma. We had planned to buy some cheap material and stitch some together, but every time we step foot into that zoo, Lucas has a temper tantrum and Mom breaks out in hives. We may use Rob's sport socks; they're almost big enough. ;)

I am still doing some yoga and have been immortalized on the new website of my instructor. Haha. If you look carefully you may be able to see the grimaces on my face. This month's evening class will be hosted on our roof-top deck, yet somehow I still can't get Rob or Mom to try... One too many tequilas and they're running around this place saying, "look at me, I'm Ting doing yoga!" But still no takers.

So we are just kind of here, awaiting baby-news from Linds and Ewart who are a week overdue, and getting ready for Christmas in our own quiet ways.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Visit to Morelia

Last weekend we went to Morelia, in the state of Michoacan, for a visit. It was a smooth sail all the way there due to these two sleeping beauties in the back. We stopped in Patzcuaro to eat ceviche for breakfast, then ended up staying most of the afternoon as we strolled through the shops and markets. We found so many lovely things for Christmas gifts, not to mention that we'd have liked for ourselves! Patzcuaro is truly a Mexican handicraft heaven.

Then it was off to Morelia, a further 45 minutes up the road. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we could see why just moments after entering. The architecture is spectacularly preserved, the city is clean and very well organized for tourists. Although many modern conveniences can be found, they are cleverly housed within heritage buildings and display no garish signs on the outside. One can be walking the quaint streets and stumble upon a department store or fast food restaurant just within the walls of some circa 1800's building. Gorgeous. The weather was also a nice break, with temperatures dipping down to 10 degrees or so at night. We were surprised to find ourselves rather cold! Lucas kept pulling at his pants and hoody to try and get them off. Apparently he has become very accustomed to being in little clothing! Yet he was visibly excited by his new DC sneakers. (You may be able to see the blur of them running by in the pictures. He didn't stop running!!!)

We took a trolley tour on Saturday that had us all over the city getting a quick glimpse at most of the famous buildings and the aqueduct. It was the perfect toddler-excursion, ending with a tasting and tour at a candy factory where they were making up batches of fresh, warm guayaba jelly.

Nights had us taking turns, with Rob and I spending ours sipping wine with a view of the illuminated cathedral while listening to live music, and Mom and I watching the weekly fireworks and music show that accompanies the illumination of the Cathedral.

On Sunday we headed out to the zoo. As much as I don't particularly like the concept of zoos, I have to admit that it was wonderful watching Lucas enjoying the sights. He was all pointing and grunting as he watched gorillas, zebras, giraffes, leopards, bears, and everything in between. We will certainly return to the zoo next time we visit Morelia!

Of course the requisite Costco and Walmart visits were done, Christmas shopping was completed, we went back to Patzcuaro for another ceviche and we were homeward bound.
Sorry about the triplicate photo. I'm not sure why that happened, and it won't remove!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Birthdays and Playdough

Happy Birthday to Mom! Yesterday Mom celebrated her 6$, I mean 6#...I mean...geez...the keyboard must be stuck. Anyways, she celebrated her birthday here with us, and we kept her on her toes all day. Lucas woke his Abuelita up with a wrapped box of chocolates that he had been gumming all morning while waiting for Mommy to say it was ok to go on in. Then he gave Abuelita the gift of birthday tears when Mommy said he couldn't eat any of the chocolate. Sigh...bad mommy. After quick preparations, the whole family, including canines, were off walking into town to have some breakfast. We found a lovely cafe by the fish market (no that's not an oxymoron) where Pillo could chase the cats, Chola could sit under the table, Lucas could run around the basketball court, and we could sip coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. After breakfast drill-sergeant Ting marched us all home, put Lucas in bed for a nap, and Mom and I were off for a visit to the spa. We had side-by side facials, Mom had a pedicure and I had my eyebrows shaped. You should have heard me trying to explain the concept of threading to the girl who tamed those caterpillars. It was especially difficult because I couldn't think of the word for thread...but pretty good of me to try, right? I think she got a little worried when I started picking at the hem of her uniform, but eventually she got the idea and said she had heard of the technique! Relaxed, we drove our shiny and clean faces home to hang with Lucas for the day. Rob had to run off to work after he was relieved of babysitting duties, so after Lucas was down for the night, we snuck out across the road for dinner at Casa Bahia. (Don't worry, we didn't just take the monitor, we actually hired a sitter.) Mom and I shared some very tasty jumbo prawns in garlic and a Dorado steak with soy and wasabi. After dinner we played a game of scrabble on the patio, began to get jumpy about having left Lucas (we were only gone an hour and a half) and returned home for a glass of wine and another game of scrabble. It was perhaps one of the quieter birthdays we've shared, but really nice nonetheless. Many happy returns Mom!

Whose bright idea was it to make playdough, anyways? Here is a photo of Lucas showing off his self-inflicted battle wounds from the bowl of flour. Apparently he grew tired of smushing the dough, eating the dough, and feeding it to the dogs, so he went to play with the flour instead. I love the look on his face that just screams runway model. America's Next Top Model, here we come - Tyra's not going to know what hit her!

Who are you looking at?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Blue Mamou

The bay of Zihuatanejo at dusk

So last Friday I found myself in a bar, smack in the middle of an arthritis medication commercial. Or maybe a retirement home ad, I'm not sure. There was even someone taking promotional photos, oh my. I have never, ever, seen so many running shoes in a bar; even in Vancouver. (Or socks pulled up to knees paired with khaki shorts for that matter.) But regardless of the arthritis cure being offered; be it medication, alcohol or heat, the joy was evident and it was fantastic. I found myself having a blast.

Ok, you got me, I wasn't really in a commercial, it just felt like it. Mom and I had gone to the season opening of The Blue Mamou bar here in town. It's a blues bar owned and run by an American couple named Judy and Jimmy Mamou. When we arrived, I just couldn't believe how many people were there. It was standing room only, the bartenders couldn't keep up, people were dancing up a hurricane and I think almost everyone except for myself was over fifty. Mom and I had a stupendous time chatting with people and dancing the night away. I was left with a resounding impression that life would only get better as well as an incredible respect for these people who had chosen to get out and boogie. The crowd was a mix of tourists and local gringo residents but the crowning glory was Jimmy Mamou himself absolutely ROCKING the bar on his guitar while dancing and singing. An extremely muscular, black man, Jimmy was dressed in his skin-tight white pants, white vest, and white Mexican sombrero. He looked and sounded fabulous and I was astounded to learn that he was the young age of 76!

Anyways, Mom and I had a great night and had to drag ourselves away after midnight because we had promised Rob, who was home with a cold, that we would only be a couple of hours. But...we'll be back...and I won't be wearing my heels next time!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Boys

The coconut doesn't fall far from the tree.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just about perfect

There are times when life here just seems...well good. Of course Rob works too much, Lucas screams too much, I bitch too much, and the dogs bark too much, but hey, that's life. Then there are days when everything is right. Like this past Sunday, for instance. Rob's day-off started with me opening my eyes and saying, "Lucas slept through the night!!!" Yippee! After breakfast it was off to get the car washed, inside and out, for the hefty sum of four dollars. While we waited, we poked about the market for goodies. Among other purchases was a gigantic bundle of fresh basil for cents and the steal of the century; a kilo and a half of freshly caught tuna for about 160 pesos. That's about $16 to the rest of you. Look at the size of the steaks we had for dinner! (And there is plenty in the fridge for sushi.) Mmmm. Apparently we were lucky because they hadn't seen tuna for almost a month before Sunday.

After Lucas' nap, it was off to explore Troncones for the afternoon. He drove. Ok, not all the way, just down a stretch of the dirt road after a quick little milk break. Look at the concentration on his face!

Tuna is heaven to some, a quick spin at the driving wheel heaven to others. My slice came when we ventured onto a vacant beach-front lot on Manzanillo Bay. The sand was tiny rocks mixed with shells, the waves were dulled by the rock formations just off-shore, the water was barely warm, my baby was super happy. And so we will plug away at work and chores with the anticipation of next weekend's adventures not far from our minds.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Google Talk

So many of you have now discovered that our phones are really bad here. Hahaha! We've tried buying new ones, changing batteries and severe battering of handsets, but nothing seems to be making a difference. Alas, we'd like to talk to you all more often. Therefore if you'd like to try, I've downloaded googletalk, a free service from google. If you're interested please check it out at the link below. You'll need a gmail account, which can only be had by invitation, so let me know if you'd like to try and I'll invite you. Ting

Girls Night Out

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dia de Los Muertos/Halloween

I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween. As many of you know, it is by far my FAVORITE time of year. So I was a little sad that I wasn't in Vancouver to celebrate. Nonetheless, I dressed up Lucas in his costume and we carved a pumpkin together. Then we sat in the dark in mom's room and looked at the jack 'o lantern lit. Lucas loved that, but his fingers kept creeping towards his jack o lanters' tempting luminescent lights and well... you know...danger, danger. I'm sure it won't be the first Halloween to end in tears! I had bought candy just in case, but it was definitely a record low year at no trick or treaters! We did do a drive buy candy drop on the way home from picking up Rob at work though. There was a group of about ten or fifteen kids all dressed up for a party, and they were thrilled to have us drop some candy off! Who wouldn't be, right?!

It is heartening to see that most places in Mexico have not confused Halloween with the Day of the Dead, seeing as they fall on almost the same day and contain many of the same macabre images. Although the festivities here were nothing compared to what Rob and I saw in Oaxaca, we were pleased to be able to see an altar competition in the town square. The picture below shows one of the altars, this one done in sand. Lucas loved the lights and people, but it was rather late for him.

We also had the pleasure to have a visit from Millaray, from Mexico City. Any of you who don't remember, she is the student whom Mom hosted for almost three years. She was also one of my students. We had a fantastic visit which included a night out on the town for the ladies; margaritas, dancing, and mom pleading, "Let's just stay for one more set" at two in the morning. Whoohoo! Lucas is in love with Millaray and had her run off her feet within hours of arrival.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Turtle Release

This past Sunday evening we had the wonderful experience of a turtle release here in the bay. The turtle eggs are collected daily off of the beach by hotel staff. They are kept safeguarded from predators in enclosed pens and then placed in small pools when they hatch. After a few days they are released in the evening to maximize their potential survival. Intrawest organizes many turtle releases for the kids and this last Sunday was for staff's children. Although Lucas was perplexed and nervous at first, he soon warmed up to his little turtle and went tottering off after it when he finally released it. It was quite a sight to see all of the baby turtles slowly making their way to the ocean. Wish them luck in their travels so you too may see their offspring when you come to visit!

Some house pics

Here are some pictures of the outside of our new home and the bay of Zihuatanejo. It is such a beautiful spot and makes us feel very much involved in the town. We can hear the music from the centro on the weekends, the sound of the boats going in and out, and people living their everyday lives all around us. Yet we can also still hear the birds, the crickets and the frogs. Divine. The only noise pollution we could do without is the nightly symphony of street dogs and Pillo's delighted responses.

PS. Did you check out Rob's new do?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Too Much

Yesterday when I posted about the snake, I had no idea that the day would only get more interesting. Shortly after seeing the snake I heard Pillo making a ruckus upstairs and went to investigate. He had pushed open the door off of our bedroom to go out onto our patio and investigate an iguana. A large one. Ok, still slightly prehistoric, but not as bad as the snake. Later that evening we went to take the dogs out. Being slightly nervous around the pool after the snake sighting, I made sure to keep my wits about me for critters. Lo and behold a very silly crab had made its way up the stairs from the ocean and was hanging out by our pool. A very popular place I'm beginning to understand. Amidst cries of "let's cook it up!" we went out on our cheery way. I'm not entirely sure why we didn't think to take the poor crab down to the ocean with us, but hey, I never said we were all that clever. Anyways, again letting our guard down Rob and were hanging out trying to phone home (what a disaster - sorry Paula and Linds!) when I spotted another critter that made my spine crawl. A scorpion. Oh yes, a scorpion. Rob didn't believe me at first, seeing that I had made him crush an innocent grasshopper earlier in the evening due to my over-active imagination. But this time it was real. It was a baby, but I don't care. I am wearing shoes around the house now- especially in the wee hours of the morning when hitting the stairs to go see mr.lukey in his room. We are going to have to have the fumigators come soon!

Hope this post doesn't put any potential visitors off. It is lovely down here. The wildlife is all part of the charm and adventure. Although I could have done without the swarm of mosquitoes at Yoga this morning. It's really hard to concentrate on contorting your body when all you can think is, "I must scratch, I must scratch, I must scratch...will she see me if a sneak a quick one in?!" So much for clearing my mind.

Not entirely sure why I decided this was the appropriate photo for this post. Perhaps because it makes me laugh so much, and I think that's exactly what these experiences call for; humor. So bottoms up and try to keep your children from the sauce!

My Cool Nephew

Here's a fantastic shot of Logan "cheers-ing" with his dad in Barra de Potosi. Isn't he a dream boat? (I mean Logan of course;P)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Visitor

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one. I was just out sweeping the pool deck when I heard a large rustle beside me. Expecting to see another large iguana (which almost sent me over the railing of the deck last week) I glanced over only to come face to face with this. It may, perhaps, explain the large poop we've been finding on the walkway. Any suggestions? Friend or foe? Keep toddlers out of the pool? Yikes!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lucas is One!

It was a great day to turn one!

Can you see the monkey on the cake? It's Boots from Dora the Explorer! The cake was chocolate banana and even had candy bananas on it!

I think he liked it!

A gift from Grandma and Grandpa Herman.

Online Again

Yippee! We are back online and I am eager to fill you all in on some of our latest exploits. My cryptic last post alluded to our wet adventures at our old house. Indeed we have now left the house my mother so fondly calls "La Casa de los Horores" and moved into our new paradise right in town. Here is a photo of what we wake up to just about every morning.

The house is a dream compared to our old one. Actually, it's a dream compared to any of the homes we've ever lived in! I promise a photo tour very soon.

We had a fantastic visit with George, Jus, and Logan. It was unfortunate that they had to get caught in the storm, with us, but we sure did appreciate the help with the move! Justine, Mom and I may never forget being caught on the highway in the car with the babies and dogs in the middle of the hurricane. I surely never will. When we returned the next day to see what we had abandoned, we were astounded by some of the destruction right along where we had been driving. Only by the grace of God did we manage to drive a straight line with such limited visibility and sheer terror of the lightening striking directly above. When we got into town we spent three quarters of an hour driving through literally rivers that were once major roads. Thank god for SUV's. Now I understand why they do make sense in some circumstances. Rob found our license plate on the side of the road the next day. When we arrived to the new house George had to pull into the garage for me because I had jello legs. Truly a tropical storm like I have never been part of before. Not sure I loved it this time... Not a fantastic picture, but here is Justine standing in our flooded living room at three in the morning.

We now own a whole lot of water damaged items; mostly Lucas' books and moldy clothing. Mmmmmmm... Lovely. George's computer miraculously made it through after being picked up off the floor in the middle of it all. Anyways, except for the soggy inconveniences, we were all happy to arrive to our new, water-tight home and enjoy the rest of the visit.

The lovely Justine and tuckered-out Logan.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Quick Note

I just wanted to post a quick note to let anyone who was wondering know that we are all fine here. We have not had internet access for almost two weeks due to two large tropical storms - hurricanes that passed through. Mom was awoken at three in the morning by Chola's heavy panting only to step into several inches of water. We quickly learned that our house was not water tight, but seemed to keep everything in alright. After two days of soggy living and new leaks springing up every few hours, we decided to move into our new place ten days early. Poor George and Justine had to help with yet another move! Anyhow, we had a fantastic time with them and are now getting settled into our new place; including getting our internet connected. I have lots to tell and some great photos to share. You must, however, wait.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Logan and Lucas

We are having a blast here with Logan, Jus and George! Lucas and Logan are sorting out their differences with amazing patience for hair-pulling, toy-stealing and sippy-cup envy. Here's a pic of them "sharing" cookies at Playa La Ropa the other day.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Big Boy Pyjamas

Now tell me... just how cute is a baby in big kid pj's?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Herman Family Visit

Here I am!

Another tardy post! With so much going on it's been hard to find time to get at this computer and pound out some words for you guys!

Rob's parents were here for a two week visit which included a lot of pool paddling, Lucas spoiling, and surprisingly quite a lot of tequila drinking. We are afraid we might have sent Rob's dad home with a new found taste for the stuff...! Lots of fun was had by all. They left amidst a huge storm that rocked the coast for three days straight.

The electrical storms were amazing and even though we are true Vancouverites, you have NEVER seen rain like this! Due to really poor infrastructure, the town is just not able to handle the deluges it routinely gets in the rainy season here. You think Vancouver shuts down in a sprinkling of snow? You should see Zihuatanejo with rain! Most of the roads get completely flooded. There are cars with flooded engines everywhere. Shops close, people go home early, umbrellas are the hot ticket item on the corners. We loved every minute of it. Mom and I were so excited to wear pants and not to have to put the air conditioning on. Lucas went for a fantastic puddle jump in the yard in only his diaper and Rob went swimming in the flooded pool without me telling him to stop cannon-balling because we have to keep re-filling it. We ran through the deluge to eat over-priced sushi at Sushi-ito, a section of Senor Frog's. Such fun. The down-side to the rain was the fact that we had to put buckets up all over our house to collect the rain, our puzzle and Settlers game got really wet, one of the fans shorted out after spewing water out of its base (how safe is that?!) and two bathrooms flooded. Nothing unexpected, really. Ah yes, and another very unhappy and very close encounter with an entire army of cockroaches that decided that damp towels was just the place to hang out in after a good rain. When mom and I went to fold them those nasty cucarachas scattered around the living room and climbed up the walls. Lucas laughed as we ran around screaming and stomping; then just about peeing ourselves laughing. The little girls that live next door thought it was great and decided to play "gringas afraid of cucarachas' for the next half hour. I may never heal from the experience of a two-inch coakroach on the back of my hand. Never.

Rob is off in Mexico City this week at a Food and Beverage Convention. Ok, that's just not fair. When I go to a professional day I have to sit and listen to teachers tell me how to teach better. Rob gets to eat and drink his way through booths and booths of people wanting him to buy their product or service. Justly, Mom and I decided we shoud sneak off to Acapulco for a bit of a shop. There is really nothing to buy here in Zihua and seeing as Lucas' big first birthday is arriving next week, we though we should make the journey.

The drive was breathtaking both because of the scenery and the daring drivers all over the road. People use their signals in ways I am still not entirely sure of. Hazard lights are all the rage here. They can mean, "there's a speed bump coming," or "there's a herd of cows on the road" or "please pass me" or "please don't pass me" or " I just might stop here" or"I just forgot to turn them off." Caution at all costs is my motto! The art of passing on the one lane highways had mom holding on to her holy-shirt bar with white knuckles, but when in Rome... Don't let the motor vehicle branch know or they may revoke my class four! Actually, I think I had several drivers shaking there heads in wonder as I used my signals and actually chose not to pass sometimes! I discovered that if you wait for the next speed bump, you can sneak into the oncoming lane and go over the speed bump just a little faster, thus making your move on whatever cattle-mover, tractor or bus was impeding your view of the coast ;P

Acapulco was really nothing special in our eyes. We had been once before many years ago and seen the touristy stuff, so we were really just trying to get the practical stuff done. Like go to Costco, you know. We managed to fill every nook and cranny of the truck with stuff for Lucas and the house. The bellboys at the hotel were very curious about why two women and a small child, driving a truck with BC plates, were buying large toys and saran wrap.

Tomorrow we will spend the day hiding all our purchases from Lucas' little fingers and Rob's bewildered looks. (He's really not looking forward to moving again and is trying to keep us from buying stuff we'll have to you think he'll find the Costco-sized olive oil?!) We'll also be getting ourselves ready for our visit from George, Justine and Logan who arrive on Saturday. We're sure they'll help us consume a few of our purchases!

I will try and post more photos when I can, but I often don't seem to be able to get them up. Oh, and by the way, I know there must be people reading this from time to time. Drop me a line! It's awfully lonely writing into cyber-space when you're not entirely sure people are reading!

Monday, September 19, 2005

First Step for the Little Man

Sorry I haven't written in a few days. We've had a very busy week with Rob's parents visiting from Vancouver. Lucas is thrilled to have all the attention and overjoyed us all by taking his first few unassisted steps for everyone to see. He walked between Rob and I to get another toy and laughed along with us in excitement when we cheered. Since then he has taken a few more tentative steps, but is not quite ready to give up his speedy crawling around. It truly is amazing how fast he is growing up right now. I feel like every day he is achieving something dramatiaclly new. He "coloured in" a picture I drew for him on the weekend, now says' "da" meaning dog very clearly, and has sprouted teeth faster than a pubescent boy sprouting hair. Mmmm....I guess we still have that to look forward to! He is developing a really great personality laced with minor temper tantrums. He seems to have inherited my goofy sense of humour and can scream along in unison when I do my monkey impersonation. Rob LOVES that(tee hee)! We can't believe that a year has almost passed with him in our lives. We are so blessed and proud; as I'm sure all new parents are!

Yesterday we took the day to drive inland up to a colonial town called Patzcuaro. We couldn't have picked a better day as the town was filled with people, dancers, music, balloons and life for their anniversary celebration. It was one of the most beautiful towns in Mexcio that Rob and I have ever seen, reminding us a lot of San Cristobal in Chiapas. The climate was a little cooler, allowing us to have a lovely walk around the town admiring the architecture and ample crafts for sale. Rob and I purchased an incredible painting of the Virgen of Guadalupe (one of our favorites) to one day bring home. Quite a treat. Mom, of course, went wild buying loot for George, Jus and Logan, as well as a basket for her quilting things and various other little knick-knacks. Rob's parents got their first chance to see a truly authentic Mexican market and town, and were suitably impressed, I believe. Our only regret all day was that we were too full to eat from the abundant ceviche de camaron stands (shrimp cocktail) and we had to leave it until our next visit. We hope to return for the Day of the Dead on the 2nd of November. Patzcuaro is famed for its celebrations. Rob and I can't imagine anything more spectacular than what we saw for the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, so I'm sure it will be incredible.

Monday, September 12, 2005

How's Mom?

Many of you wanted to know...

I hope this answers it! She's great (and brown as you can see.)