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.