Thursday, February 23, 2012

Even Thyroid Imbalances Happen in Paradise!

Hey all you Followers! It has been a couple of weeks since my last post - lots to fill you in on, but right now I have been recovering from a thyroid imbalance that has me feeling pretty crappy! So, what is a girl to do?, rest and more rest! Don't forget about nobreadcrumbs, I'll be back soon - hopefully next week -

Now that the lice is gone, the wedding over, I'll turn my attention to planning our transition back to the States in June - YES, we are heading back home after three great years!

Stay tuned and check back next week -

Signed: S

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Unwanted House Guest!

Not a pleasant post, but one I thought I would share quickly with you - so when your child comes home with LICE and you think you've got it rough....oh my dear friends....think again!

Got the call from the Kinder teacher on Monday afternoon - "found two nits in Michael's head". I said "Ah, great, okay, I'll be right there". After having spent four hours that morning with the mechanic, cleaning the house for visitors on the 10th and planning and officiating a wedding on Sunday, the 12th - this almost pushed me over the edge!

On my way to pick him up, I made a quick stop at Vitosi (the local pharmacy) and purchased three LICE shampoos, arrived at school to gather the boys and exclaimed....."come on boys, we've got a party in the shower and we're all invited". The kids were great about it - I figured I better treat both boys and myself as Michael occasionally heads to our bed some nights when John is sleep talking/laughing. So, you know what that means right....

2 twin mattress pads
2 Aunt Sandy quilts
2 fitted sheets
2 pillow cases
2 flat sheets
2 comforters

1 queen size mattress pad
1 queen fitted and flat
2 pillow cases
1 down comforter

handfuls of towels
basket full of dirty clothes
sofa covers

So you are probably thinking - no big deal, fire up the washer and drier and fry those suckers! Well, this is where the problem comes in - no hot water...ever, in the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks or washing machine. What's a girl to do? I pulled out all the big pots, and the rice cooker and fired up our Easy Bake Oven and started the tedious process of boiling the water. Then, from there, I pulled out an old green Rubbermaid Tub (you know the ones - they double as suitcases, pools for the kids, great hide and seek spots, fort supporters, check previous posts) - so after about 10 pots, I started dunking the laundry in the tub and then to keep it submersed, threw some big rocks from outside on top. After 30 minutes, I gave it a stir (a real witches brew it was) and started pulling the clothes out with a big soup spoon and launching the clothes from the tub into the washing machine. I quickly learned that the big rocks I had put on top had to stay in the mix for the rest of the loads as the water was so scalding hot, I could not retrieve them! From there, the normal washing process ensued! Another thing going against me here is that Monteverde thinks it is December and not February - so it has been cold, rainy and extremely windy - so here I sit at the local bookstore waiting for my clothes to dry in a clothes dryer while I scribe this post.

Mike and I spend close to 40 minutes per boy, in the morning and the evening doing a lice check - oh, do we have it down to a science - I hold the light while he uses a pen to separate the hair and look for the critters! It's a nasty job, but someone has to do it! The boys don't want anything to do with cutting/shaving their heads, so they are quite good little cooperators during this time - while we rummage through their hair - they have a stack of paper and crayons on the desk to keep themselves busy. Actually, some of their most creative artwork is during this time.

So - this is how I have spent my time this week - I think I have boiled over 50 pots of water and probably drastically lowered the level of gas in our tank out back. Gee, I hope I have enough gas to cook dinner tonight!

I continue with this process just to be on the safe side - the house has never been cleaner.

As I type, I feel my head beginning to itch...gotta go!

Signed: S

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just the Run of the Mill Saturday Hike!

Last Saturday, we headed out to the Santa Elena Reserve with the boys in hopes of enjoying the sun-drenched day! However, we had a change of heart and instead of taking the turn to the reserve, we decided to head to the Mirador, which is where the MFS annual Walkathon finale is held every year. It was a beautiful, clear day, and I was almost positive that we could get a glimpse of Volcan Arenal. A glimpse....HECK, we got an eye-full!

We pulled up and took refuge on lower land to shield ourselves from the cool wind!

Fabio greeted us and suggested hot cocoa for the kids and I quickly requested a hot cup of java. After our quick snack, we took the road less traveled, suggested by Fabio "you can go down this road about 800 meters in car, and then, you'll have to walk"...sounds good, "you guys game?", I asked. Greeted by three smiles, I knew we were in for a treat.

Our trusty Gallopher had a tough go - "can this really be classified as a ROAD"? I thought to myself. We parked the car and headed out on foot to what was some beautiful vistas! Horses, meadows, clouds, volcano, rolling hills - it was spectacular and the brisk air and wind filled your spirit as well as your lungs!

We had a great time - but now in retrospect, I have a better idea of where that rattling underneath the car originated from :(

Good thing we have an appointment with the mechanic on Monday!

Signed: S

Punta Uva - Not to be Confused with Paradise!

A quick note about Punta Uva - Although we only spent two nights, it was well worth it. The Caribbean coast certainly has a totally different feel from the Pacific Coast! Personally, I loved it! I loved the fact that it was not so over-developed and the streets were full of bike riders on old rented bikes ( you know the ones, with the baskets in front)! The cyclists certainly outnumbered the 4-wheel drive vehicles. We bunked at Selvin's Cabins which was tucked in just off the main road - we had a two bedroom cabin, little kitchenette and a great veranda to play a mean game of cards or just relax in the hammocks after fighting the waves all day. The walk to the beach for short and quiet!

Michael and John spent every minute they could in the waves, body surfing, building sand castles and snorkeling.

Wasn't it Jack Lalane who did his workouts on the beach? Good form Michael! Keep that bottom down now! :)

Lucky ducks - I think I was well into my teens before I snorkled in the ocean. We headed to Cahuita which is a just north of Punta Uva, hired Ernie and his crew and piled into the boat for our first family snorkeling experience. You would have thought the boys were ole pro's - hopped right off the boat and into the ocean! Getting my leg up over the boat and making a graceful plunge into the water was not how I remembered it as a 16 year old - but hey, I managed to fling myself overboard and keep everything intact (if you know what I mean)! After the initial challenge of water continually leaking into John's mask (oh that hair, trying to get it just right so the mask fit okay) was exhausting in and of itself - but we figured it out and we were off on our adventure. It was awesome sharing this experience with the boys, there I was, in all my snorkeling gear, holding onto Michael's hand as we manuevered through the salt water, our guide pointing out Lion fish, tropical fish of all colors, different types of coral and all sorts of sea urchins. Simply, in a word....AWESOME, as the boys were quick to say!

We decided to be dropped off at Cahuita Point and hike the 2 1/2 miles back through the reserve to where we had parked the car! We were pooped by the time we found the Galloper and treated ourselves to a cold ice cream. What a work-out!

It was a super fun time, although short - well worth the six or seven hour drive!

Punta Uva - Put it on your Bucket List!

Signed: S

Worth Waiting For! Hello New Playing Field - we've waited a long time to Greet You!

Let it be said, that all good things are worth waiting for! And, oh how this community has waited for the grand opening of the new playing field. Perhaps you remember a couple of older posts last year, in the May timeframe, when we were all covered in mud, racing against the clock to get the last piece of sod in before the rains came! The playing field had been closed off since then to let the new sod take root and boy did we celebrate two weeks ago as the yellow tape came down and the frisbees and soccer balls came out.

The day was perfect, hot and sunny and the words by one MFS parent, very poignant, as he thanked everyone for making this dream a reality. It was a lovely way to remember his late wife and the entire community rallied around him to give support and a hefty round of applause as we listened to his words as he tried desperately to keep his emotions in check.

I was so grateful that this particular project was completed and a success at that. Everyone had a great time and the die-hard ultimate frisbee players commented on what a difference a level field made as they no longer had to keep one eye on the field, in hopes of avoiding pot holes and un-even terrain. Ah, relief!

We enjoyed the celebration with Ken and Liz, friends visiting from our church in Chicago. They had a chance to meet some folks and I even gave them them the 2 cent tour of the school!

So, Monteverde, you can look back at this one and say - YEP, change wasn't so bad after all! Lets hope we can carry this enthusiasm and thinking into the future as the school continues to tackle other changes and projects. KUDOS!

Signed: S