Friday, August 28, 2009

One time when trying to access my stereo headphones unit

I was trying to get a doodad from our drawer of doodads and sundries. What spilled out was a mess of scary. I thought it might be a metaphor for something.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Karine and her deer-in-the-headlights men

The first picture was taken at a music festival before Karine and I were married. We've kept it on our fridge for years. The second, we took tonight. Didn't take a lot of critical thinking to put the two pictures together for a laugh.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Family Update

Ezekiel is now almost 7 months old! He likes to sit up, and can play pretty well without toppling over too easily. He also loves standing in his exersaucer and johnny jump-up. Zeke's little legs are getting quite strong! At his 6 month checkup, Zeke weighed in at 17.6 pounds- a healthy weight and right in the 55th percentile for his age.

Developmentally, Zeke is doing great. He can roll over both ways, but chooses to stay put unless there's a toy or a dog that he really wants to get. He's not crawling yet, but seems anxious for takeoff. We're prepared for it any day now. Still no teeth or hair. Good things come to those who wait!

Yesterday, we bought Zeke a highchair. He's been a great eater at mealtimes, enjoying all sorts of fruits, vegetables, oats, and rice. We're excited for Zeke to become a part of our family dinner table experience.

Tom has been extra busy the past few weeks because his job at school has changed significantly. Due to some movement within our school staff, a position opened up in the middle school, and Tom is now a teacher! He loves teaching 7th and 8th grade English and Math. He's the homeroom teacher for 8th graders so he gets to spend a little extra time with those kids. Each middle and high school teacher is also responsible for teaching an elective class. Tom has enthusiastically been teaching his weightlifting elective every Tuesday and Thursday to a small group of guys. Between his weightlifting class, and running 3 times a week, I think my husband is going to be one of the most fit guys around town pretty soon!

I have been thoroughly enjoying school so far this year too. I've got a really sweet class of 4th graders, and now that it's my 3rd year at our school, I feel like I really understand what I'm doing. I recently acquired a new cookbook from my friend Erin. The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is awesome! A couple nights per week, I've been trying out some new recipes- meatloaf, chicken piccata, and omelets have been some recent hits. It's strange that for the past 4 years, we have tried and tried to make omelets, and never had success. I get this great illustrated cookbook with all sorts of helpful hints, and they turn out wonderfully! I'd recommend this book to anyone.

Ruby will be celebrating her 2 year birthday on August 26. Our goal is to find her the best dog bone in La Ceiba by Wednesday. Our dog has been handling all the transitions in the past few months really well. She had 2 dog/housesitters this summer, a new nanny in the house (and her whole family- but that's a story for later), a baby that has started grabbing at her in glee, and another new nanny. Ruby takes it all in stride. Tom has also been working with her off-leash a bit more. Tom and Ruby sometimes take late-night walks around the neighborhood without a leash. Ruby loves the freedom, and Tom loves that his dog is well-trained enough to not run away.

And the nanny... Some of our readers may have heard about our nanny drama. I'll keep it brief, but the young, enthusiastic girl we hired to care for Zeke turned out to be a different person than we thought she was.
Some of the surprises included: stealing two of Zeke's keepsake baptism gifts from grandparents (one of which she took to her family's home), lying about many things, watching tv all day long while leaving Zeke alone, packing our food in our tupperware containers to give her family members through the gate, inviting her dad in for gourmet lunches in our kitchen, having friends over to watch tv, and inviting her whole family to our house in the daytime to cook up lunch for her whole family. Every day, she would go under my bed, take out my straightening and curling irons, use them and my makeup and lotions.

Because of some carelessness on her part, we started to discover the stealing and lying last Friday. When she came clean and confessed to stealing the keepsakes, crying and begging forgiveness, we decided that maybe this could be a real turning point for a young girl. Everybody makes mistakes, and this could be a real opportunity for change. Except that 3 days later, Tom stopped home in the middle of the school day to find a baby (not ours) wandering around our house in a diaper, the stereo and tv blaring, her mom cooking up a storm in our kitchen (and later taking it all with her) and Zeke all alone in his crib- wide awake. Tom fired her on the spot, for violating one of our biggest house rules- no visitors! She and her family and friends were out of our house within 10 minutes.

Fortunately, thanks to the outpouring of help and suggestions from our friends and coworkers here, we had 5 great leads by the next day. We interviewed 5 women- all with experience and strong recommendations, and we hired a real winner. I think Zeke will be much happier with his new nanny, Belkis. She's an experienced mom who is musical, intelligent, and best of all- has a professional reputation of being honest and trustworthy. She doesn't live with us, but bikes from her own nearby neighborhood. She had her first day on Friday, and we have high hopes this time. And now, for a happy thought- watch this cutie in his new high chair!

As for what's going on here in Honduras politically, things seem pretty normal in La Ceiba. I don't claim to understand all of it, and I don't care to turn this into a political blog. Our own lives here in Honduras have been fairly normal. We're not trying to say that we don't care about people whose lives have been changed and affected by the events. It's just that this blog is about Karine and Tom (and Zeke and Ruby too) in Honduras- our lives and the stuff that happens right here in our little home. We've been a little slow on the blogging this month, but will try to get back on it!

What I learned in sewers, part one

Adolescent boys in the Midwestern United States spend a surprising amount of time hanging out in sewers. That was the word we used for it. Sewers. As in, let's go to the sewer today. I don't think that's quite the right word for it though, for the place we went. Probably not the most accurate word. We were not, for example, hanging out in sewage. We did not pass time exploring the routes through which mountains of poo were flushed away from the homes of suburban Omaha, Nebraska. That would have been gross. Lot of beef eaten in Omaha. The more accurate word for the network of corrugated head high tubes is culverts. That's the word. We hung out in culverts, but we called them sewers. Storm sewers is what my dad called him.

Anyone's parents who knew anything about anything told us to stay the hell out of the sewers, storm drains, culverts. Their parental point of view was understandable. Sewers are a natural congregation point for various unsavory types: rats, raccoons, satanists, homeless people, snakes, and perverts. Not to mention the poisonous gas. All really good things for young adults to stay away from, particularly the poisonous gas and the perverts. But we were eleven, twelve, thirteen year old boys, living unleashed, more or less, in the suburbs. Was hanging out in sewers stupid for all the reasons our parents believed it was stupid? Sure. But we lived in the suburbs. Stupidity was our weapon against the the daily humdrum that held us all in the same smothering embrace.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Busy Bees

The beginning of a new school year always proves to be a busy time of year. This is especially true if 2 out of 3 members of the family are teachers. We've been otherwise occupied during the past two weeks- preparing for the first week of classes, and now teaching the first week of classes. In the past, Tom has had a bit more time during the day to do some blogging. Our readers will need to stay tuned to see what the former librarian is up to this school year. I'll give you a big hint- it's not in the library, but it's still at our school!

Life is pretty good otherwise. Ezekiel is happy every day when we arrive home. Happy because he's been happy all day, and he's happy again that we've arrived home. We're so lucky. He's been smiling, talking, and fake eating/lip syncing a lot lately. I'm going to try to post a quick video to make people happy- because this type of video makes me happy!

Also, I had intended to use this blog to commemorate each milestone age for Zeke. I have missed his 6 month birthday! At 6 months, he's doing a lot of cool stuff. I think I'll try to do a 6.5 month blog instead- updating everyone on his weight, accomplishments, future plans, etc.

So, blogosphere, please accept my apologies. When we begin to fall into the rhythm of the school year, our blog should pick up again. We'll have interesting stories, political updates, family news, and stuff about our life in Honduras in general. Until then, please enjoy this short baby video.