Here he is with nanny Jesse, and Delaney is with visiting new-nurse Carrie-Ellen, making Jesse's birthday cupcakes last week.
I put on a dress instead of shorts, causing much confusion to Delaney and Hayden.
I ordered iced tea instead of red wine, causing much confusion to my favorite waiter at the Blue Bahia.
I decided to start swimming laps (and have done so twice.... OK, maybe once), causing much confusion to my husband who thinks he is just brushing the pool every day for the pleasure of the birds.
I debated over my birthday wishes: a) get serious about buying family health insurance or b) ask for a treadmill. I chose to apply for insurance, since it seemed easier to fill out an online form than to fly to San Pedro Sula looking for personal fitness equipment.
Or easier than actually getting on the treadmill.
That turned out to be only partly true, since the online form took hours and then required lots of follow-up. But as of today, after a year-and-a-half at the mercy of the Honduran medical system, we are now globally insured.
Then I realized I needed to reinvigorate my job search after being told that my resume was "eclectic." So far I've applied for three "virtual" remote jobs and one at the fancy family resort, Tyler Place. That's where I just confessed that I lied in order to make our reservation as Junior Midgets. I mean, if I'm going to bother to confess, and then promote them on this blog and elsewhere, I might as well keep going and ask for a salary, right?
Most fun of all, I decided to give this blog a fresh look. Hope you like it. Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think. You might also tell me what else I should do to make 40 new and different.
But you'd have done it too, believe me, if you'd spent the last 14 days pouring over the Tyler Place reviews on Trip Advisor and http://www.wejustgotback.com/. This resort gets hundreds of 5.0 ratings from families all over the country as the best place EVER to go with kids. The program sounds phenomenal, like a once-in-a-lifetime hands-on experience even if you're just 2 (or nearly 2.5). (Check it out at http://www.tylerplace.com/.)
It's not that I want Delaney and Hayden to grow up faster (well, maybe I'm stretching the truth there, too). It's just that I want them to have the Splash Pad and the Marionettes and the Fleet of Red Wagons and Tipi and the Treehouse (whatever that is). Plus a dress-up party and tending their own organic garden. All the outings to children's museums that we can't have while we're living on an island, packed into one glorious summer week.
But I've been consumed by guilt over my little white birthday lie and confessed (online, of course -- who could make a phone call like that?). Now I'm waiting to see if I've gotten us banished from the waiting list or relocated to an even more remote corner of the camp. (We're already booked at a full 10-minute walk to Lake Champlain and more significantly, to the dining hall. But at least we're there.)
Or if we're not banished, I surely will be branded as the Lunatic Liar from Somewhere South of the Border.
At least now my conscience is clear. Delaney and Hayden will be 30 months at the end of August. Their days as Junior Midgets are just beginning.
Fortunately there was no falling rubble last week when the 7.3 earthquake hit sleepy (and sleeping) Roatan at 2:24a.m. Our houses did not collapse and in fact suffered minimal damage. Pictures were askew, the pools lost gallons of water, and the heavy procelain lid flew inexplicably off the toilet tank in one bathroom and crashed in a hundred pieces. We did have a film of plaster dust that coated floors and furniture in the bedrooms, but we needed to sweep anyway.
The wood and thatch home of Maria-with-the-twelve-children by the side of Mud Hole Road is also still standing. And so are the dozens of other shanty-like dwellings that dot our little villages. Click here to read more about the underwater shock resulting from a “left-lateral strike-slip faulting on the Swan Islands Transform Fault, a segment of the boundary between the North America and Caribbean plates”:
Islanders responded to the subterranean roar by going to church. The day after the earthquake, and the day after that, and even the day after that, there was a big collective “hush” over the island. Only 14 patients at the clinic, instead of the usual 60, reported Carrie-Ellen, our Hartford nanny who is here volunteering. (It was Carrie’s first earthquake ever, so now she has lots of stories to tell about her first clinic post since graduating with her UConn nursing degree.)
All schools were cancelled by order of the Municipality the next morning, so we were stuck at home. Delaney and Hayden helped with clean-up by “moving” neatly swept plaster piles from one spot to another.
Needing something productive to do, that afternoon we organized a massive wash of all porch toys and the very dirty foam alphabet rug. This occupied all afternoon, thankfully, and now the tool bench, barnyards, blocks and baby dolls all sparkle.
As the dust settled over the weekend, we apparently experienced some 300 aftershocks and an unrelated 5.0. Various clean-up efforts continued.
Through neighbor Heather, we learned that our mutual housekeeper of more than nine months has officially ditched us, taking advances on her salary from both families and departing for the mainland. That leaves us with lots of far more mundane cleaning than dusting around the earthquake shoes or participating in the Great Alphabet Rug Scrub.
So we were happy to quickly find new housekeeper Norma, though like her predecessor, Norma speaks no English. My instructions were limited to “limpiar aqui, aqui, aqui.” Clean here, here, here.
This seemed to work, but at dusk I realized she had scrubbed all of our many windows with a wet sponge instead of newspaper and windex, leaving a streaky residue that makes you think the plaster dust is still coming down.
Norma comes back manana and I will attempt to explain that agua doesn’t work on windows. It was also just as well that she didn't get around to washing the kitchen floor, since David and Isaac came over and urged Hayden to have a glass of juice in a big-boy cup. That, of course, required cleaning up afterwards.
On Monday Mike and I attended our final parent-teacher conference of the year (yes, the babies have now completed their first year of school!). Delaney got high marks for leadership demonstrated each day at --guess what -- clean-up time. Apparently she tells the older boys and girls when to pick up their toys, even following them around with a bullhorn (OK, a trumpet) to get her point across. That's my girl.