Monday, 16 December 2013


 I feel utterly useless and pathetic lately.  I've expecting for anyone who didn't know yet and I haven't been feeling the greatest.  Leo left on the 7th of December for Concepción, Chilé.  Only because of the ice storm in Dallas he wasn't able to get out.  So he actually left on Sunday morning.  I held down the fort (somewhat) until Tuesday, when the biggest migraine I've had in years struck.  Ana came to the rescue and took care of everyone that night, as I spent the afternoon huddled in my dark room.  I did try to go to a chiropracter and I will not be back to that one.  What a waste of money.  Needless to say my neck still feels pinched and awful today.  But Ana, like I said, got all the kids fed and into their pajamas and even had Elena practice her piano and do her homework.  
 The next day I was doing much better, but my friend Brittney still stopped by and picked up all my kids and the kid I was babysitting (all week) for two hours.  I slept the entire time.  She brought me dinner too.  Which was so, so, so appreciated.  Then the next night another friend in the ward, Amy, brought us dinner.  I didn't realize that posting how I had spent the afternoon curled up in the fetal position on Facebook would get such a response.  I really was feeling much better by the next day.  I guess I better be more careful what I post.  People are too nice!
 Here's the main cathedral in downtown Concepción.  Leo didn't take many pictures but he brought be back a really cool native carving.  It's awesome.  When he got home on Thursday he said I looked like I'd wasted away, all pale and frightful.  (Throwing up most of your meals does that.) I guess I wasn't doing that much better.  :)  But then I bought some ginger pills and took one of those every time I ate a meal, and that helped immensely! Maybe my being tired all the first trimester has less to do with the pregnancy and more to do with not being able to eat normal?  
 And then I threw up after taking a ginger pill and that was NASTY.  And now I can't decide whether to keep taking them or not. Errr…..  And now I have a cold and raspy cough.  And I have not made ONE single Christmas treat.  It barely even feels like Christmas.  Yes, whine, whine.  And no I wouldn't like any cheese, I've already thrown that up.   But food and Christmas are inexorably intertwined in my mind.

 Here's a few pictures inside the cathedral.  And yes, these are the only pictures Leo took.  Crazy man.

He did go to the ocean where this big river empties in though.  And he ate eel which he said was delicious.  And Brittney had us over for Sunday dinner with her family which was really fun.  And Elena sang in the combined Catholic and LDS Christmas concert last night.  It was really good.  Someday I might post the video but I'm not making any promises at this point.  And Ana made two 3-pointers in her last basketball game.  And that is all my news.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Mustang Island

And this is where we were supposed to go all of Thanksgiving weekend.  But I'm glad we didn't go till Friday, we would have froze.  Saturday was beautiful.  Back up in the 70s.  The kids had a blast playing at the beach.  Friday night was not that wonderful though.  Nicolas did NOT sleep.  Or if he did, he was attached to me.  Yeah.  That kid was weaned the next day.  Errrr…..  Leo did get him to sleep once too.  It was just horrible.  I don't know if the little bit of rain kept him up or if the ocean waves crashing or the wind that was blowing like crazy for the first half of the night, but it was torturous.
So all of Saturday I morphed into Monster Mom who was snapping at everyone going, "Why are you so whiney!?!?!" etc. etc., when really I was just extremely sleep deprived and nauseous.  Leo felt bad because he would normally have been playing with the kids the whole time, but instead he sat in a camping chair, trying to keep his eyes open.
And then I burnt breakfast--we cooked over a fire on the beach.
And then I burnt lunch. Yep cooked on the fire.  But in my defense, I fell asleep on the picnic table and that's when it burned.
Nicolas in Sebastian's swimsuit.  We had some packing hiccups.
Leo did catch a live crab which was cool.  And the kids found a starfish.  And there were washed up jellyfish on the beach. Okay, the last one wasn't so cool.  And I didn't get pictures of any of that, because I was too blurry eyed.

You can actually camp right there on the beach, well, further down from the picnic table area, but we didn't.  We camped at the part that had water and bathrooms.
Basically we had the beach to ourselves, except one other LDS family.  We both had BYU apparel on. Sweet!

So the other packing hiccup was that we forgot to pack the girls' swimsuits.  They only had long pants. Oops.

Elena's sand castle.
This is where we camped, basically a big parking lot with cars and trailers crammed like sardines.  Our neighbors had a Great Dane--our kids loved him!  I don't think our neighbors loved us though.
The road running through the barrier island was right behind us, and you can see a lot of the bridges and skyline of Corpus Christi from our campsite, but at least it was mostly empty land, which is a nice change from Galveston.  Anyway, we survived the trip back to Houston, and Leo managed to stay awake.  Which was good.  And Isabel threw up.  And we sang Christmas carols.  And then we got home and I bathed the kids and Ana and Leo unloaded the van, and then I took a nice relaxing bath and went to sleep. I think camping trips need to be longer than just overnight.  They are so much work to just pack up spend only 24 hours, and then have to do all the laundry and cleanup after. Plus today I had to set up our tents again so they could dry out.  Anyway, I hope the kids thought it was fun despite Leo's and my exhaustion.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Thanksgiving and the USS Lexington

 This Thanksgiving did not turn out as planned, but it was fun nonetheless.  I started out the week feeling pretty crummy with a cold, and then the weather was miserable--cold, freezing rain and no sun for almost two weeks.  Yuck.  We were supposed to leave on Tuesday to go camping at Mustang Island, a barrier island off the coast of Corpus Christi.  However I vetoed the whole thing.  I could barely drag myself around the house, let alone get everything ready to go, and really camping in biting 50 degree weather was not at all appealing.  So instead Leo went to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, which was good, because he was swamped and is leaving for Chile in a week and has to have things ready to go.  I got over my cold by sleeping all day for three days.  And then on Thanksgiving, we joined a group of four families from our ward who had all planned on going camping too, but then didn't because of the cold weather.  One family has a huge, military style tent, 652 sq feet I think it was (bigger than mine and Leo's first apartment anyway), and they set it up outside the church building.  Then the kids played games all afternoon and we ate Thanksgiving dinner inside the tent, with a proper Texas-style turkey--smoked in a garbage can--after which we watched movies on the projector they had set up in the tent.  The older kids and Leo played Steal the Flag and some other night games.  Ana had a blast! And I ate apple pie to my heart's content.  It was great.
I actually forgot my camera, but the web always provides an example, eh?
 The next day we left early as the weather was supposed to be back up in the 60's and headed to Corpus Christi, where we went and toured the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that was in use from 1943 to 1991.  Sebastian was SO excited.

 It was windy like crazy and chilly on the flight deck.  I'm so glad we didn't camp those other days.
 Ana even said she enjoyed it.

 Nicolas was in heaven wandering around so independent.
 Isabel trying to find shelter.
 Sebastian's favorite part was the helicopter.

 More planes.  For you Jethro, because no one else will care.

 This is what my kids do, find anywhere that has rocks or dirt they can pick up and spend their time playing there.

 Ana gunning down the Harbor Bridge.

 Isabel carefully charting a course.
 And Sebastian at the wheel.

 A lot of the time we spent going up and down ladders.
 And through hallways like this.
 Here's the barbershop.  We also saw the dentists' office, the medical office, the galley, and machine shop.
 And of course the engine room.
 I'm kind of sad now that I didn't get pictures of the kids all piled on the tiny little bunks.
All in all it was a fun afternoon, although I was feeling a bit nauseous after the 3D movie.  (It featured a destroyer, the HMCS Athabaskan, and I was so confused for a while because I was thinking, "That's a Canadian name!  Why would the US Navy have a destroyer named that?!?!"  When really it was part of the Canadian Navy.)  So then I bought some nachos that we shared and I felt slightly better.  Oh man, now I wish I had more nachos right now.  And then we headed to our campsite at Mustang Island.  And that you will have to read about tomorrow.