I’m a nerd, a school lover. I enjoyed going to class for the most part. I was self-motivated to work hard and proud of my straight A’s through most of middle and high school. I attended a prestigious, top ranked public high school thanks to my parents moving to an affluent community for just that purpose. I took it for granted of course, until entering college and comparing myself to others, realizing how much better prepared I was than many.
Now I’m the parent living in a place that couldn’t be much more different than where I grew up. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America (after Haiti). Illiteracy is rampant and the local schools outside the cities are atrocious. Imagine underfunded 1 or 2 room elementary schools with barely adequate classrooms taught by mostly untrained teachers who only show up 50% of the days school should be in session, to write lessons on the board that students just copy. The local non-profit that we support is striving for improvements but I’m not going to waste my kids’ time. Continue reading To Homeschool?
Our family lives primarily in Northern Nicaragua, but we do spend several months per year in Costa Rica. We love our little house in the jungle, watching monkeys from the porch, walking across the street to check the surf, playing with the kids in the river, and catching waves ourselves.
I pulled out the GoPro on the last couple of days of our trip to capture a few scenes summarizing our life in paradise. Kid play, a lot of checking the surf, and even a bit of surfing.
The past few nights we haven’t been sleeping well. I suppose this is to be expected with a 7 month old. It surely was the nightly truth when Luna was this age. But we’ve gotten used to enjoying 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then a quiet wake up, a little gentle nursing, and right back to sleep. Last night I was so ready to get back to that but instead we had night 5 (or was it 6?) of something very different.
I’m really hoping it’s just the two new top teeth that are popping through, or even the runny nose that just won’t go away, that have him waking up every 90 minutes wanting to suck agressively and cry when I know he’s had enough and try to roll back onto my back, rather than a new normal.
My husband tries to help. I’m battling my own cold and need the sleep to be able to keep it together during our daily toddler battles (yes you do have to put clothes on to go outside, and please take another sip of water!)
My husband tries his best but baby just wants Mama. Meanwhile I think my nipple may actually fall off.
One of the Instagram accounts I follow suggests making sure to take time for myself in order to gave the energy and calm to be the best mama I can be. Yeah right? Who has time for that?! Not ME!!!! At least not right now.
I know, I know. It will pass. The runny nose will dry up. The new teeth will come through. I’ll be packing him up and sending him off to college in the blink of an eye, wishing I could still hold him and cuddle him at my breast all night. That’s what gets me through it…. when I can remind myself of that.
Luna has been going in cycles of wanting to surf with me every day for a couple of weeks, and then showing no interest at all. I don’t push it. If I say, “want to surf with mama?” and she says “not today,” then it’s not today.
But on this day, I asked her if she wanted to surf and she said “YES!” I passed off Soleo who was not thrilled at hanging on the beach with the nanny right at that moment, but when Luna wants to surf she gets to go surfing!
The waves were nice and small with a big channel. We paddled out and relaxed on the outside for a while. We talked about the channel, the peak, the inside, the outside. She pointed out whitewash and green waves. We played on the board, jumping off and swimming back to it. We looked for turtles, pulled up small pieces of driftwood for inspection, sang songs from Disney’s Moana.
Eventually a set swung wide and we were in the perfect spot, so while still singing a song, I turned to paddle. She held on tight, looking around as I did some gentle turns, was smiling and happy, and even gave me a mid-wave high 5. Then we paddled out for another. It was probably my favorite wave ever.
After this wave, she was talking about surfing non-stop for the rest of the day and even practicing popups on my hand plane.
Luna has ridden a bunch of waves in her life starting at age 10 months, but this was the first time she wanted to paddle outside with me.
We had been spending a lot of time on the inside, playing around, riding broken waves with her on my back.
One day the waves were pretty small and I saw that there were long enough gaps between sets that I could probably get her outside without having to pop over a big wave. I asked if she wanted to “go out to the amigas” and she said “ok!”
We timed it just right and made it outside with dry hair. She was a little nervous but also happy to be out there.
I saw a little wave coming, turned and paddled for it. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to catch it or what I’d do when we did catch it. Should I just stay laying down as we’d been practicing? But once we were in it, instinct kicked in and I slowly stood up. She was gripping tightly, and I reached around and got an arm on her just in case.
We rode it all the way in! I asked if she wanted to paddle out for another and she said yes. On the next paddle out, I didn’t time it quite as well and we did have to push through a little wave. She got splashed in the face and wasn’t too happy about it, but calmed down once we got outside. The swell was small but long period and building. After having to paddle quickly to avoid a couple of larger waves, I decided not to push our luck and we paddled in.
I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to get her out there again!
A couple of months ago I gave birth to a big healthy baby boy (over 9 lbs). He is my second baby in two years and the recovery process was a lot slower than my first. I didn’t surf as long into my pregnancy the second time (30 weeks vs. 32 weeks) and I waited a bit longer to get back in the water after having my son than my daughter (7 weeks vs. 5). Those two weeks on either end may not seem like much, but they did to me.
When I finally got back in the water after 4 months off the board, I was slow, weak, and out of rhythm with the ocean. These clips were taken in my first two weeks back in the water.
Luckily my son is a very mellow baby who is happy to chill out on the beach while mama goes surfing. My daughter is 2 and loves the ocean and has started asking to catch waves with me. Here’s a snapshot of our surfing life from the past week.
I snapped this picture today because I was taken with how cute she looked walking in my sandals, also intending to send a picture of her in the dress given by a friend. The more I look at it, the more I feel that it perfectly encompasses the personality of this little person. The spark, attitude, and strength of her. And of course the curls. That little face in all it’s seriousness. But mostly her fierce determination to be herself.
Continue reading Luna Suli at 2 Years Old
According to our midwife, the placenta that nourished my little guy for 41.5 weeks was something special. Of course all placentas are miraculous, and I haven’t seen enough to know the difference, but our midwife was weighing it, and exclaiming over it’s large size.
Luna was born in a hospital so her placenta was thrown out, or burned, or whatever hospitals do with that sort of thing. This time around, we kept it wrapped up in a tortilla bag in the freezer at the birth house. A couple of weeks later it traveled in a cooler on a two day drive down to our home in Pavones where it was shoved into our freezer there and mostly forgotten. Continue reading Planting the Placenta