Monday, April 25, 2011

Nuevo Vallarta Workation: Day 2

Recover from the night out before, which really only took two espressos and a lot of bacon (By the way, that was a great dinner at the Vista Grill if only for the view, although the food, drinks, and company were excellent as well). Back to the grind for a few hours, with a luxurious mid-morning nap as a think break on a tough section. Lunch buffet (can't imagine doing this to oneself for more than a couple of days--would take months to undo the damage). More writing. Give up late afternoon to go lounge on the beach for a couple of hours. Quick run, then yes, unbelievable, more food. Bad TV for the first time in days to top it off, as I was fried mentally. Quick pack up, heartwrenching conversation with M, who reported that when Irie went into her crib that night, she laid there and repeated "Mama home, Mama home" over and over as he closed the door, and then a good night's sleep in preparation for the potentially nightmarish drive home (which was in fact, a cakewalk in comparison to the drive down). Feeling productive and close to capping off that chapter, and refreshed mama-wise too.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nuevo Vallarta Workation: Day 1

Sleep, uninterrupted. Eat. Run, or well, truth be told, walk and run, on that glorious beach. Think, seriously, about how the heck to finish this bloody chapter that has been dogging me for so long. Massage. Eat again--buffets have come a long ways since the last time I was at an all-inclusive. Write like a maniac. Sinus-cleansing, bikini-malfunctioning body surfing session to make me feel like I am 23 again. Shower. Resist temptation to start drinking before dinner with a view and lovely people in PV. Short-lived attempt to stay out much later than I should have. Sleep again, knowing that at least the hangover will be ameliorated by the fact that I don't have to get up at any particular time.
Plan for Day 2? Less food, less booze, less company but more writing, more waves, more running, more missing M and the girls.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Water bug

That deafening silence

It seems to happen to most of us, the foreign service bloggers, whether officers or the spouses and partners of officers, at the moment when the chaos and novelty subsides and routine takes over, especially when you calculate in the kid factor. Let's face it, no matter where you live on the planet, dealing with a couple of little monkeys is largely the same drill of diapers and snacks and naps and oh phew they just went to bed but what a mound of dishes and laundry awaits us and so on and so forth, punctuated of course by the delight of seeing them learn to speak and swim and a multitude of other things in their generally hilarious, occasionally mortifying ways. The girls have finally settled into a happy routine with school and are flourishing in English and Spanish, in their relations with teachers and friends, and with all the benefits of what they learn there spilling over into their time at home (wow, both can actually pick up their own toys!). I've won what for me were the most pressing battles with same school, which were ultimately small but significant victories on matters of basic hygiene and safety--the first being get the freaking salmonella spreading turtles out of the babies' rooms as my child has already had parasites twice and we really don't need a round of anything more serious at this point, with the second being stop feeding those same babies popcorn before I send the wrath of the entire American Pediatric Association on choking hazards for children under three their way. No serious issues with Ruby's room for a while, much to their credit. And as for myself, finally slipping into that routine after so much work in the house and in getting the girls settled and dealing with this and that other detail for the first six months here has meant the possibility, or inevitability, of returning to that much loathed but necessarily doable project, the diss. So the fact that I'm not dinking around in blogolandia is a good sign in many ways. In all honesty, I'm also following a bit of motherly advice too, which is that if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. Because at that very moment when things settle down into some sort of daily normalcy, many of us out there also begin to realize, or perhaps just admit and acknowledge, that the culture surrounding us is, well, rather annoying or insane or simply incomprehensible. Such rhythms have been well documented by those with more experience than myself in globe-trotting every couple of years, and there are more stages to come, much like those of grieving or the cycles through which relationships pass. This moment is the one when the honeymoon ends and reality sets in--more on what that all means when Chapter 4, or at least a passable draft of it, has been sent northward to a patient and hopefully merciful reader.