Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hola de Bogotá

We are finally on the last leg of our journey in Colombia! Hooray! We made it to Bogotá around lunchtime. Just before boarding the plane in Pereira, we received an excellent email letting us know that our reservation at Hotel Halifax had been confirmed. The flight went well. The twins cried a little on take-off, turbulence and landing, but overall they were extremely brave and did very well for their first flight. Samuel was so excited and just beaming the whole time. I think the biggest surprise for all of them was that they got "jugo" (juice) just for being on the plane! I didn't get a picture, but I have to say to all those who thought we were nuts for adopting three, it definitely has its benefits - all three boys helped push/pull/carry luggage and most of it is bigger than they are. I will try to remember to take a picture on our way to Charlotte. It is pretty funny!

Hotel Halifax is definitely an answer to prayer, so thank you to all who have been holding vigil for us. Not only is it close to what we need (and now we won't need to pay to go sightseeing everyday), but there are other families here, we are in two rooms (no more closet!), and there is a swingset, toys and DVD player on-site. Oh, and Inés, one of the innkeepers, has even shown Troy a route that he can go running in the mornings! The only drawback is right now (approx. 10:15 PM Colombia time) they are doing some street work and jackhammering - I hope I can sleep through it soon. In fact, it started about 9:00 PM and when I went to check on the boys Daniel said "Mama, un avion, un avion" which is doubly funny because I had just said to Troy I bet Daniel is telling his brother's "A plane, a plane". This isn't quite El Cortijo, but it is a real blessing nonetheless and we are thankful for God's grace and to those who recommended it.

Lastly, before I post pictures, I have to mention our final moments in Pereira. OK, I admit when we were saying our good-byes to our friends at El Cortijo, I really teared up and almost started to bawl. In fact, I was teary eyed the whole way to the airport (and at the airport as we bid José and Mauricio "chua"). As the boys chatted endlessly to José about "un avion rojo" (for some reason it was very important that the plane be red), I just tried to take in the sights one last time. I kept reminding myself we will be back one day (only to visit), after all that is one of the main reasons we chose Colombia.

The boys were super excited at the airport as we waited to board. All of them kept shouting "Oooo, un avion!" And Daniel kept saying "Mama venga!" (Mama come here!), like "Mom why aren't you at the window looking at these awesome planes!" Here they are looking at our plane, and just like José promised, it was red indeed!

All of the boys looking at another much smaller (thank goodness it wasn't ours) plane.

Luis swinging here at Hotel Halifax. He was so very excited to swing, but not too high. And Troy and I learned a new word today - columpiar. We were trying to explain to the boys that at the new hotel there are new rules (namely you can't just run off without asking) when Samuel just burst into tears. It took a while to get him to tell us what was wrong when all of the sudden he says "quiero columpiar" (I want to swing) which sent us scurrying for the Spanish/English Dictionary. That little book is a lifesaver!

Daniel sort of climbing, but not really. If you look closely you can see his other foot is through the ropes and firmly on the ground. He gets an A for effort though!

Papa took Samuel to the store during naptime and he got a new hat from a street vendor! Muy guapo (very handsome!)

We had our appointment with the embassy doctor this evening, and while we were waiting, the boys collected all of the Bibles and were using them as building blocks. We would love to say that they just love The Word, but really they are just creative!

The appointment with the doctor was easy breezy. Aside from a few disciplinary issues (only because they basically put the boys in one room and us in another), the boys did well. The doctor simply had to fill out a form for each of them, and it turns out that he has adopted four-year-old twins of his own and used to work at a hospital in New Orleans. We are up-to-date on all shots, so the next step is to go to the embassy at 7:30 AM on Monday morning. I am not sure how that is going to work, our boys don't get up that early.

To everyone who has followed us this far, please keep checking in and keep posting! We definitely need the love and support more than ever to get us through this next week. It is going to be a long one!

Last Post From Pereira

Well, we are finally headed back to Bogotá! Our flight leaves at 11:20 AM (Colombia time). Our agency is still trying to strong arm us into staying where we don't want to stay, so please pray that this issue will resolve itself quickly. I, especially, have no desire to stay one place for one night and them move all of our stuff to our place of choice for another. The challenge has been contacting places in Bogotá from here and we have had several "lost in translation" moments and our in-country contacts in Bogotá have been of no help since we decided that Zuetana was not the place for us. Hopefully, once we either get to the airport or get to Bogotá we can really stand up for ourselves and let them know how important it is that we find a place that is going to work for us, especially since we will be here through August 7 now.

More pressing prayer issues: Samuel was asking Troy yesterday if their foster mother would be coming to Bogotá and then living with us in the U.S. I think that he may go through a bigger bought of homesickness than we anticipated. Daniel has been saying all morning that his stomach hurts and has been really, really crying. Poor baby. He seems to be OK now, he even ate breakfast, but I think that seeing all of the suitcases and not really understanding what is going on might be freaking him out a little. Also, he has been retreating a little more this morning. He might just be tired, but he seems to be back in his own "Daniel Place" where he has been more vibrant and interactive over the past week to ten days. Luis is just afraid of everything so there is no telling how the plane ride will go. And, in the continuing Andrea-health-saga, I woke up with another sore throat that I think is due to drainage because I had an allergy attack last night and couldn't find where I packed the Benadryl, but my chest is starting to feel congested too.

Troy ran to the ATM (for the second time today - the first time it was closed, of course) to get more cash. He may have more thoughts to add to this post, but the next time you hear from us we will be at a higher elevation, in cooler weather and by the grace of God in a hotel near a parque and a supermercado!

P.S. I hate to fly too, so pray that I will be able to comfort my children through my fear!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

T.V. Show Ratings

Inspired by one of my favorite books, here's my ratings of kid's TV shows that I've sat through in Colombia.

First of all, if the theme song doesn't give you a seizure, the rest of the episode surely will.

"Wubbzy" (genus species unknown) is a creature built solely of right-angles, who looks like he was drawn on an etch-a-sketch, and goes on adventures with his friends. On one episode, they helped a squirrel build a machine to help gather acorns. Just kidding, I've never made it through the opening.

Rating: D+

So here's the rundown of every Pinky Dinky Doo episode. Some stuff happens, then there is a dilemma, then Pinky tells a story, then comes up "un gran idea" and her head swells up like a parade float. It is a show rife with imagination since the entire episode is Pinky's stories, and for the most part everything happens inside a cardboard box. However, none of this matters, because after the dilemma, and before the story...there is this dance. Which is awesome in every way. Si señores positones indeed!

Rating: B+

Maybe you've been to your local neighborhood amusement park and have seen "the show". At Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, there are people singing all over the artificially reconstructed New France (can't we just call it Canada?). These are kids making their career stop between "lead in the high school production of Annie Get Your Gun" and "waiter/waitress in NYC". Unlike the amusement park though, there is no roller coaster to look foward too. Just more singing after the commercial break...and dancing...and singing...and dancing. Yuck.

Rating: F

Not every computer animator gets to work for Pixar. If you have kids, you're likely familiar with the adventures of a yellow hippo, and a orange moose, and uh, um....a lavender eagle....and, jeesh they all look alike, a chartruse giraffe? The animals go to the backyard and act out fantasies. Think more "hey, you're a gypsy and we're all pirates!" and less "Eyes Wide Shut". This show encourages children to use their imaginations.....and drugs. At least the spanish version of the theme song is better than the US version. Just's still horrific. It's the worst song not named "Hotel California" or sung by this band.

Rating: B-

The only show that passes the "I would actually watch this if I didn't have kids" test. When this show comes on I find myself saying things like "Luis, Samuel...stop reading those worthless books and watch some T.V.!". The brilliance of the show can be summed up in an episode where the villian, Robbie Rotten, dresses up as a doctor, puts spots on all the vegetables and kids and declares there is a plague, tries to steal the blimp of the hero, Sportacus, and when he is finally revealed (hey residents of Lazy Town...who could the mysterious stranger be? How about the only member of the town that is not present?) declares "VOY A EXPLICAR NADA!". The show smacks of propaganda....carrots are awesome!, cookies and candies are bad, however the stingy character is allowed to stay stingy, and Ziggy, the sugar-addicted kid, never really changes his ways. It's as if right and wrong are presented, but how we interpret the information is up to us. How Postmodern!

Rating: A

This Is How The Boys Are Dealing With The Stress

It's all fun and games until Luis Angel falls off the bed. Don't be too concerned though, he only cried for like a second until he was ready to get right back in the rumpus. About one second later there was an incident involving Daniel's glasses. And then another incident involving Luis, and then another one, and then another one...and so on.

P.S. The boys' favorite saying has become "Es un accidente."


So, the news is not getting any better. The embassy is closed on Friday which means that we definitely won't be able to get the boys' visas until next week (Hector thought we might be able to plead our case if we got in front of the embassy today). Delta cannot issue us new return tickets until next Thursday because of our "special adoption fare". And we aren't sure what we are going to do about keeping the boys entertained in Bogotá for a week because our driver there is ridiculously expensive and at this point we are needing to conserve money. Ahhh, the joys of international adoption.

Thank you to everyone who has posted/emailed with ideas on places to stay in Bogotá. Troy will be looking into those later today! Oh and as a side note, when Troy and Mauricio contacted our Bogotá rep last night her solution was that we could just drive around to the different lodging options until we found one that we like. With three boys in tow? I don't think so...

We are still headed to Bogotá tomorrow so we can make our doctor's appointment, provided we can purchase tickets. Avianca's website is having some issues and when Troy called they wanted $350/ticket over the phone. Yeah right! It is a half an hour flight!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still Trapped

The news is not good. Although we do have the boys passports (which I will recount at another time), we found out this evening that we cannot get doctor's appointments at the embassy until Thursday evening due to more vacations. Needless to say, we are not coming home on Sunday and Troy and I are pretty much devastated. We have decided to stay in Pereira until Thursday because we are far more comfortable here and aren't really that excited about going back to Bogotá except to go home.

Other challenges: We also don't have a place to stay in Bogotá. We didn't want to go back to Zuetana, and our agency (though they assured us in the beginning we could switch) doesn't have any other options for us so we are trying to find a place on our own that will be more accommodating to our expanded family. Also, I am terribly sick again. This time it seems to be the stomach virus that Troy had. I won't go into details about all the symptoms, but it does include a splitting headache, chills and aches (again!). Daniel also threw up twice this morning, but he seems to have recovered (so have was kind of funny because he would burp real loud, then spew, then burst into tears. I wasn't quite sure of what to do at first - laugh or comfort him, I went for the latter and then clean up.)

We will keep all of you posted on what our plan of action is. Please pray that every detail would fall into place, that Troy and I would not let our sadness affect our parenting or take it out on the boys, and that Delta will be merciful and give us return flights sooner rather than later.

Monday, July 28, 2008

. . . - - - . . .

Help! We are trapped in Pereira. Literally trapped!

Mauricio called this morning to deliver the disappointing news that Hector was unable to get a copy of Daniel's birth certificate from the town of Alcala today because the only person who can sign it is on vacation. He is going to try again tomorrow. Hopefully we will be on a plane Wednesday morning, as early as possible. We have been told that we can still take the boys to the embassy doctor in the afternoon on Wednesday. Hopefully we will be able to stay on track to come home on Sunday. If we have to shift any of our embassy dates it, we will have to change our flight and since we have special tickets with Delta who knows when we will be able to get a return flight.

Please pray that Hector will be able to get the birth certificate tomorrow morning and we will be able to get the passports in the afternoon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Low-Key Weekend

This post will probably be short and sweet which will probably be a relief to most of you since the last one ran a little long. Our weekend was pretty low key. Troy hasn't been feeling well, so we took it easy yesterday. That gave me a chance to start organizing and packing our stuff. Today, José stopped by with his six-month-old son Juan José and then came back in the afternoon to get us and take us out to the mall for a bit. The boys got to expend some of their energy at the arcade/play-place which was great for all of us.

The highlight of my afternoon was watching Samuel in the play-place (the twins are too young to go in alone and we couldn't accompany them). We had to pay for him to go in and he only got 15 minutes which he spent most of on the trampoline (surprise, surprise). But then he discovered he could climb the towers to the slides. They had two towers, one that went to the wavy slides which he did twice and then a much taller tower that went to a spiral slide. The look of pure joy and excitement when he came out of that spiral slide is indescribable. He was so happy. It is really neat to watch our kids experience these things for the first time that most of the other kids in there were taking for granted. The real highlight though is when the 15 minutes were up, the staff working the play-place wouldn’t let the kids exit until their parent claimed them, and Samuel and I were pointing at each other, claiming each other. That was really cool. Oh, and now is a good time to mention that when we first got there, I lost Luis. I went to throw something away and, without realizing it, he followed me. We looked all around only to find him in a sea of people, bawling his eyes out. As Troy ran towards him and scooped him up, he was still crying, but you could see the look of relief on his face - the best part, he wasn't looking to just anyone for help, he was looking for us. Troy's highlight was playing air hockey with Daniel. He didn't want to ride on any of the little cars or do anything else, but he really seemed to want to play air hockey. Guess we are going to have to get an air hockey table...Isn't that terrible?

Tomorrow will hopefully be packing and passports!

When I started packing the boys decided they wanted to wear their raincoats...inside...all day. The irony, it rains here everyday, but we have never actually worn our raincoats outside in the rain. I am not sure how that happened.

These are the gifts that "Tia" Rosario and the staff of El Cortijo gave the boys at their fiesta the other night. These are carros they are not allowed to play with.

Don't let our boys fool you. They don't actually read their books, but they do love to look at them. They also won't sit still long enough to let us read to them. I think they have never really been read to.

José and his son Juan José. What a cutie! The boys were so curious and weren't really sure of what to do with him. When José came back to get us later in the afternoon, Luis looked all over the car for the baby and was genuinely upset that José didn't bring him back.

Samuel will occasionally hold the twins hands when they walk down the stairs. He is very helpful when he wants to be which is great. We really want him to understand that he is the older brother and not four. We suspect that he was treated like a four year old, and we hope to help him feel more like an older brother.

OK, so Luis didn't cry on any of the little rides and actually wanted to go on everything that Samuel did. I guess that little push car at Parque del Café was a great jump start in getting him over whatever fears he had about amusement rides. Very weird, but encouraging.

Troy and I's public debut of Dance Dance Revolution. We thought that an international tour would be best. As you can see by the looks on our faces we pretty much sucked, and of course we not only had an audience but help from the twins. I guess we will have to keep practicing at home.

Friday, July 25, 2008

We're Still Celebrating!

***WARNING: This one is going to be a long one, so you might want to grab a cup of café (Colombian brew of course) or té before you settle down to read this post.***

I am adding a ton of pictures to this post because really whatever I say can't do our adventures justice. The past 30 or so hours have just been fun. Plain and simple. Oh except for the fact that Troy now has a fever. He has taken some medicine, so hopefully it won't develop into anything more serious. It seems to be the same virus I had prior to my bronchitis and what Samuel developed earlier this week.

Last night we celebrated our familia with this incredible chocolate cake that we bought at a bakery downtown. It was "que rica" as the boys like to say. I know they don't know why we are celebrating, but they appreciated the cake all the same. We also learned the hard way that giving them chocolate cake about an hour before bed time is not really that great of an idea, especially when they have missed their naps. Daniel + Chocolate Cake - naptime = one crazy kid. It took a while to wind them down and stop the giggling.

Today we went on a walking tour of downtown Pereira with José. He took us to Bolívar Square (almost every city in Colombia has a Bolívar Square), a beautiful cathedral, one of the oldest buildings in Pereira where we stopped for beverages, souvenir shops, and another plaza. It was good to get out and see the city (without running errands). While we were out the most bizarre thing happened. This woman came up to Luis and was trying to talk to him and he was shying away from her. I didn't think much of it because people are always asking if they are twins or patting the boys on the heads and such. Normally the boys walk around saying "Hola!" to everyone they meet. Then as she passed José, Troy and the other boys she greeted them and got into a brief conversation with José. It turns out she is the sister of their foster mother. According to Wikipedia, there are nearly 600,000 people in Pereira and we just happened to run into someone who knows the boys. How crazy is that? And Samuel was like "Oh yeah, that was Jenny." Weird! And then Luis kind of bolted up the street like he was going to follow her. Fortunately, it didn't seem to upset them, negatively effect them or make them homesick in anyway that I could see. We went back to normal within minutes. It just struck us as odd that we would run into someone who knows them. José seemed to think it was good that she got to see the boys out and about and happy so she could let her sister know that they are doing well. I think he is right.

OK, enough blabbering. On to the photos, including photos of this evening's fiesta!

We had pasta last night for dinner. Troy and I could do an entire post just on mealtime with the boys. It is the funniest, most frustrating time. No meal passes in a timely, stress-free manner. It is always long and there is a lot of pleading. The best though is when the boys tell each other to "EAT!" and they still have food on their own plates.

This is the cake we bought. Yummy!

"This cake is so yummy it requires a fork and a spoon!"

"More cake please!"

The fam at the "Bolívar Desnudo" statue.

I just love this picture! I can't tell you how long it took me to get this shot!

The building where we stopped to get something to drink is one of the few buildings that is original to the city. The building itself was very beautiful. Here José is helping Daniel with his Pineapple juice. Poor boy does not really understand how to drink from a straw.

Luis is trying to mimic José, but he doesn't understand that you have to create a vacuum on the one end so all he is getting is foam.

Samuel is of course brilliant...and the oldest!

Throwing leaves into the fountain at the Lake Plaza. Boy was Daniel mad when we had to leave. Although, I am still not sure if he was really mad or if it was a genius ploy to get me to carry him...Regardless, Hannah, if you are reading this, I need to go to Pilates or Yoga or something, my core is too weak to carry these four year olds around!

Our last stop was a restaurant at the top of this mountain where you can see the whole city. It was so beautiful.

The best part of any trip is when the kids fall asleep in the car!

Rosario threw us a fiesta to celebrate our Sentencia, and let me tell you, she knows how to throw a party. The entire downstairs was decorated. We had appetizers, drinks, the whole nine yards. She even gave each of the boys these adorable traditional Colombian bus sculptures (I will take a pic and upload) with their names painted on front. Here the boys are admiring the decorations, mostly just ooohing and aaahing over the balloons.

We ate Mexican tacos and nachos. And I cannot say it enough - I wish that I could take Alba and Betty home with us to cook for us every day! The food here is so delicious. And they even make stuff plain just for me! Mauricio is the guy at the far end of the table and Hector's wife, I am pretty sure her name is Alba too, is in the middle.

Our lawyer Hector and his daughter Pilar (who is Mauricio's girlfriend). The kids love her and she says fun stuff like "super-bueno!"

Troy and Hector Fabio. I think that Hector looks just how I would picture our lawyer. I don't know why, but he looks like a lawyer to me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Introducing Samuel, Daniel and Luis Eisenberger

In one of the easiest steps of this entire process, the boys officially became our sons today in the eyes of the Colombian government (and thereby the world). Technically their last name is Eisenberger-Woods because in Colombia you are given the name of both your parents. When we readopt them in the states, their name will just be Eisenberger - though I love the idea of passing on the Woods name, Eisenberger is long enough!

At 2:15 PM we hailed 2 taxis (we are too big of a fam with Tio Mauricio - our interpreter to fit in one) and headed to the courthouse where we met Hector Fabio, our lawyer. The boys were really well behaved considering they were beyond bored as we waited on the legal documents to be corrected so we could sign them. It was as simple as that. We met with the clerk of court to simply sign a sheet of paper, no judge was present. Now we are officially a family.

So what's next? We went to get the boys passports pictures taken. That was fun considering we have three boys who love to smile and you aren't supposed to smile (Luis' picture just looks mean). Apparently, Daniel took about twenty tries to get it right because the photographer would say "Uno, dos..." and on "tres" Daniel would chime in with his big goofy grin. He really can't resist counting. It will most likely be Monday before we get the passports because Hector has to get all of the birth certificates, and Daniel's is registered in Alcala because of the "separation at birth situation" with him. We hope to leave for Bogotá on Tuesday and should be able to finish our embassy business in time to catch our August 3 flight home.

Tonight we are celebrating with the most delicious looking chocolate cake, and tomorrow Rosario is throwing us a fiesta. We also hope to take José and his family out to lunch at a restaurant that overlooks the city. For all of my homesickness and complaining, I am glad that we are spending the weekend here in Pereira amongst people that we have come to consider family. One day, when the boys are older, it will be great to be able to come back and visit...but only for a week or so!


We have Sentencia today at 2:30 PM (Colombia time, a.k.a. 3:30 PM EST). Will post more later, but wanted to keep the die-hard followers informed!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying that this would come quickly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Parque del Café (Day #15 if you're counting...and I am)

Well, with both Mami and Samuel on the mend, we decided it was a perfect day to head to the amusement park. It's called Parque del Café, and we had a blast. There were definitely challenges, but it felt more like real family challenges, rather than "trapped in a hotel room" challenges. We first heard of this place from The Derr's Blog. In addition to staying in the same hotel [room] as Sheila and David, we now have done most of all of the same activities that they did. Although we've copied them in several ways, we at least didn't rip off the idea of adopting from Colombia from them. That was Robin and Adam. Just kidding....sort of. Anyways...onto the day.

José took a scenic route to the park, highlighting the plants and culture of the surrounding regions. On the way back, we took a more major highway through the mountains. The story plays out better with photos, so I'll just go with captions from here....

Just some quick updates: thanks to family for updates on my Dad's surgery, glad to hear all went well; Andrea is still coughing, but hanging in there; no word on our court date, we found out the paperwork we just completed isn't needed, so hopefully that's a bonus; Thursday will likely be hotel day with Papa making a run to the bank (with no kids).

During our drive on rural roads to the park, we passed through fields of coffee, bananas, and other foods that I don't really understand the name, but I'm sure I've eaten. The highlight was stopping at this pineapple field. Some of the workers walked up to us, and after chatting we bought a few pineapples right from the field. That's freshness not even Trader Joe's can top!

One more stop on the way to the park was at a hotel made almost completely of bamboo. This is a shot of the bridge.

The first attraction we checked out the park was this sightseeing tower...

View from the tower of a monument to the coffee process down below.

The walk into the park was highlighted with many educational displays, including several different types of coffee.

A rare moment with all the boys together. The following pictures tell a more accurate story.

Samuel led the pack all day. Daniel tried to keep up, José and I were trailing after, and Andrea and Luis Angel were in the back. Luis is for sure our slowpoke.

Andrea successfully guides the twins down a very tall staircase.

After a successful voyage on the train, we decided to give the carousel a shot. Daniel wanted nothing to do with it until it started up. Samuel was fine, but Luis only made three revolutions until he started flat out screaming. This was how the ride was handled the remainder of the time.

Samuel eagerly wanted to ride the cars. He was a bit bummed when he was told he couldn't drive, but was excited again when he saw a small non-functional wheel on his side. Daniel and Luis wanted to go, but weren't tall enough. As for the race report, we won of course, passing two cars when they got loose in turn 3. The #8 car was bright pink which I wish I would have taken a photo of for all the Junior fans back home.

So we were on a quest to find something the twins would like. José recommended this push cart. Luis began the ride crying, but with Mama's comforting hand and presence - by the time the ride came around he wanted to go again.

After walking and taking the train then more walking, we were finally at the other end of the park. We either had the option of a LONG walk back, or the sky car. All of us were allowed to ride in one car, and we braced ourselves of a ride full of crying/screaming. José had Samuel, I had Daniel, and Luis (who was the likely crier) was with Andrea. And then nothing. All was okay. I'm not sure how much the twins did or could look out over the edge, but everything was peaceful until we pulled into the landing zone, and we freaked out for a bit. So if you are keeping track, small pushcart scary, giant skyride not-so-much. I guess the known is much scarier than the unknown to Luis, which is the opposite of myself.

View of coffee plants from the skyride....yeah, we were up there.

2 weeks with the kids...

Just a short "middle-of-the-night" post. We had intentions of getting out of the house yesterday, but awoke to find Samuel with a fever. We were again grounded @ El Cortijo.

The doctor came to our room around 11:30, it seems Samuel has a virus, but nothing major. The biggest challenge the rest of the day was getting him to rest in his bed. The twins seemed to pick up the energy he didn't have, and especially were wired before bed. They also didn't want to go down for their nap, so we separated them and put Luis Angel in our bed where he slept for 20 minutes. That was long enough for him to pee the bed though. Sigh.

Andrea is still getting over her cold. The weather makes recovery tough. It is hot, then cold, then rains. Every day. We had a massive storm kill the power for about an hour yesterday.

We are hoping to head out today to an amusement park. Everyone will keep taking medicine, we will stay out of the water, and hopefully all will be well. We are still waiting for our court date. We are hoping big for this Friday. Please. As much as we are trying to "enjoy the experience", it gets hard every day you spnd inside a single room together.

Also, just wanted to let my Dad know my thoughts and prayers are with him today. He has a very important surgery today, and I definately wish I could be there. Love you Dad!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Day In Paradise...Not Really

Okay, I admit I didn't go into today with the best attitude. I am still coughing and sniffling a bit, so when I found out that we were going to go swimming AGAIN, I was more than a bit disappointed. I have become a little bit tired of standing on the sidelines, taking all the pictures while the boys have all the fun. That being said, today was a mess!

We went to Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal which is a national park outside the city of the same name that has hot springs and waterfalls that you can swim in. To say that it is beautiful is an understatement. It is more like Eden. Troy kept saying, "How can we be stressed in a place like this?" It is lush and green, and they have basically built this resort with several pools of hot water where the mist just rises. It is incredible. So how could we be stressed in a place like that?

Well, for starters, the boys didn't like that the water was "caliente" despite the fact that every other pool has been too cold for them. Samuel was the worst. He spent the entire time pouting. We had no idea what was going on with him, only to find out that he was coveting this water spout that other kids were playing in - when it became available for him, he didn't want to play in it. Then lunch was a disaster in that Troy ordered a hamburger for me, it came with everything on it, he took it back, they said they would fix it, they brought it back plain, I bit into lettuce and nearly threw up, so I was pretty much done for and Troy felt awful. The boys were still not into swimming into the hot water, but were cold because the air was chilly. At this point Mama and Papa were both in a bad mood, so we thought "Let's try taking them up to the cascades, those are cold water." We put on their sandals (that we made a special stop to buy just for this purpose) and headed up to the cascades. It was a no go, they didn't want to follow Papa into the water. And then...the sky opened up and it poured.

It has just been that sort of day. As I write this, we have already put Daniel in time out and now Samuel is out there in the "boring chair". We have totally lost track of how many times each kid has been out there (Luis has the least because he actually listens and doesn't hit, kick or shove his brothers). I think we are both exhausted from refereeing. And whoever said that girls create more drama have not met our kids yet! Oh, and the food for me was especially a big deal today because I have been in a foreign country for over two weeks and I have not been eating well and I am just longing for food that I can eat - a hamburger seemed like a safe bet.

Here are some pics from today:

Luis enjoying the view of coffee country, Dosquebradas, Pereira and beyond.

The fam preparing for the hike up the hill to the park. Don't I look enthusiastic? Let me tell you, things go so much slower with two four year olds in tow, especially Luis who is slower than a snail...

Daniel enjoying the hike along the falls. He would point out stuff like leaves and rocks. He's such a boy!

The view of the falls from the hike. It really was amazing.

A view of the falls from the pool area. The rest of the world still has not gotten the memo that speedos aren't that attractive no matter who you are, but they sure wear them with matter how big or how hairy!

Samuel was so not into the pool today. He just sat there eyeing the water spout.

He did love the cooler water fall that Papa took him to though! Much better. I don't know what it is about being pelted with water. He is going to love the giant mushroom at the UCY Waterpark.

Daniel doesn't really get into the water anyway, so today was just another day at the pool for him. Hot or cold - it doesn't matter much to him.

This picture of Luis pretty much sums up how everyone felt today.

Bonus Pic: I need to do a whole post on why twins are awesome, but mostly why dressing twins is awesome. How cute are they in their matching, but not matching outfits?! Love it!!!