Monday, 26 November 2007

I’ve been trying to post more often, so that my posts make more sense, and are more organized, but I haven’t really had the time.
I’ll start at the beginning: my big boy turned seven-years-old. I can’t believe it. He had a wonderful Pirate themed birthday party. I hadn’t really organized myself very well for it because we were on the cruise just the week before, but I printed some pirate invitations from Family Fun and ignoring the school requests not to send invitations to school, I did. Only 3 kids from school came to the party anyway, but he had invited neighbors, cousins and friends from church (English and Spanish Wards). Keep in mind that the Latins I know at least send the whole family when you invite a kid to a birthday party, so I ended up with 22 kids. It was a lot of fun because for the first time EVER, I got smart and implemented a technique from elementary school: Centers… So I divided them into three teams; one group decorated bandannas with me, one group played musical chairs with my father-in-law, and the other played “pin the heart on the octopus” and had their face painted with Adriana. We were so well organized and we could contain chaos sooooooo much better than in the past. After everybody had a turn at each center, we served my mom’s home-made pizza which was delishhhhhh! Then it was time for cake. The cake was an adventure in itself. I made the pirate ship from family fun, but instead of making one big ship I made two smaller ones. I also made a sheet cake to be the sea. Five minutes before the party the ships collapsed. It didn’t help that Julian wanted to re-decorate the cake. But you know what? Even with the collapsed ships the kids thought the cake was great. While I was cutting the cake, Julian told a story he made up about how the ships attacked each other. I loved it that he was so happy. After cake we went outside for a pinata, which for once broke after only a couple of kids could have a go at hitting it. Later the children played on the trampoline and when everybody was gone, Julian opened the presents. We never do presents during the party, and I know some of the kids were disappointed, but we feel that by doing that we shift the attention from gift-getting to having fun at the party.
That night, I told Julian the story of his birth, and his big eyes were shiny and innocent and pure. And my throat choked with emotion–my boy is at the end of his rainbow journey now, more on this earth, more ready to try his wings on his own. When I asked him if he had liked his party he said, “Me encanto“, which in English is not exactly “I loved it” but more like “I was enchanted.”
Right after his birthday it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving. I was in charge of making the turkey which by the way was a total success. I actually made two small ones because I thought they would cook faster than the big ones. I also made mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple and pumpkin pies…My brother in law brought delicious arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and my sister in law made her delicious raspberry jello salad. Pat made the sweet potato casserole which everyone loved. We all had a great time. It was very emotional for my mother in law not to have her oldest daughter here. Of course, it’s nearly impossible for them to make the trip from NC with eight children. All in all, it was a wonderful day with wonderful weather. It’s wonderful that Wednesday was 85 degrees in Highland, but it also is a bit scary. It’s not supposed to be so warm in November.
On the last note, Areli turned one today. Last night was such a bittersweet time for me because I felt that was the last hour I would have an infant. Now she’s a toddler, and that babyhood is gone forever. How I have enjoyed this baby!!!!! She’s always happy and content, patient, beautiful and peaceful. I’m so blessed to have her! Her birth was such a healing experience that I will cherish it forever. If I could have her naturally, and have such a peaceful, beautiful birth, I can do ANYTHING I want. My baby is gone, but my little girl is here to learn and to teach me what she remembers from Our Father. I’m so blessed to have my children, who are healthy, smart, happy. Yes, I have much to be thankful for.

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Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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