We woke up at 6:30 a.m., got ready, and headed over to the house to see the girls off to school. Yoselin, being in first grade now, had to go to school early with the older girls. In the past she had been able to get up later, and often would come into our room to wake us up with hugs and kisses before kindergarten. Now she was off to elementary school with her older sisters. It was a little bit sad that we would no longer have that special one-on-one time with Yoselin, but we were also proud of her for growing up.
Yoselin, Yasmin, and Paola headed off to school at 7:30. Since Vanesa is in middle school now, her school is in the afternoon. So she was around this morning in addition to Aracely and Eddy. We had a creamy soup, bread with jelly, and coffee for breakfast. Paulina sat Eddy in his high chair and fed him some soup with a spoon. Aracely put Eddy's bib around her neck for laughs. It wasn't long ago that she was the baby of the family, and she seemed to relish in the fact that she is not the baby any longer. We noticed Aracely never actually calls Eddy by name. She always addresses him as "nene" (baby). We had expected her to miss the attention that being the baby brings. Instead she was eager to shrug off the title. Child psychology fascinates me.
Next, Paulina gave Eddy a bath and Aracely helped. They closed the doors of the house so that he wouldn’t get chilly, and she heated up some water on the stove. She placed a plastic bucket on the kitchen floor and placed Eddy inside. He was a bit cranky at first but soon settled in and enjoyed splashing in the water. Craig and I took showers and then at 10:30 we walked down Rancho Grande to the market with Paulina, Aracely, and Eddy. We passed a supermarket, new since our last visit. Humberto had told us that it is changing how everyone shops. It is kind of a shame, since the traditional market is such a cultural institution.
Once at the market, we bought some carrots and then we went to the butcher stall. Aracely seemed obsessed with the “sangre” – blood dripping from a beef carcass. She pointed it out numerous times and then insisted that I take a picture of it. The butcher used a band saw to cut some beef for us. We also bought bananas, avocado, and cooking oil. When we went into the first stall that sold candy, Aracely whipped out Humberto’s dollar from her tiny Tinkerbell backpack and tried to use it to buy some candy. Paulina laughed and paid for the candy with a quetzal. Paulina then tucked the dollar back into Aracely’s mochilita (small backpack) when Aracely wasn’t looking.
Eddy was asleep wrapped in a colorful blanket on Paulina’s back for the whole market mission. Paulina bought us granizadas, refreshing fruity shaved ice treats. As we were standing waiting for the man to make them, Aracely stood next to another little girl and made a point of showing off her new backpack. Then we walked back to the house. Aracely picked some flowers for us along the way.
Paulina placed the still-wrapped-up Eddy on the bed and he continued to nap for a while. When he woke up, he was just as good-natured as ever, never crying, and babbling happily to himself. Aracely, Craig, and I all joined Eddy in the bedroom and played with him. Eddy was wearing an adorable onesie which said "I want more Fries!" in English and had a picture of an order of French fries on it. When Aracely opened her backpack to find the dollar still there after she thought she had spent it on candy earlier, she rejoiced. She is too cute!
Before we knew it, Paola, Yasmin, and Yoselin were home from school, and it was time for Vanesa to go to school. She was all dressed up in her blue plaid school uniform and looked very mature. We all played with Eddy in Humberto and Paulina’s room. Paola gave me a pair of heart hoop earrings that she had gotten from Paulina. It was very sweet of her. Not wanting to be left out, Aracely raided the girls’ room and came back with a pair of mismatched earrings (one pink dangly heart and one blue dangly heart – one of which belonged to Vanesa and the other to Paola). It was very cute and sweet of her (though I would eventually return these to the girls to whom they rightfully belonged).
We then went into our room to play for a while. This always evolves into rough-housing, as the kids bounce on the softest mattress in the house. We gave piggy-back rides and took turns swinging kids in the air. Rocio came over with a book of Disney stickers and soon we were all covered with stickers - faces, hands, glasses...pretty much any exposed surface.
Lunch was steak in a yummy salsa sauce, rice, fresh homemade guacamole, and tortillas. Humberto and Paulina have hidden their small TV away on our previous visits, but this time they left it set up in the dining room. We all watched Sponge Bob Squarepants (or "Bob Esponche" as the girls call him) while we ate. We then went into the girls’ room with Eddy in tow and all played and rough-housed some more. It rained at 3 pm, which is pretty much a daily occurrence at this time of year.
We sat in the dining room and the kids watched Hannah Montana and High School Musical on TV. They all sang along to the "High School Musical" theme song – even though they have no idea what the English words mean. And the minute the song started Aracely jumped out of her chair and began to dance. It was so adorable. When that was over we watched Sky High. Rocio came over and we all drew pictures. Paulina and Rocio helped Aracely, and Aracely “wrote” our names. One of the girls broke out a pair of "lentes" (sunglasses) that we had given them on our last visit. They put them on Eddy and he stared back at us through rose-colored lenses and we all giggled.
Eddy was playing with his new toy, and once again we remarked on the fact that he is very dexterous. He has very good fine motor skills, and is able to grab small things on the first try. He is just so cute and good-natured; we really enjoyed watching him play. I asked Aracely if he had any teeth, and she replied "Dos dientes!" Two teeth! It occurred to me that this was really the first time I had had a "meaningful" conversation with Aracely in Spanish. We had traditional afternoon bread with coffee. We gave the girls more gifts – the wristwatches we had brought. Humberto said that they had been asking for watches. This was nice to hear, as we had had no idea when we had purchased them. They all put them on immediately.
The girls showed us the postcard that we had sent them from Mali. We were amazed that it had arrived (it took a month to get there from timbuktu). “India!” the girls said, confusing it with our past trip (from which we had brought them little Indian dolls which they referred to as “India”). We explained that it was actually from Africa. We had brought a map to give them, and we dug it out of our luggage to show them. Craig pointed out “We live here (near Boston) and we flew to here (Paris) and then all the way to here (Mali).” Aracely wanted to get in on the act and she immediately ran over to a stack of maps of Guatemala that Humberto keeps for his business. She spread one out on the table and started pointing to various places, claiming she had flown there “aqui...aqui...aqui...en avion...” It was incredibly cute. Rocio then reminded Humberto that it was Wednesday night and he had a meeting to attend. He was slightly late but took his leave.
Dinner was tamales con papas with chicken. It was very yummy. After dinner, the kids all pig-piled on top of me on the bed in Humberto and Paulina’s room, and Yoselin hit her head on the wall. She got a bloody nose, so we took her to the sink, cleaned her up, and eventually calmed her down. Aracely grabbed one of the flashlights we had brought down last time (thanks to Francis!) and started flashing it around the dark bedroom. Eddy fell asleep on the bed. Eventually we lost Yoselin as well, who fell asleep on my lap on a chair in the kitchen. The girls played hairdresser, and gave Craig some ponytails. Eddy woke up again, and Yasmin and I played with him. He seemed to really like the green stone on my necklace, and kept grabbing it curiously.
Humberto came home from his meeting at 11:30. After chatting in the dining room for a while, we left the main house and headed over to our room to go to bed at midnight.