Apr 05

In which I….

Posted under Puerto Rico, Trips & Tours by MicheleP.


I’ve been sorely neglecting the blog of late. I have lots of stories to tell but sometimes just thinking about how to tell them makes me tired! I kind of like the one-line Facebook entries better – much less effort involved :) . But looking back, I love having a record of our life adventures so I need to get back on the blog wagon.

One of our recent adventures was a weekend trip to Rio Grande for Scott’s birthday celebration. We stayed at the Wyndham Rio Mar and had a fabulous time. From our room we had a wonderful view of the ocean
view from the room

We enjoyed some quiet walks on the beach, hanging out at the adult pool, lunch and drinks poolside and even lost some money in the casino.
wyndham rio grande
pool at wyndham

And what about the girls, you ask?


The girls had a blast in the resort’s Iguanna Kid’s Club and got to play tennis, get their hair braided, feed some very large iguanas and do “arks” & crafts.
hair braidskidsclub 1
As you can see from the picture, Libby was less than pleased when it was time to leave
kidsclub 2

It was a fantastic weekend, one of those where you remember how fortunate you are to actually LIVE here :)


Comments (8)

Feb 16

Day trip to Guanica

Posted under Puerto Rico, Trips & Tours by MicheleP.

A few weeks ago we took off to explore a new part of the island (well, new to us – I’m sure it’s not actually “new”). We went through Ponce and stopped for lunch – at Chili’s. I know, it’s not that unique…but it’s reliable, offers food that isn’t fried and has clean bathrooms – three things that make me a happy camper.

After lunch we headed West to the town of Guanica on the Southern coast of the island. We had heard about this “dry forest” there but really had no idea what to expect. Unlike visiting El Yunque, one had ever mentioned to us “Oh – you just HAVE to go to the dry forest” so we didn’t have very high expectations. On the way to one of the entrances, we came upon a resort that looked pretty cool. We stopped to get some information. Turns out, it’s the only all-inclusive resort on the island and seemed very much our style – nice but casual and low key. We made a mental note to put Copamarina on our PR Bucket List.

Continuing on down the road, we were treated to some amazing views of the Caribbean on one side and then this rough, scraggly, dry and arid land on the other – it really is amazing to see such diversity on one island. There is also a small island just off the coast – Gilligan’s Island – that you can take a ferry or boat charter to. There are no facilities on the island but it looked like a great place to spend the day.

guanica 3

Guanica 2

We hiked along the coast for a while and then came back to the beach to play there. The current was pretty strong here so we stayed out of the water – and made our own “dry forest” in the sand.

guanica 1

I’m not sure why this area isn’t promoted more than it is. We’ll now definitely tell people, “You have to go to the dry forest!”


Comments (8)

Feb 12

Death, Heaven and Ketchup

Posted under Clara and Libby, Gideon and Grace - My babies in Heaven by MicheleP.

One thing that has been different about this anniversary of Gideon and Grace’s birthday is that I’ve felt a strong burden to share more of their story with Libby and Clara. We have shared briefly on a couple of occasions but I don’t think any of it “stuck” with them. In fact, I’m pretty sure if you asked either girl about Gideon or Grace, you would be met with a blank stare.

So last night over a dinner of Puerto Rican* style Chinese takeout, we explained a little more about what the day meant and why it was special. After a fairly detailed discussion about a brother…a sister…sickness…death…Heaven…and dogs (because anytime the subject of death and Heaven come up, so do our dead dogs) the girls sat quietly, simply taking it all in. After a few more seconds, we asked,

“Girls, do you have any other questions?”

To which Clara responds,

“Mom – can I have more ketchup?”

And so it seemed that with that, our deep discussion was complete and the ketchup was passed.
Until later that night.

A little before bedtime, Clara climbed in my lap, wrapped her arms around me, put her head on my chest and said, “Mama, I miss my brother and sister. I wish I could play with them.” I held back the tears as I held her tight. “Me too, sweetie. Me too.”

*Puerto Rican style Chinese – in addition to the usual (non-authentic) Chinese food, you also get papas fritas (french fries) and tostones (fried plantains) with your order. Hence the requirement of ketchup in case you were wondering.


Comments (14)

Feb 11

It’s February 11th…Again.

Posted under Gideon and Grace - My babies in Heaven by MicheleP.

I have this feeling that I’m supposed to write. Something. Anything. A million different thoughts linger in my foggy head. And yet once again – I’m left without words. Or at least no words that seem appropriate or worthy or fitting for this season of remembrance. It is quite fitting, however, that we’ve had several straight days of rain here. As much as I know in my head that the rain is refreshing and needed for renewal and growth, I long for it to end and for the sun to come out and dry everything up again.


Comments (9)

Dec 29

In which I attempt to catch up

Posted under All in the family, Around the house, Church, Clara and Libby, Life, School by MicheleP.

I keep thinking “Today I’m going to update the blog”… and then as I’m drifting off to sleep I realize my good intentions were just that. Instead of back-blogging, I’m going to give you the past month in laundry (at least some form of laundry is getting done) format (and for Mimi, some pics!)

My Birthday Week – this really deserves much more than a bullet – not just because it was my birthday week, but because my husband went totally and completely out of his way to make the day week special. I had 7 full days of birthday celebrations and presents complete with flowers, special meals, awesome gifts (hello new pink ipod) and even a Saturday morning all to myself with nothing but a box of Lucky Charms to keep me busy. It was: Blissful!Lucky Charm Mama

The girls had their Christmas program at school. Actually – it was much more than just a Christmas program. In addition to the standard Mary, Joseph, Angels & Baby Jesus we had many colorful butterflies as the little girls showcased their ballet “skills”. I guess it’s just easier and more economical to have the ballet recital alongside the Christmas program.

Butterflies 2

The girls also were in a Christmas program at church. However, no butterflies at this one.
Little stars

We got to see Santa
Santa on his sleigh
Meeting Santa

We hosted a visitor from Texas. He was by far the easiest guest we’ve had to date.
Libby and Stan

We had some special family times reading the Christmas story each night and making many yummy treats
Christmas crafts with Papa

The girls could hardly sleep the night before Christmas and were thrilled the next morning to find that Santa did indeed come to Puerto Rico!
New babies
A new dollhouse

And there you have it. Bring on 2009!!


Comments (12)

Dec 05

El Agua

Posted under Around the house by MicheleP.

A while back I posted about our current utility dilemma.
After talking with several people, we pretty much knew that our water bills could not be accurate – $39.42 every TWO months just wasn’t right – but who were we to argue?! ;) Over Thanksgiving, we noticed our pressure was down again and so we called up the water company and they said they would send someone out to look into it. We wondered if maybe our account was somehow confused with the house across the street that has been vacant since we moved in.

The next week, the water company came out and made some adjustments. This week, we got a letter from them and I braced myself that inside would reveal one hefty water bill. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see not a bill (with the help of my Spanish-English Dictionary) but that they had replaced our “antique water meter with a new one at no cost to us to ensure accurate billing.”

I wandered outside to take a look

And I found this NEW GOLD SHINY METER where the previous black and rusted one used to be.


Ok, so if you’re a little disappointed that my birthday surprise wasn’t jewelry or some new fancy appliance, that’s okay. I’m actually good with (virtually) free water for a year. And if you really feel bad for me, you are always welcome to send other shiny gold things my way.


Comments (3)