Monday, November 17, 2008

Phoebe's big day!

Yesterday was Phoebe's birthday party, and we hosted 23 Spanish speaking seven to ten year olds at a children's play place called "Crucijuegos" (I think it means Toy Junction)

Here she is .... The birthday girl, before her guests arrive.

Chloe and a friend in the ball pit.
This is Phoebe's best friend Valen (short for Valentina). She's one of the best English speakers in their school and is only in second grade. She really helped Phoebe adjust here and learn Spanish.
Her other best friend is Eric. Eric just joined Phoebe's class two months ago and is from Colorado. Phoebe has been helping him adjust to school and learn Spanish. She's become completely fluent and speaks like another Argentine kid to all her friends!

Here's the kids riding a tiny car.

Look at the pretty cake!


Make three wishes and blow out the candles already! She sat and thought and thought while wax was melting all over it!



Naomi lost her first tooth last week. It was surprisingly traumatic. She was eating a cookie and began crying that her tooth was bleeding. We quickly realized her tooth was gone but couldn't find it anywhere. After twenty minutes of searching we finally concluded she must have swallowed it while eating the cookie. That night we wrote a note to the "The Tooth Mouse"or "El Raton de Piedras"(we're out of "Tooth Fairy" territory here), and he came through with 10 pesos!

Here in Argentina we've been living without a car. I love living in the city and being able to walk to the grocery store, the art supply store, the bakery, and to almost everything else. When we first arrived the girls would walk incredibly slowly and get tired after just a few blocks. Chloe and Phoebe are like regular city dwellers these days, walking several paces ahead together talking animatedly. Walking with Naomi is still a bit like pulling a stick through the mud but she's also gotten a lot better, she's just easily distracted by flowers, store windows, wandering dogs, and shiny things.
A couple of weeks ago Chloe and I packed ourselves into a friend's car on our way home from yet another birthday party. I pressed myself into the corner against the door as Chloe and three other ten year olds sat with me in the narrow back seat. Another two kids and two adults were in the front, and they drove house to house all over Bariloche dropping kids off. Finally at our apartment we climbed out and Chloe made an interesting observation as we made our way to the front door.
"In Argentina everyone carpools, even though they have really tiny cars, but in New York no one ever did even though they had huge cars!"
Out of the mouths of babes......

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Under the Southern Sun

As I write this it's Halloween night in the United States. Halloween is not celebrated here (though the girls had small parties in their English classes), and dressing up in scary costumes and going door to door shouting "Trick or Treat" will likely terrify our neighbors and possibly get us arrested.
It's beautiful outside and the sun is shining... all the time. It rises at 6:15 am, shining in my face through the window and sets at 8:45 at night. Every Saturday all hopes to sleep in are dashed.
Summer is rapidly approaching and school is wrapping up for the girls. Every day I spend about 40 minutes translating their communication notebooks from their teachers and discover a plethora of school functions we need to attend. School picture day is next week, which would have been great in the beginning of the year, but now their uniforms are very worn out and in Naomi's case hopelessly stained.
I spent most of this month assisting Mike by drawing backgrounds for the Boxcar Children comic books. He was working on a very tight deadline for them and needed all the help he could get. I did get tired of drawing with a ruler, though.
This week I've started working with my spanish tutor, Betina, on translating a comic book series I wrote, called "The People That Melt in the Rain". Starting next month we'll be launching the English and Spanish versions as web comics. It's the story of a girl named Laura who moves to a small town in the mid-west, that happens to be under a terrible curse. Mike drew it and has done a beautiful job. Meanwhile my comic strip "The Horribles" is off to a great start!
I've found a place where the girls can take swim class for the summer. They offer a number of summer camps as well... so no laying about driving Mommy crazy! Unlike school these activities will be totally in spanish, but the girls are ready and have amazing comprehension now.
November is here now and Phoebe's birthday is coming soon, then Christmas and Hannukah and summer break all at once! Chau todos!



Be sure and check out the upcoming chapter of "The Horribles"
at http://www.TheHorribles.SmackJeeves.com
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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