Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Monday

Geeze, the weeks and weekends are just flying by these days. We are already at the end of September and I feel like January was yesterday. This past weekend definitely went quickly, especially since it was only 2 days. The good thing is in 2 weeks, we'll have another 3 day weekend....gotta love all the holidays in Chile.

Friday night we went to Melissa's bbq birthday party. It was also a combo going-away party since she left for Thailand on Saturday for 1 month. While we didn't stay very late, it was fun and the dips that Melissa made were awesome! Who knew that palmitos could replace artichoke hearts in the spinach dip without too much difference?

Saturday we stayed in bed most of the day, hahaha....our favorite weekend thing to do with Dulcinea. Although she is sleeping in her carrier at night, it is placed in between us so she is technically still sleeping in bed with us. In the afternoon, Christian had a photo shoot with Brittany and her boyfriend. I went along to help carry stuff and see how it went. We spent about an hour in Parque de las Esculturas and around that northern part of Pedro de Valdivia. Then we went to Starbucks to warm up cuz it was cold out on Saturday. In the evening, we went to Sarah's bday party at Basic Bar. Christian and I were pumped for the burritos and french fries and then we found out they don't serve Mexican food there anymore! It has moved to the "new" restaurant called California on Las Urbinas in Providencia. Needless to say, we were bummed, but then we ordered a hamburger and the fries were just as good.....I don't know how they came up with parmesan garlic french fries but they are amazing. Nothing healthy of course, but to die for.

Yesterday was the typical Sunday routine--grocery store, lunch, skyping with my parents, and cooking lunch for this week. I also made some hummus for Tuesday night since I'm hosting the Spanish-English exchange. I also made the casera pita chips to go with it, which are always delicious.

Well it's Monday morning....time to work. End of the month = busy days.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quick Update

I know I haven't been aroung much. Last week was el dieciocho here in Chile and it turned out to be quite a busy week. On top of that, I am trying to disconnect from the internet on the weekens a bit more so that I can spend more time with my husband and puppy. Last weekend, I barely checked my mail so there was no chance of blogging, even though I do have quite a bit to share. Quick updates below:

--This year was our first dieciocho in Santiago and it was fun. It wasn't go-go the whole weekend, which is partly why I liked it so much. More to come later.

--Dulcinea has now hit her "terrible twos" phase and loves to tear up the newspaper we leave for her in the bathroom. Yes, this is the newspaper where she is supposed to go potty, and she still tears it up. Her energy levels have like tripled. She doesn't like to walk on her leash anymore, but she has learned some new tricks.

--My leg is better and not better all at the same time. I've been in physical therapy for 5 weeks now, today was my last session actually, and I am still having some pain. But the weird thing is that there were a few weeks without pain, so the physical therapist is worried that it isn't just the hamstring tendonitis and could be hip-related too. I hope his is wrong. I need to make another appt. with the doc for next week.
--The social scene for this weekend are two birthday parties (tonight and tomorrow). We also have to get some stuff for Dulcinea (more food & more toys since she destroys them). Christian has a possible photo shoot, depending on the weather too. I am hoping to do some sort of exercise to try out my leg and more than anything, I just really need to focus on doing at least the exercises given to me by the physical therapist (for some reason they are so hard to fit in).

--Today is Christian and my 1.5 year wedding anniversary (of our civil ceremony). Hard to believe its been so long. It hasn't been easy, nor hard, just new with all the ups & downs included. But I love it and I love him.

Ok, that's it for now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interesting Articles

Colleges Are Failing in Graduation Rates--Who would have ever thunk it? I can definitely see the truth in it. I think part of the problem is financial aid for upperclassmen. I remember I earned way more scholarships for my freshman year than any other years. There just aren't as many available and that makes it near impossible for people who really need financial aid to continue. Obviously it isn't the only problem, but it is definitely a big part of these failing rates.

A Decade With No Income Gains--This is scary. Period. It makes me thankful I have a stable job in Chile right now.

Obama’s Health Care Speech to Congress--I really liked this speech. It is the first thing I have even really read/heard regarding the health care reform, but damn, I am impressed. I think these changes are SO necessary, it isn't even funny. It scares me to hear all of these terrible stories about normal people who can't get coverage, or who go broke & become homeless thanks to illnesses. Again, it makes me thankful that I have a good coverage here in Chile and that regardless or not if I have a job, as long as I can continue to pay my policy fee, I will have coverage. I think the health care system in Chile, while not perfect, is something the States can learn from. And I like Obama's plan to make improvements to what there is, instead of trying to go to one extreme or the other.

Big Food vs. Big Insurance--Just another article that speaks to our culture...bigger is better? Maybe we should take a better look at that belief cuz it is causing us pure problems.

Another Boulder business scammed by fake employee arrest
--Those of us in Chile, and specifically Chilespouses, have heard the many stories of scam artists in Chile who call the residence when the maid is home alone and feed them lies that their employer has had an accident and needs money ASAP. Or the phone calls that your son was arrested and you must transfer money to a certain account, etc. Sometimes I wonder how people can believe these things, but then again, the scam artists come up with elaborate stories and the nanas aren't normally educated enough to know the difference. Anyway, I thought this article was interesting because a similar thing happened in Boulder, for the second time. Meaning that Chileans aren't the only ones being scammed. (Now wouldn't that just be crazy if the perpetrator in this case in Boulder was Chilean?)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dulcinea's Package from USA

(Check out the Attention: Miss Dulcinea)

Grammy & Poppy were so excited to hear about their new grandpuppy on Sunday Aug. 23rd when we called them via skype, that they went out and bought Dulcinea some presents that very evening. For some reason, the mail system was a bit slow and so Dulcinea didn't get her package in the mail until Friday, but boy was she excited.

She got a cute little dress to wear and a new chew toy!!! Grammy & Poppy also included a Dachshund book for Christian & me. Here are some shots of our little cabrita, as we like to call her.

(What a beautiful little model...showing off her new dress!)

(And now for the new toy! It's her favorite....!)

(Trying to eat her dress, she still hasn't figured out that clothes are not food nor chew toys.
We're working on it...)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Poor Little Dulcinea

On Wednesday, the vet came to our house at lunch time (well an hour late to be honest, she was running really behind, but that is beside the point) to perform Dulcinea's third check-up, which includes some shots and other medicine. This vet was recommended to me by the breeder as she has already seen the puppies because she gives them their shots out in Lampa, where the breeder lives. We thought it was great to use her because she's already seen Dulcinea and she comes to your house. Why is this important? Well, if I can't take my little baby outside because of all the things that could make her sick, imagine taking her to the vet office where sick animals are all of the time! So this was definitely a good thing--except for her being super late.

She was really nice and saw my list of questions and told me to start firing away while she got busy checking over Dulcinea. She cleaned her ears and cut her nails (thank god! they were like a cat's claws). We had to hold her down of course to get her nails cut, but she actually did ok. Then she took her temperature (in her potito, the poor thing!), but it was normal which is good. Then it was time for the shot. This was no fun. Christian held her and I cooed her and tried to giver her cariño while the vet gave her the shot. Then she put an anti-parasite pill down her throat and I have her some food to wash it down. Once we put her on the floor, the poor thing did not want to be picked up again and with good reason!

We had to head back to work right away, so we left her bundled up as usual in the bathroom and I checked in on her via the doggie webcam various times throughout the afternoon. She just slept. When I got home in the afternoon, she was happy to see me, but I could tell she was still wary of being picked up and kind of tired. I tried to pet her, since the vet told me she didn't need any special treatment after the shot (this was one of my questions), and she cried because her back was hurting her. It made me sad. She was in pain and I couldn't do anything to take it away.

So we moved on to giving her dinner. The vet said we should start to increase the amount of food we give her so I dished out her kibble with a bit extra, mixed it with some water as always, and gave it to her. Needless to say she was hungry and scarfed it down. But then....all of the sudden....she was like choking or something. She kept walking away from me when I tried to see what happened but in my mind, a bit of food was stuck in her throat. Whether that is really what happened, or if that is just what dogs do when they are going to hurl.....she then proceeded to throw up. At least after that I knew she wasn't choking anymore. And it didn't seem like she had an upset stomach cuz she wanted to eat her vomit. TMI, I know, but well these are the things that happen with children (be they human or not). Anyway I did not let her eat it, and instead gave her just a tiny bit to quench her hunger.

The rest of the night, we just tried to rest with her since she wasn't feeling good. She did not sleep well that night which in turn meant we slept like crap too. But thankfully the next morning she was all better, we could pet and pick her up without her crying and all her energy was back.

Lesson learned? The next time the vet comes, we will make sure to give her little bits of food at a time in the afternoon and obviously avoid touching her back where the shot is. She has 3 more shots to get before the frequency is annual, so unfortunately for her more torture down the road. After the next shot though, she will be able to venture out into the real world!

The vet said she is in great shape and is adorable. The only thing not normal is that her eyes are watering a lot which is not supposed to happen. However the vet said it could be because of the pollution in Santiago and that we should clean her eyes with a wet cotton ball daily. I am going to keep an eye on it (no pun intended) just to make sure it isn't something more serious.

This weekend she gets to be the regalona since she was so brave with the vet and because I hardly got to play with her this week. I've been super busy not to mention super tired. So I didn't get to come home for lunch much and then in the evenings, I play with her and go to bed and she stays up with Daddy. Now it is girl time while Daddy is painting the living room!

P.S. Please don't forget to Help Us Choose which picture we should blow up and put on our wall and which other pictures are worth framing! Thanks to everyone who has left comments already! We really appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Official--Parents are coming to visit!!

My parents will be coming down for Christmas and New Years!!!!!'s been official for a couple weeks now, but I just never got around to writing about it. The tickets were purchased in August making everything official. We are super excited to share the holiday season with them, especially since it is the exact opposite of our typical one. In general, a Colorado Christmas & NY is snowy and super cold...

(Christmas 2007--Christian's first trip to the USA)

...but here in Chile, it is hot and dry.

(Christmas 2008--Viña del Mar)

We haven't decided what our plans will be for Christmas yet, but we are for sure going to Viña for the New Years celebration. You seriously cannot miss that if you are in the Central Region of the country.

(New Years 2006/07--Cerro Recreo in Viña del Mar)

We are thinking about traveling down south (around Pucón/Temuco) since it is so beautiful and there are a ton of things to do. My parents live in el campo (the countryside) in Colorado, so I know Santiago will not be their favorite place (heck, I'm a city person and it isn't even my favorite place). That part of Chile is definitely similar to where they live and I think we'd have fun going horse-back riding, river rafting, etc. I kind of wish we'd go up north to San Pedro since I've never gone and that is like the one part of Chile I have left to see. But the sun is my Dad's enemy so I don't think it'd be too smart to take him to a desert. Plus San Pedro is a whole helluva lot further away than Pucón. Now that we have little Dulcinea, traveling has become so much more difficult. So I really don't think there is any way we could to go San Pedro so soon. She needs to be much older for us to leave her with someone or in a kennel and by December, she'll only be 6 months old. If we travel to Pucón/Temuco, we plan on renting a car, which will be by far the most comfortable option for all involved.

The best part about my parents coming to visit (apart from the fact they will be visiting, of course!) is that it is my Dad's first time out of the country. In all his 50 years, he has never left and never thought he would. But now he is coming to Chile and it is so special! I can't wait....we get to show him life in Chile and share an important part of us as a couple since we have spent practically all of our relationship here.

If you have any suggestions for fun things to do in Pucón/Temuco or surrounding areas, as well as things to do in Santiago/Viña, let me know. I want to start making a list of fun things for use to do and for my parents to be able to do when Christian and I have to work. Obvious trips are Isa Negra Neruda Museum, a vineyard visit (suggestions?), Viña for New Years as previously mentioned.....and, that's about it so far.

P.S. Please don't forget to Help Us Choose which picture we should blow up and put on our wall and which other pictures are worth framing! Thanks to everyone who has left comments already! We really appreciate it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Help Us Choose!!!!

So as I mentioned, we got our professional wedding pics in the mail and I looked through all 889 of them yesterday! I started picking out the ones I liked best to get printed and to hang in the house and go along with our revamping.....BUT, I have 53 picked out! Obviously we can't print all 53 to put in the house, so I'm turning to you all for help! Please take a look at the pics and let me know which ones are your fav--or which ones you think we should hang in our apartment!

To give you an idea, we have the following frames to fill--so feel free to name more than 1 favorite:
1--4x6" frame
1 frame that has three 2x3" openings

We also want to get one of these pictures printed huge---like 16x20" or something like that.

You can either leave a comment here after looking at the slideshow below, or commenting directly on the pictures you like within the album.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Revamping up the Digs

The husband and I made the decision yesterday that we are going to paint our apartment. I've mentioned before that I hate the yellow color of the walls, and well we've been here for 6 months now, which means we only have 6 months to go on our lease....but I can't handle the yellow anymore! I don't feel like my apartment is a home and I want it to be that way. I want to decorate it and be proud of it when people come over, instead of being worried if they notice all the holes in the walls left from previous tenants. Ideally, we would move to a bigger and better apartment that has the walls and floors in great condition which would make everything much better. But first we'd have to get out of our lease and it'd be a huge expense versus buying some paint and wasting a weekend or two putting in the labor to paint and hang some pictures. We also have to call a plumber about our master bathroom toilet which doesn't work. We haven't decided what we will do in March when our lease is up--stay here or move--so I kind of feel like, if we move, I'll be bummed that we painted and whatnot....but then again, if we do the revamp, I'll be more inclined to invite people over and actually enjoy coming home. So that's the plan.

I just got done looking at the professional wedding pictures sent by our photographer, Krista, and they are awesome! I don't know how we'll be able to just pick out a few to hang in the house!!! It's part of the revamp too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Doggie Webcam Shots

The doggie webcam has been successfully installed! Now we just have to hope it doesn't freeze or something like that during the know, just what computers love to do. Anyway, here are some shots of what it looks like:

Dulcinea in her bed while Daddy finishes getting ready.

The bigger size view is more pixelated, versus the smaller size (below) which seems to be more clear.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Doggie Web-Cam

Yes, you read that the end of tonight, we just may have a doggie webcam in place to be able to "watch" our little one during the day when she is home alone. My creative husband has come up with the idea and is in the process of installing this device over our master bathroom. It will be connected to the server (extra computer) that we have at home and his idea is that we can check in on Dulcinea throughout the day to see how she is doing.

Kind of weird, but it will be nice to be able to see her while we are at work. We leave her in the master bathroom during the day with her bed, water, toys and newspaper to do her business. She is still too little and waaaaaayyyy to destructive to be left alone in the whole apartment. If she is out of the bathroom, she has to be constantly supervised. She loves to sink her teeth into my slippers, Christian's slippers & work shoes, electric cords (can you say dangerous?) and her travel bag. No matter how many times we say No, sternly or not, she just doesn't get it--or rather, she doesn't care.

This evening she went for another "walk" in our hallway and did pretty well. A couple times she tried to get stubborn on me and just stopped walking because I hadn't given her a treat for a while. But she soon learned that mommy is in control and she must walk when told. There were plenty of treats to go around, I just don't want her to get in the habit that the lease = treats. Before bed I also need to brush her sharp little teeth. We bought her some doggie toothpaste, and she loves the flavor which is an important part in the whole process. We didn't buy the toothbrush yet as we figured we'd get started with our fingers first and then introduce the brush.

Since yesterday was like Day 1 of Dulcinea staying at home alone, there were lots of tears involved. I think she must have cried all day, the poor thing. But today she did much better. Daddy came home around 10ish and found her playing happily with her toys. He returned during lunch time and again, no tears. When I got home this afternoon though, she was crying a bit. But at least we know it wasn't all day. I know she'll get used to the routine quickly, it just breaks my heart to hear her cry.

Well I can see it is getting close to her bed time as she has stopped playing with her toys and biting everything in sight. That means it is time to brush some dachshund teeth and put her to bed.

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.