Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Da Vinci- A Reason I'm Glad I'm Not in Chile Now

I'm really picky about my doctors. Doctors practice medicine and I do lots of research to find doctors who are excellent at what they do with lots of practice. I've personally seen a good doctor versus an "ok" doctor being the reason I was born in the first place, for saving my life since, and saving the lives of others I know.

My son recently had a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). His pediatrician really pushed me to get further testing done after the antibiotics had killed the infection and not just wave it off and wait to see if it happened again. I was hesitant to get the tests done because they were not fun for my 5 year old but this doctor is awesome and I listen to her. Turns out he has reflux of his ureter and damage to his left kidney. I took him to a Urologist (who I also researched) who was able to diagnose exactly what was wrong but needed to talk to his team of Urologists and specifically one of his partners to see if he would be comfortable removing the lower part of his left kidney (which is where the blood supply runs) via a laparoscopic method which is less invasive than a longer abdomen cut and allows them to more precisely fix the ureter. Turns out that this Urologist proposed that his partner does part of the surgery using a very cutting edge (no pun intended) robot called the Da Vinci to fix it and he would take care of the rest. I looked up this robot and it is really cool. It was actually featured on Grey's Anatomy. Check it out- http://www.intuitivesurgical.com/index.aspx

The reason I titled this post the way I did is (1) somehow relate it to Chile and (2) because I checked the web site and there are no Da Vinci surgeons in Chile yet so I'm glad he has this option here.

He won't have this operation until August and I don't think I'm going to tell him about it until right before nor will I show him the robot until after. He HAD to watch them put the iv in him when he had one of the tests run so if I show him the robot before he will probably want to refuse anesthesia so he can watch the robot.

Also, while I'm on the topic of medical things- just yesterday this article was posted regarding the side effects of using the nasal form of Zicam and the FDA wanting the company to put a warning on the product. This is related to the post where I warned people about this due to what happened to my friend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Que Paso Lurker?

Why do people lurk? I understand the occasional Lurker just surfing/stumbling upon things but I don't quite get why someone would read a random blog like this several times a day every day regularly and never comment. When people are kind of tied in loosely to this gringa/Chile/ExPat community I can understand checking it out regularly and perhaps not commenting. When someone is clearly outside of that and I think has no connection whatsoever to this community checking this blog out regularly it gives me a weird vibe. My blog is NOT that cool and there are MUCH more interesting ones out there. This has made me start to think about why people lurk. Maybe it's just that I'm really outgoing and seem to have something to say about almost anything but there are no blogs that I read regularly that I don't at least comment every once in a while. Anyone else have any insight? Do any bloggers out there have regular Lurkers? Maybe someone reading this who has never commented can tell me why they don't comment?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

1 year Anniversary

This weekend on June 7th will be our one year anniversary. S has shown me a love that I've never experienced before and I never want to lose it. I think that the fact we have grown together even more over the past year is a great thing to celebrate.

Last September I went to a friend's wedding and the day after the wedding they announced that the groom's cancer had returned (they kept this a secret from everyone until after the wedding so that at the wedding wouldn't have any elements of sadness to it). I just received an email today that from my friend that her husband
passed away and after they took the life support off she "hugged him, kissed him, and sang to him" during his last hours. I sent her a note back with my condolances but saying that they were lucky to have such a great love story even though their time was cut short. Sadly, some people spend lifetimes together and don't experience love to its fullest. This was a good reminder to me to cherish what S and I have together.

Our first Christmas together (really apart because he was in Santiago) he sent me this. It was the best Christmas present I have ever received. It was the perfect gift especially when we were half a world apart and I will always treasure it. (He gets really embarassed when I share this so not sure how long I'll be able to keep this post up if he finds it and makes me remove it ;) )

Here is the link to my present (S sang and recorded this for me):

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yo queiro aprender Español

I'm trying to come up with a plan to learn Spanish. I have always wanted to be able to fluently speak Spanish but unfortunately they haven´t invented a Spanish chip I can implant in my brain and I've married into a Spanish speaking family so I need to get serious about learning. In the words of Nike I need to ¨Just Do It¨. I took 2 years of Spanish in High School and a quarter or 2 in college but that was a while ago. I know enough to listen to a conversation or read something and understand the general idea of what is being said. I know a lot of nouns but I am horrible with my verbs which makes me really hesitant to try and speak it. I'm learning to get over this especially after how thankful I was in Chile when people tried to speak English to me. I didn't care how bad the grammar was and paid no attention to it. I was just happy they were trying to communicate with me.

S bought me the entire Rosetta Stone collection for Spanish. Does anyone have experience with Rosetta Stone? I'm still on the first level and I know that the premise is learning through immersion but I'm starting to wonder how people with no background in Spanish learn this way and wondering how much I am learning. 95% of this first level has been very easy for me so far and very boring but still something I have to go through. One thing I'm realizing more now than I had before when studying Spanish is that you need to think in the other language instead of trying to translate from your native language. I think the Rosetta Stone method does help with this.

Everyone thinks that S is too easy on me because he doesn't force me to learn it. I think he would really like it if I could speak but he doesn't push me at all. Some people have said that we need to have entire periods of time that are solamente Español. That would be a fun weekend of us either staring at each other or me answering questions ¨si" o ¨no". I've talked to S about him mixing in some Spanish into our everyday conversations. I think this might be the better option for him to mix English and Spanish and maybe I'll start to pick some up. I know the last time I was in Chile for 2 weeks I really started to pick up more and my ear was becoming more tuned to it. I know that the best way/only way to really learn a language is to spend a good amount of time there but I don't have that option right now.

So, I need a plan.....I'm trying to decide how many times a week and how long I should be studying. I've read that shorter amounts of time more often are better than spending long amounts of time. If you have any input or tips for learning a language, how much time should I be devoting to studying, types of studying, things that helped you etc. PLEASE let me know :). GRACIAS!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mullet of the Year Award

There is a new reality show called "The Exterminators" and here are the stars of the show:

To the right we have the more traditional mullet. On the left we are bringing the mullet to a whole new level. He has what I'll call a ballet- bang mullet. I was amazed watching this show for the first time and I think this guy deserves the Mullet Of The Year award. I could totally picture picking up a magazine with the title "Mullet Of The Year" on the front of it and this picture underneath:

I've heard a lot about the whole mullet thing in Chile and have seen it first hand. I always pictured a certian type of guy who would have a mullet. When I was there last time I noticed a lot of teenagers who seemed pretty stylish to me but had a mullet. Is this a new teenage guy trend in Chile (like the high top sneakers I saw the chicks wearing much like the Reebok high tops I wore in the 80s)? Or is this just a product of the hair dressers there?

I have had one experience with a hair dresser in Chile. For my reception in Chile the ONE THING I was REALLY nervous about was getting my hair done. There are only 3 people here that I would allow to do my hair. I have baby fine hair and it is not easy to work with. Needless to say I was worried especially after all the horror I've heard about hairdressers in Chile. I decided to go for a simple do and actually did a trial run myself before leaving for Chile. I had S take a picture. I asked S to ask his mom to set up an appointment for me and requested that they have hot rollers. A few days prior to the reception I asked to please confirm again that they have hot rollers. I should have just brought my own but they were not dual voltage and didn't think this would be a big deal. At the last minute I found out that the hairdresser would be coming to the apartment and I was not going to the salon. I was really getting worried at this point. It was too late to change anything and I convinced myself that perhaps it would be easier this way in the end. In walks George Michael. I don't remember his name but this is who he looked like- white tshirt, jeans, oversized sunglasses, facial hair stubble and all. He has a lot of stuff with him but I didn't see hot rollers. I showed him the picture of what I wanted. (S is translating all communication betweeen George and I). He starts drying my hair and it seemed as if he had never dried hair before. At this point I am sick to my stomach. I wasn't sure what he was doing but after he was done drying started pinning my hair up. I was hoping that he was pinning it to use a curling iron at least. This was not the case. HE PUT PIN CURLS IN MY HAIR!!!!! Are we in 1940s? I think that you still have to learn how to do these in beauty school but I don't think anyone does them past that. After he was complete with the pin curls and pulled my hair back he was going to leave a section of my bangs (which are long to my chin) hanging out on one side. This at least took me from the 40s to the 80s but still no where close to where I wanted to be. I would have looked much like the long part of the ballet in the picture above. I finally protested that I wanted all my hair pulled back. He complied but told S that he could have "done so much more with my hair but was constrained by what I wanted". I can only imagine what I would have looked like had I let him have his way. The makeup he applied was horrendous too. He tried to do this shading thing to fix my face. I had a V on my nose of lighter make up (I guess to make my nose look smaller but he did the same thing to S's brothers gf and she does not have a big nose). I also had this beard thing going on the side of my face with the darker shading he was doing. It was AWFUL and poor S had to listen to me complain the entire hour long drive to the reception. There was absoultely nothing he could do either and I had no time to redo it. He told me that I looked great but I told him that even if I did look like crap he wouldn't tell me anyway so it didn't matter. He let me vent and listened and I finally calmed down once I got to the reception and Kyle was there to distract me with pictures :) I had to apologize to S later for putting him through that but I think from now on I'll do my hair myself while in Chile.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Man Trap and Movies Rated "NP"

Help!! While I sit here and blog S is introducing Star Trek to our 5 year old E with an episode called "Man Trap". That is exactly what I feel like I'm in right now! I think "Man Dork Trap" would be more appropriate. E just asked what Vulcan was...I'm trying to block it out. He is also asking if they are aliens. S had this discussion with him earlier today trying to explain that alien does not only mean an outer being in space. It just means someone who is foreign. E told him that it isn't right and he is smarter than him or anyone else. We will have to show him S's next US immigration card where he checks the box for alien. I think E will be scared. Perhaps we can use this as a discipline tactic and tell him that if he doesn't stop whatever we are doing S will use his alien powers.

Anyway, this reminded me to write a post about my experience at the movies last weekend. I propose they come up with a new movie rating "NP" which stands for "No Point" and warn people before they waste $10 and 2 hours of their life. We watched Wolverine and this movie should have been given the NP rating. The movie had nothing positive that happened during it and it had absolutely no point. Not even the fact that Hugh Jackman and his au natural poto were in it made up for how bad the movie was (yes, it was THAT bad). It's not that I don't like those types of movies- I thought that Iron Man was great. I think I was the only chick in the movie "Transformers" and I loved it and thought it was one of the best movies EVER. I can't really chalk this up to the fact that I don't like "guy movies".

The worst movie I've ever seen is "There Will Be Blood" and this movie definitely deserves the NP rating. I was furious after watching that movie because it was so bad. It is a long movie and I kept watching it hoping that something was going to happen and it never did. In fact, it had a horrible ending.

As much as I am not a big sci-fi fan I think Star Trek would have been MUCH more enjoyable than Wolverine last weekend. If anyone else knows of movies that should be rated "NP" please let me know.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mystery Mom

Yesterday I went to a Mother's Day Tea party at my son's preschool. E is 5 years old. It was cute. The kids served us tea and a fruit parfait. The teachers asked the kids questions about their moms and wrote the answers down and then read out loud the "Mystery Mom" forms for us to guess which mom it was. Here is the one my son wrote about me:

My mom's favorite color is blue
(I don't really have a favorite color but he asked me once and wanted an answer so this is what I told him so he gets a point for this one.)

My mom's favorite food is hamburgers (Can't say this is my favorite but from his perspective I guess I eat them often as much as he likes McDonald's and Wendy's and isn't with me when I go out for Tapas and Wine.)

My mom's favorite show is Sponge Bob (This is really HIS favorite show but I guess also mom's favorite show to keep him occupied when needed. I have to say that in the world of kid's cartoons Sponge Bob is the coolest in my opinion)

My mom is 15 years old (One mom was 98 and another was 11 so I can't complain about 15 although if I had to pick an age I'd say 21 or at least 16 so I can have the freedom of driving.)

My mom is really good at cooking (It's funny he thinks I'm a good cook since dinner time is always a stressful time as he doesn't want to eat what I cook. He would happily live off of chicken nuggets and carbs if I let him)

My mom is as pretty as a key (When I asked him why a key he said because it's shiny. Some of the other moms were as pretty as a guinea pig and a mouse.)

I love her because she gives me snacks and lets me play X Box with my friend (I think this is probably S's favorite thing about me too. In fact, I think the friend E is referring to is S. )

My favorite thing to do with my mom is to watch a movie "The Grinch" movie (He let the class know he meant specifically the scary Grinch movie which is the one with Jim Carrey and not the cartoon. Hopefully this is not because I remind him of the Grinch not wanting kids to have fun and stealing all of their toys which is the way I feel as a mother sometimes.)

All the answers for the Moms the kids gave were very cute. This is unlike some of the answers the kids had previously given for the Dads some of which had to be censored (like the Dad's favorite thing to do is drink beer). This is one they did not censor "If I could give my Dad anything in the world it would be......a real job." I wonder where that kid heard it from? Perhaps it was Mom?

Happy Mother's Day to all!

And to E- I love you and love being your mother :)