Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ciudad Juarez Temple

The Juarez temple is just a couple of miles over the border at El Paso. (So probably about an hour from Las Cruces in good traffic). I've been there a good handful of times (including when it was closed, sigh) but I've not attended a session there. Anyway, last Friday night I was FINALLY able to go to do a session with some friends in the ward. It was so great to be there and I really enjoyed myself. There were two things I found particularly interesting: They ask you to take your shoes off and leave them in a closet in the waiting room, and before they start the session, they take a vote. (No, it ain't survivor, they're not voting you out of the session :) They ask how many people would need headphones if the session were to be conducted in English and how many would need headphones if it were in Spanish. The session is conducted in the lanuguage that the majority speaks while the rest wear headphones. I was really (secretly) hoping that it would be in Spanish, and it was :) I find that I pay better attention to anything and everything if I have to think about it in Spanish. C'est la vie, right?

Hamburger vs. Beefburger

Have you ever tried to explain to anyone that a Hamburger doesn't really have ham in it? Yesterday in class I tried to explain to my Egyptian (Muslim practicing) student who speaks VERY LITTLE ENGLISH that a Hamburger is ok for him to eat. He kept saying, "I don't eat pork, I eat Beefburgers. I was trying (VERY UNSUCCESSFULLY) to help him understand that he needed to order a "Hamburger" when he went to restaurants here, and that they only one he would not want would be a "BACON Cheeseburger". This whole conversation involved a lot of drawing on the board and elaborate gestures, much to the amusement of my Hispanic students. (Just imagine your own drawings of cow, pig, buns, bacon, Germany, sesame seeds, the great wall of China, etc.)

Can someone tell me if in Great Britain Hamburgers are called Beefburgers? Because... I was recounting the whole comical ordeal to my mom on the phone last night and she told me that in Belize she ordered a hamburger, and was promptly served a bun with ham on it. Go figure!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ESL strikes again

When class ends every student bids me farewell with normal greetings such as, "Have a good day" "Have a nice weekend" etc. I usually repond with "You too. Be good and don't get into trouble". After a few students said goodbye to me last Friday, one lady yelled out "No cocaine for you, Mrs. Swan". I was caught between the amusement of her suggestion and concern that the class had a VERY wrong opinion of me. I said, "Yolanda, what do you mean 'no cocaine for me"?

Yolanda: No cocaine for you. Your husband will do the cocaine.

Ok, this is still not good.

Me: Um, why will my husband 'do the cocaine'?

Yolanda: Your husband always do the cocaine. You very lucky.

At that point I realized that she was saying "COOKING".

I reminded her that 'cocaine' was an illegal narcotic and 'cooking' was an action verb. We all went home happy. (I was happy mostly because of my husband who does the 'cocaine' :)

I love James very much. I don't love 18 months very much. (except for the BLESS-ED nursery sent from heaven above! I now love the nursery mamas as much as my anesthesiologist.) I am trying to find the balance between 'pick your battles' and turning him into that little kid at Albertsons that we are oh-so-grateful doesn't belong to us. I am learning that the balance often produces this face on James, as seen above.

I can't cut his hair!!!!

Ben tells me everyday that we need to cut James' hair. "It's touching his collar" "It's too long" "It looks like girl hair" "He's gonna have a mullet" etc. etc. etc. I try to make sure he hears all the comments that EVERYONE else makes about how beautiful his curly hair is. I just don't know. I LOVE his hair and I feel like that once I cut it off, he's going to stop looking like a baby and turn into a "big boy". However, there are definitely moments when it is scraggly (sp?) and hanging over his ears and I wonder if I shoudn't just head off to the barber shop... Here are some photos so you can judge for yourselves.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Only a man...

I came home to find that Ben saved the food that James didn't eat. Ok, great, EXCEPT that generally peaches and vienna sausages in the same baggie = pretty darn disgusting. MMM, yummy...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is it too much just to want to poop by myself?

I ask myself this question everyday. Is it really too much to go to the bathroom, alone, without someone crying, screaming, banging, whining, jiggling the doorknob, etc. on the other side of the door? (No, its not Ben). Yes, I understand that James does his business right there in the living room-but that really doesn't work out for me. Sometimes James will even come over and lean on us for support as he, well you know, but how do I convey to a 18 month old that while I love him, he needs to LEAVE ME ALONE while I'm in the bathroom. You know, the concept of "luxury" has morphed. Luxury used to mean nice vacation, fancy chocolates, expensive stuff, hot date, sleep til whenever. Now, luxury=getting a shower, no stains on my clothes, freshly vacuumed carpet and PEEING BY MYSELF!

On that same note, James is now wearing size 6 diapers. Yep, size 6. He's 18 months and from what I've read, most little boys don't get serious about potty training until well after their 2nd birthday. Sigh. I searched online and found Pampers in a size 7. What's after that, Depends? I mean, you've seen the pictures, right, he's cute as can be, but he's a giant! His head is still so big that we have a real problem getting a lot of pj tops on and off. The Bishop and his sons are calling him "Smackdown Swan". His size is also presenting an interesting problem regarding toddler behavior, tantrums, etc. He's not this petite little thing that you can swoop up and carry out of sacrament meeting and hold in your arms indefinitely. When he gets mad and is thrashing about, its all I can do to pick him up-- his 40lbs of flailing toddler angst are too much for my arms and back. Ben can wrangle him fairly well-but I can't call him home for James' toddler moments. I know, its not a big deal, especially when you see how stinkin adorable he is in his Hawaiian shirt...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

James is a dancing fool

This is his version of dancing. We don't have any idea where it came from--we only know that when music comes on, this is what he'll be doing: