Wednesday, February 17, 2010

McGyver Visits Mexico

Call me McGyver, but I solved this family's bed problems! I am happy to say that last night, all 3 of us had a restful time. Anya was not flopping around like a fish-out-of-water all night, and we all had plenty of space for our sharp elbows. Here's how we did it:

From Oaxaca Sabbatical: Days 1-3

We turned our bodies 90 degrees, and added the couch (with the butt & back cushions stacked) up to catch our feet. Anya can sleep on the part without the couch-extension because, you know, she's 2 feet tall.

We did make a couple of optimizations after the first night of this setup (when the photo was taken). For example, we had our bedspread laundered, and are using that instead of the too-small pink blanket to cover us. And I put the folded pink blanket over the arms of the couch, because I was hitting my shins on them. And I put a rolled-up 3rd blanket (on loan from nat & gus) under the headboard so that Anya can't roll in there and hurt herself. The second night was blissful.

One thing I'm still getting used to is the terrible pollution (noise and air) when walking around in the city. The cross streets (like the one we live on) are quieter and cleaner, but the north-south streets are loud and smelly. The fumes make me a little nauseated, and I feel really bad for Anya's little lungs. Maybe we'll avoid walking around during peak traffic times; I doubt she would really tolerate wearing a surgical mask or anything like that. The lucky thing is that the pollution seems concentrated near the source - the air feels pretty clean in our apartment and courtyard, and it's very tranquil.

Our only parenting fail so far is that we forgot to protect Anya's little feet from the sun. We generally keep her face covered up when she's in the carrier, but her shins and feet stick out, and now they have turned like 8 shades darker than the rest of her. She doesn't seem to mind, and thanks to solid south-asian genetics, she hasn't burned. We have been making an effort to stay in the shade during peak hours (for our own sakes) so hopefully there is no damage done.

Also we bathed Anya in a tupperware tub that was a little smaller than one of those USPS plastic bins (you know what I'm talking about?). Basically just big enough for her to sit in with her knees scrunched up, though luckily, she insists on standing, so that made it less cramped. It was pretty hilarious, but got the job done. Normally one of us just carries her in the shower with us, but she tends to drink lots of water when we do that, so we figured we should probably avoid that in mex.

Hm...yesterday was a little more challenging than the first 2 days. I felt more challenged by Spanish, and got a little worn out from the heat and pollution (made some bad choices about when/where to walk, and ended up carrying heavy groceries home at 2pm in the hot sun - though G did most of the carrying, thankfully). Also, G went for a shave & haircut, and came back with lots of cuts under his chin, which was alarming at first, but fine in the long run (they use a new blade for each customer and lots of alcohol-based products, so no worries). I was so tired that I almost didn't go out for beer/nachos with our friends; thank god I went, because I felt *so* much better afterward, and met some new people who all seem awesome.

Today has been great so far. We're all well rested, had amazing coffee and a yummy scramble for breakfast with super-fresh tomatoes, and are laptopping in the courtyard while the bearcub naps. I plan to check out the bilingual library today to get some books for all of us. Also I have been delighted by the awesomeness of the produce here - I've been buying what I think will last 3 days, and using it all up in one meal. So I'll be making another journey to the market soon.

I finally posted photos & videos, so if you haven't seen them, follow the link from the photo above!

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