Halloween Party ...

... of one.

Two, if you count Nile, sleeping in her crib.

I usually enjoy Halloween and making a crazy costume in which to get dressed up.

This year, THE costume party to attend (going on now) is hosted by one of my officemates; all the more reason to definitely show up. Looking at the eVite, 27 people had responded, and many people were bringing friends. Neil, who is there now -- yes, we'll get to that -- invited two friends.

Why am I not there? I just felt like I'd rather stay here with Nile. I LOVE a good party, mind you, but I just really wanted to maximize my time with Nile. Well, before I put her to bed.

If I had a babysitter to just, well, SIT here now that she's sleeping, you better believe I'd throw on a Lady Gaga costume and run out the door to the par-tay.

But I just have an issue with getting a babysitter.  It is this awful cycle. Any parents out there, advice is welcome!

Nile is good with other people, but her only caretaker other than us is Nanny. Nanny lives outside the city and has to stay overnight if she babysits because the buses/trains she has to take don't run that late. Thus, we have only had her babysit on two occasions, when we went to social events.

I am afraid to leave Nile with other people because it could be upsetting to her, so the cycle continues and she doesn't get used to other caregivers. I don't know what it is, I am just SO super-paranoid about something bad happening to her, and/or her being upset and sad and crying at being left with a stranger.

This is really causing a problem, because then we either take her everywhere with us, which in most cases is fun and fine, or we stay home, which tonight is not as much fun.

Since she was BORN ............. we have had only the aforementioned two nights out. We never had family watch her when we were in AZ (big mistake, I should have taken advantage of offers to hold the sweet, sleeping newborn, but I was breastfeeding and not pumping yet, dumb me).

So that means no date night just Mr. and Mrs. for the past 7 mos.!

You'd better believe that's going to change shortly once we get home (and/or when the in-laws come into town next week). Yes, we are starting to realize how very SOON it is that we are going back "home" to the States for a break!

It's just that I feel like since we're leaving soon anyway I don't want to put baby Nile through the stress of meeting a sitter that we're only going to use once or twice before we skedaddle on outta BsAs.

I think our time back in the States with family will afford us some willing sitters who I feel trusting of and comfortable with.

But what should we do when we get to Botswana?

Well, what I have been saying for awhile now is, "I can't wait to have a live-in (nanny) in Botswana."

SERIOUSLY. I really hope it will be affordable and possible to have a live-in. Oh my gosh, my world would change. So that's pretty much No. 1 on my list of priorities re: Botswana.

Otherwise, I guess we should try out sitters? How does one go about doing that? I'm sure there is something said about the subject in one of these baby books we've got lying around here, but your advice is probably better. I don't feel like I'm a hyper-protective or even hyper-involved mom (come on, I leave my baby all day to go to work (issues about that another day)) but for some reason I feel anxiety about leaving Nile with anyone other than her Dad or Nanny.

I am not torn up about not going to this Halloween party, although I am bummed since it promised to be pretty sweet. And I don't regret staying home with baby Nile when she is awake. I know, I know, "sacrifice is part of being a parent." But I do need to figure something out so we can maintain a social and dating life when Nile is sleeping and it doesn't matter if we're the ones (vs. a sitter) at home anyway.

Week 38 - Halloween Weekend

So, weigh-in was this morning and I found that I lost 2 pounds from last week and the hubs stayed the same. He is okay with losing slower as he is not staying on plan as much as I am every day. He still is mostly on plan and makes good eating choices, but he needs to go slower and not feel deprived and be able to get in a few more calories. I am so “all or nothing” that I need to stay on plan or I would go off “all the way”. I was very happy to see a loss, and wondered what the scale would say because there was a day I ate one extra medifast meal due to staying up so late and being hungry again... you know, eating every 3 hours so I had to eat. And then yesterday I had a “maintenance” bar even though I’m not on maintenance yet. They are higher calories and SOO yummy - but I was needing some extra energy. Wanna know why?

Here is my son thanking everyone who helped and donated - can you tell who he is dressed up as?

Because last night was the finale of my son’s Eagle Scout Project! In the month of October, he did a Food Drive for the Oregon Food Bank - and had over 1400 pounds of food donated! Then, he ended it with a big “Halloween Bash Reward Party” for all those who donated. We reserved our church building, and he had gotten 12 large pizzas and 6 dozen donuts donated from local businesses, and a DJ company to donate the music (hint - that was us since we own a DJ system) and organize games for the event. I’m happy to say it all went off wonderfully!! We had over 100 people show up. The hubs ran the music for the most part, and even got out to do some crowd involvement. Such a stud man!

Today we celebrated Halloween with an afternoon “Trunk or treat”. My man had to go into work - bummer for a Saturday - but the kids and I went. I can’t remember ever being able to sit Indian style in the back of our car ever! They got their buckets of candy. In years past, the hubs and I ALWAYS stole what we wanted from their Halloween buckets. One year, I even told my kids that they could keep all their candy, but at least give me all their Reese’s pb cups they get. My daughter would say when trick or treating, “Give me anything but a Reese’s because my mom will take it.” Things have really changed this year!! Today, my daughter almost begged me to take a Reese’s because she was excited to share. And although I could think about it and imagine eating it and remember how I loved all that candy... it actually sounds gross to me now!

Today I am thankful for: Kind people who supported my son’s Eagle Project, a husband who is so devoted to his family and the Lord, a cozy home to live in, having two working vehicles with working heaters, a sister who listens to me on the phone for an hour, and for my kiddo’s who can drive me crazy but also are so genuinely good and kind hearted! And I’d like to add: For amazing women (and men) who take the time to read my blog and who offer words of support. Thank you!!

Happy Halloween and God Bless. Life is GOOD!! xox ~Margene

Polo Ponies


Argentina has arguably the best polo in the world. There is a polo field a short walk from my office. A few weeks ago they were hosting free matches during the early afternoon.


We walked up there one day to watch. I could have stayed all day -- gorgeous weather, beautiful ponies, an exciting game, interesting people-watching and an all-around fascinating sport.

These guys rode along the sidelines until a player needed to switch out horses, much like players are substituted in other running games like basketball and futbol.


The ponies are constantly switched out as they are exhausted. They are rapidly prepped for the match or stripped down afterward, with the neat rows of tack and blankets.





A couple videos if you, too, can't get enough of polo:

A quick switch of ponies. I sort of caught the tail end of it, but impressive how the players jump from one pony to the other without fully dismounting!

It was really interesting to watch the grooms quickly strip the ponies down after they came out of the game.

final race update

Aloha Gunstock Racers,
I am finally in Hawaii and am loving the Aloha Spirit. I got the opportunity to run your half marathon and 5k course! It is really fun and beautiful. You will have a great time navigating the trails of the Gunstock Ranch. I actually saw cattle and horses! This course is most definitely a trail run so be prepared for the extra caution that brings. You'll want to watch your steps closely and please be courteous to those around you when the trails get narrow for small bits at a time. There are a lot of ups and downs and there are also some great flat spots on better roads where you can find your form and make up some time. There are spots on the course that the views are amazing! You'll even get to run by an old WWII bunker that I've heard may or may not be haunted! The course will be marked really well. The yellow ribbons indicate the 5k course and the blue indicate the half course on the way out and pink are the half course on the way back. We will have volunteers on the course pointing the way to go so pay close attention to them. Listen as well because at the spot that the 5k runners break off from the half runners, you want to make sure you go the right way. It would also be a good idea to study the map that was sent out with the last update. Remember all the updates are on the blog www.gunstockhalfmarathon.blogspot.com (please read these if you just registered!)

I got to run the course in the mud and the rain which was an extra fun challenge I'm not wishing for you, so send all your postiive vibes out there that it will dry up until Saturday Afternoon!

Just a reminder that number pick-up begins at 5:30 a.m and goes until 6:30 a.m. Please be there in time to pick up your number by 6:30 so we can start on time!

Both races begin at 7 a.m.

There will be an awards ceremony for each race:
5k at 8 a.m.
half marathon at 9:30 a.m.

We will have a few vendors selling food after the race if you want to bring some extra money!

Kitcat Invented a New Number

Kitcat is once again chattering away in the back seat of the car as I am driving......

Kitcat: 1 + 1 = 2, right mummy?

Mummy: That's right.

Kitcat: And 2 + 2 = 4?

Mummy: Yep!

And she continues to add up all the different combinations possible when counting with the fingers of her two hands. Then......

Kitcat: But Mummy! What is 6 + 6?

Mummy: The answer is 12.

Kitcat: And 7 + 7?

Mummy: The answer is 14.

Now, pleased that she has found a new way to distract me amuse herself, Kitcat proceeds to test my addition skills......

Kitcat: And Mummy, what's 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 ?

Mum-me: The answer is 15.

Kitcat: And what's 10 + 10 + 10 + 5 ?

Mummy: The answer is 35.

This goes on for a while until.....

Mummy: The traffic is starting to get quite heavy now that we're coming into the city. No more sums please, I need to concentrate on driving.

Kitcat: But I have one more.

Mummy: This is the last one.

Kitcat: Okay! What's 10 + 20 + 15 + 3 + 12 + 6 + 20 + 10 + 30 + 100 + 70 + 5 + 17 + 33 + + + ?

Mum-me: Ummmm, I don't know that one.

Kitcat: The answer is atrinitytrillionteebilliony.

Mum-me: Really? I didn't know that number even existed!

Kitcat: Well ..... now you do!

Is it Bad When You Don't Even Have?/Make? Time for Your Hobbies?

I am so behind on blogging. I know, I always say that. But really, I am! I have a huge backlog of blog ideas and saved drafts. I need to just get them out, but I am SO busy, I never feel like I have time. I have thought of making the goal of publishing one post a day, but really, there are some days where I don't get home until late, play with the baby for a bit, head off to a class and then get home really late. Etc. etc. I want to document our lives here, because there are so many little things that happen every day that I want to journal, because when I look back in my archives I am amused and surprised sometimes to read about things I had otherwise forgotten. So maybe I will strive to post once a day, at least until our departure from Buenos Aires, which is rolling around very soon! That way I will hopefully have many of our times here recorded, because after this chapter closes, I am sure I will compartmentalize it and forget many things about it.  OK, sorry you had to read this little conversation in my head. I guess I am hoping that this non-committal, sort-of goal will be a little more solidified since I told you I would "strive" to do it. No promises!

Mother's Day flowers from Neil.
Yes, we recently had Mother's Day here in Argentina, Oct. 17. One more thing I have yet to blog about!


The past couple days have been different.

Yesterday was a holiday, as Argentina shut down for the carrying out of its national census. Everything was closed by order of law from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Except a few critical places like hospitals. It was kind of interesting, in a hustling, bustling city like this, to have everything shut down. We were expected to stay home until the census taker came. Luckily our young census taker girl showed up a little after 1:00 p.m.

People here are very family oriented though, and I think it was a really welcome day to turn inward and spend time inside with family.

Headed out to the park

Afterward, we headed out to the park to lay around and hang out. Unfortunately, my camera battery died before we reached the corner of our block. I would have liked to have documented the glorious spring weather and groups of people of all ages spending time together in the park. There was also a girl doing amazing Cirque-du-Soleil type stuff with beautiful yards of red fabric hanging from a tree.

I didn't find out until I was online in the evening that former president and current first husband, Nestor Kirchner, had unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack that morning.

I feel so bad for President Kirchner. They appeared to be a very close couple, and I can't imagine losing my other half like that. Especially on a day that seemed to be such a gift of time together with family ...

Leaving the apt. Strange to see all the cars parked on the street during the day; usually everyone is away at work.

Then toward the evening I started to feel sick; I hadn't felt great all day and it suddenly started to get worse through the night. I went to see the Dr. this morning and then stayed home the rest of the day, alternately chilled and hot, aching and nauseous, having the strangest dreams. But it seems to have passed. I rarely get sick, so it's always weird and a drag when I do.

In other news, my sister in law and my parents in law finally bought their tickets yesterday to come visit us -- arriving on Monday! I am excited for their visit and glad I don't have to wait a long time for them to get here.

Yesterday, during the census, the streets were mostly empty. Such a different feel to the neighborhood, but nice to see couples and families strolling together. And this is where my camera battery died.

Exhibition Artwork

Artist: Adrian + Shane
Title: 'Jesus TV (I'm Not Like You)'
Price: €300

Artist: Eveleen Murphy, Fay Hutchinson
Title: 'Untitled 1-6'
Price: €100 each, €400 for set
E-mail: eveleen_murphy@yahoo.ie, fayhutchinson@gmail.com

'Robots and Flowers' by Lily Reilly and Kevin Corcoran. NFS

Artist: SeanandYvette Photography, Abgc Design
Title: 'Drop in the Ocean'
Price: €235 unframed, €350 framed
E-mail: info@seanandyvette.com, info@abgc.ie
www.seanandyvette.com, www.abgc.ie

Artist: Kevin Corcoran, Alan Corbett
Title: 'Hans Christian Andersens; A Rose on Homer’s Grave'
Price: €180 (SOLD)
E-mail: viceleader@hotmail.com, alan_corbett@live.com
Web: viceleader.blogspot.com,

Artist: Holly Maguire and Adam Travers
Title: 'The Wise Tramp'
Price: €285
E-mail: hello@hollymaguire.co.uk,
www.hollymaguire.co.uk www.adamtravers.co.uk

Babe' by Yoshiko Ebisawa. €45

'Manly Manly Men' by Lord Ultra- Mangus. (SOLD)

Artist: Aengus Tukel, Parker Gibson
Title: 'Nazur'
Price: €320 (SOLD- contact artists for prints)
E-mail: aengus@helvum.net, parkergibson@hotmail.com
www.helvum.net, www.helloparkergibson.com

Harry Walsh Foreman and Emma Cowley
Title: 'Exotic Birds'
Price: €485
E-mail: info@emmacowley.co.uk, walsh1984@gmail.com
www.emmacowley.co.uk, Harrywalshforeman@artistsites.org.

Mindblowing solargraphy exposed over a period of 6 months through a pin hole camera on Sherkin Island! Michael Stephens and Orla Gleeson. €250 each/ €450 for the set! Prints available on request. For more information on the project visit:www.flickr.com/photos/mic_stephens and www.flickr.com/photos/orlaorange

Artist: Mark Beatty, Eleanor Reilly
Title: 'Untitled'
Price: €275
E-mail: bea33y@yahoo.co.uk, eleanorreillyart@gmail.com
www.artreview.com/profile/MarkBeatty, www.eleanorreilly.com

Artist: Aaron Brady and Eddie O' Keeffe
Title: 'Lumi'
Price: €200
E-mail: misteraaronbrady@gmail.com, eddiedotokeeffe@gmail.com
Web: linesanddesigns.blogspot.com

Artist: Anthony Kelly, Eamonn O’Neill
Title: 'Untitled'
Price: NFS
E-mail: antodkelly@gmail.com, powerslave2358@gmail.com
Web: jadedentity.blogspot.com

Half and Half Exhibition Opening Night

The opening night was great fun. There was a huge turnout and a great buzz. Again we would like to say a huge thank you to our families and friends who helped out with all the set up, to everyone who came by on the night and during the week and of course to the talented creatives we worked with. A quarter of the pieces sold and the feedback has been great so the second exhibition won't be long coming!