Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I wish I was a boy...

One of the peculiar things about moving to South America is getting used to the "upside-down" seasons. It is December and school is out for the Summer! Christmas and Summer! So to wrap up the end of the academic year (runs March to December!), Santa visited the kindergartners and brought them presents. The poor dude was sweating profusely, and had about 70 kids take turns to sit on his knee. I have to give it to him, he was cheerful all the way through. This was the first year Amalia did not run away from Santa, due no doubt, to the wonders of peer pressure. Which leads me to my gripe of the day; I am finding myself being offended by more things than usual. Normally I am an easy going kind of person, readily adaptable, and very tolerant. But I am huffing and puffing more than usual, discretely though, as I do not enjoy creating uneasiness.

So, my rant is that Santa brought cute dolls for the girls, the kind with over-sized heads and pretty humongous eyes, and cool water shooters for the boys. I could see Amalia eyeing the boys opening their presents, and then excitedly opening hers. She showed enthusiasm, took her doll to one of her classmates to show her she also got a doll, and then carried on eyeing the boys and their water shooters... I did not say a word, and shortly afterwards, came her statement: "I wish I was a boy... and that I got a water shooter too". Why oh why did they again insist on drilling it that girls and boys are different? It really hurt me to feel her disappointment, and I did explain to her that I thought the shooters were cooler too, I am a girl and happy about it, that you do not need to be a boy to have a water shooter, and that I will buy her one as soon as we make it to the mall. Man, was I angry! Before, I was pretty much oblivious to the way my daughter looks. Now I notice every small thing, how she is the only girl in her class with short hair and without pierced ears... In fact, and I am not joking, in the four months we have lived here I have not seen any other little girl with a hairstyle above the shoulders!

This is a country of contrasts, to use a cliche, where women are everywhere in the work force, where a female was president for a full term and exited with an 80% approval rate, but it is also where the current male president thinks it appropriate to make a joke about what in essence is rape, and still there is a pervasive sexism abounding. 
So I get angry about these little things that happen in school, stew, then question myself and wonder if I am making too much ado about nothing... But I cannot help but being angry.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sew Mama Sew GIVEAWAY - Baby Rattles - NOW CLOSED

And the Winner is comment #4: Cherie!  Thank you all for the ideas about the silk, for visiting my blog and dropping me a word.


I have made a set of small baby rattles for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway.

About me: After living in North America for the past several years, our family has recently moved to South America, specifically to Chile. We are all adapting to our new life. Amalia, who is five years old, is doing fantastic and is speaking Gringo Spanish remarkly well, after being plunged into the deep end of kindergarten mid-school year, and being surrounded by a gaggle of eager spanish speaking kids. She thankfully swam and is thriving, despite a couple of adjustment issues we are still working on. The younger child, was only months old when we moved, and as such has no idea of his early voyages.

I am yet to find a source of quilting cottons around here, and shipping charges from overseas are killing me, so I am eyeing my stash carefully. I recently came across this idea of making a rattle set for a baby, where each rattle has a different number of bells inside. Yesterday, while buying some art materials, I saw a bag of bells for sale, so I quickly assembled three sets today. One for my baby boy, one for a Christmas present for a friend's baby, and one for you.

I used a set of precut 4'' cotton squares I recently bought on Ebay for the pillow bodies, and some quilting red fabric I had left over from making Christmas decorations for the numbers. Fusible web, the bells and cotton wool stuffing was all I needed to add to make these cute little rattles. As you can guess by now, the "1" rattle has one bell inside, the "2" rattle has two bells, and so forth. They all sound slightly different and I am looking forward to the baby's reaction when trying them.

So, if you would like to enter to win one of these sets of rattles, please leave a comment on this post. That is all! It would help me if you told me the initial of the baby you have in mind for the rattles, as I will then personalize the rattles storage bag, but it is not a requirement. Also, as an aside, please tell me what I can make with two yards of plain red silk dupioni I have been stashing for the last two years... Any ideas? A Bag? Quilting with silk? Please let me know of any project you may have seen using silk!

For more great handmade giveaways, please visit sewmamasew this week!

Open internationally, ends Friday December 16 at 5 pm PST (our old time zone, sniff sniff). I will select a winner randomly, who I will e-mail on Friday, and who I hope will get back to me within 48 hrs. If not I will draw another name. I will update this post with the winner's name. Please make sure you have a way of being contacted.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew!

Coming soon!

Very excited about it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Picture this:

Kindergarten class:
1) Once or twice a week, as part of the curriculum, girls go to ballet class while boys go learn how to play chess. No questions asked about individual preference, just a plain gender division.
2) Random homework assignment: Make a list of boy toys and girl toys.
3) Art work is displayed on the classroom wall, one bulletin board for boys another for girls, labelled as such in large signs overhead.

Am I overreacting by being appalled?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Germ theory

A few months ago, we packed up our life and moved to South America. Actually it was less straight forward than a direct move. We crisscrossed the Atlantic, took a break in Southern Europe, so that it was a while before we finally arrived and settled down.

We have been through many changes, of course, and one is that the children, especially the baby, who until now had been super healthy, has managed to catch a few illness in the past month.
Everyone who I talk to blames it on the rain, the humidity, the tail end of Winter, the wind, and any other meteorological phenomenon you can think up. I generally just nod my head and mumble hmm-hmm. I guess germ theory is not too popular around this place.

But today, during yet another visit to the pediatrician, the nurse made a variation of the same remark "it is probably the weather", to which I responded that perhaps it was the fact that big sister had recently started school and is bringing home a bunch of new viruses. Or maybe it is that, replied the nurse.

Incidentally, babies are constantly wrapped up in many layer of clothing, lest they catch a chill and become ill. I have had countless people chiding me for not bundling up the kids up enough. "Where is the baby hat?", "It is too windy out for the baby, move him away from the wind", "shouldn't the girl have another jacket on?" etc etc, from everyone it seems. I have seen babies in snowsuits when it is 60 degrees out.
On the other hand, absolute strangers will smooch the baby at every opportunity... People in the grocery store will touch him, kiss his hands and put their faces right on his... But supposedly,  it is the evil air drafts that make you ill!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to be a good big sister

Amalia is in awe with her new baby brother, and also trying to ascertain how far she can go when exploring him, like he is a new toy. Yesterday she told me she was going to check on him, who was sleeping. After several minutes of no noise I went to check: She had taken his socks off and was looking at his toes through a magnifying glass...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring or not

Half way through the day, last monday, Amalia suddenly remembered it was the first day of Spring, and as we were coming out of the car said brightly "Today it is Spring". She then looked up at the sky and told me a little puzzled "It still looks like Winter".

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New baby

The newest member of our family, this weekend, at eight weeks.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011

Happy New Year!