My week in Puerto Rico is flying by. When I arrived it seemed that I had a huge expanse of days ahead of me, and suddenly, I have only one more full day before my travel day to go home. We had so many plans of what we were going to do, but as usual with young children, you can only do what you can do. They sometimes have other plans. I was reminded very quickly that the real reason I came was not to play - it was to help my daughter get some R&R. I think I've been a little successful in that regard, and that gives me some satisfaction. Little Hayden is demanding at this age, but we've figured out that she needs to drink 4 ounces instead of 3 (she's hungry!) and she likes to be rocked out on the balcony in the evenings. She is soothed by the evening breeze and the sound of the little coqui frogs.
One of the first evenings I was here, we thought we would go to the park after dinner for a walk, and to let Mia play. The weather had other plans:
But no matter. The breeze was cool, and the hard rain falling down was lovely to listen to. Instead of the park, we made brownies. Here is Mia helping out. Yep - I get that same look on my face when confronted by chocolate.
Yesterday we journied to Arecibo, where there is a historic lighthouse and a very nice beach close by. There was a little park to play in, a small zoo (sad looking ponies, a donkey, chickens, a blue parrot, and some tortoises, and 2 alligators), and a mini aquarium where we went inside to steamy heat and watched baby sharks and other tropical fish swim. It was advertised as being air conditioned. Apparently, that meant a large fan blowing around one bend in the cave like space. No matter, we exited to ocean breezes (HEAVEN!) and made our way up a steep walk to the lighthouse. It was a beautiful vista up on top, and in the shade the temperature was gloriously cool.
Back down the walk and to the beach. Mia and I collected small shells along the sand, while Katie took a dip. Then Zach took Mia in the water, and built a sand castle with her while Katie and I sat in the shade with Hayden. Here is Hayden chilling with her mohawk blowing in the breeze:
Then Katie, Mia, and I went in the water together. By that time the tide was coming in and the waves were getting bigger and stronger. I was knocked down once, and twice we all had to dive under the waves to escape certain pounding. Mia weathered it all like a champ and we all lived to tell the tale (although I looked like a drowned rat). But it was exhiliarating to swim in the clear blue water with my daughter - a good memory with lots of laughs.
Today we celebrated Mia being potty trained (she didn't need to have a pull-up on last night!) by taking her to a movie. Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Frankly, it's a movie only a 4 year old would love, but I had great fun watching her love it. We bought popcorn and a soda and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We lunched afterwards at Chili's in the mall. I seem to have gotten an allergy to something here, as I was pretty congested all day, but Zach found the magic pill: Advil Cold & Sinus. Pure genius. I am feeling like myself again.
Mia and I played with the markers (she drew a cloud and rain, a snowman and snow, and who knows what else), then we had a wonderful tea party with loads of food, then a quick play with the princesses and ponies before it was time for bed. A prayer and a sweet kiss goodnight, and the little princess was off to sleep for another night. She has a birthday party tomorrow, so we need to go out and get a gift. I need to stock her up with some new drawing paper too, before I leave. It's been wild, and tiring, and wonderful. I've found energy I didn't know I had, and I've rediscovered my silly self - someone who can make a four year old say "Again!" over and over. Today I took to calling Mia "Isabella" in a silly way. For some reason she finds it hilarious, so that is our little joke. All day long if she would balk at something, or start to get sulky, all I would have to do is say "Isabella - just do it!" And she would. Silly? Yes. But it worked. Every time.