horses, hair, and everything else under the sun

Adjusting back to our regular life hasn’t been that great.

I got sick (my first tummy illness since we’ve arrived here, so I really have no room to complain) and spent last Saturday laying in bed and announcing to the world in general that I was dying. Then I threw up and felt better.

My younger son’s bothersome swimmer’s ear turned into a raging pain with fever and tears. So I took him to the clinic. We waited for an hour (or two?) before the doctor could see us. Who didn’t even have the dohicky thingamabob for looking in ears! Seriously! The doc just looked him over and said to come back if fluid started running out of his ears. So I kept the kid pumped on pain killers for a couple days and he’s all better now.

The children weren’t thrilled to go back to school. Knowing that they only have eight more weeks helps, but not much. They are bored and tired, and the 5:30 wake-up call is such a drag. Also, I hate packing lunches. Hate, hate, hate. I can’t wait till we’re back on our own schedule. It’s sure to be a drag in its own right, but at least it will be our own schedule and our own drag.

And since I’m on a fussy streak: I’m about sick of encouraging Bezaleel to give me some gainful employment. I try, I really do. I try to be patient. I try to be encouraging. I try to be politely prodding. And nothing works.

I’m glad we only have eight more weeks left. But then I feel bad about feeling glad. I want to give these last few weeks our best shot. I mustn’t fritter it away wishing for something else…

Probably most of my angst comes from The Vacation Letdown. Settling back into the ordinary can be a relief (like after this trip, oh my) and other times it’s a downer. It’s a good thing I’m bummed out, right? It means we had a great time, and we did. But adapting to a slow-paced, nothing-to-accomplish daily existence can be a real drain for this go-go-go mama.

We had a fun day yesterday, though! (I feel like I’m writing in circles. If you’re getting dizzy, put you head between your legs, ‘kay? Then come right back!)

While still snuggled under the covers, I made the executive decision to skip church. We needed one day, I decided, where we weren’t obligated to go anywhere, school or work (and church is work). So we lazied about. I made pancakes and banana bread, and the girls and I played with new hairstyles.

Actually, we had delved into the world of hairstyles the day before. It’s kind of addictive. (This sort of thing only happens when I’m desperately bored.)

The thought of arranging hair in something other than a ponytail or braid is rather a novel idea. You ought to try it!

A Cup of Jo has some great tutorials, and the girls were willing victims.

This hairstyle is NOT endorsed by Cup of Jo.


While attending the Church of the Sunday Sofa—the next lazy morning activity—my son accidentally kicked over a glass, shattering it to smithereens. He quipped, “Well, this has never happened during a church service before!”

Other perks of The Church of the Sunday Sofa:

*Pausing the sermon while we figure out (fight over) our seating arrangement.
*Making and eating jelly sandwiches during the congregational reading.
*Yelling at each other to be quiet, stop flying paper airplanes, sit down, etc.
*Painting toenails while singing hymns.

And then we hightailed it to Cobán for the horse parade. I took my camera along this time.

It’s a rich person’s parade. My husband kept referring to the participants as The Landed Gentry.

Some of the horses were rather wild.

They got mighty close to the crowd, too. 

When someone fell off (or got tromped on), the crowd surged forward, straining to see.

My husband, upon seeing me snapping pictures, said, “You’re just as bad as the rest of them!”

“I’m taking pictures of the people! Not the accident!” (We couldn’t see the accident anyway.)

And then: Ladies and Gentlemen! I present to you, da-dum, da-dum, The Shampoo Commercial Horse!

I also took pictures of the following:

… a sleeping babe

… umbrellas for sale

hats for sale.

… everything else for sale.

The only thing I didn’t get a picture of was the giant, skinny, very dirty looking gringos backpacking down the road. They disappeared into a grocery store before I could fix them in my sights.

Directly behind the last horse came the cleaning crew.

And the parade was over.

We walked across town to Plaza Magdalena where my younger daughter finally, finally, finally screwed up enough courage to get her ears pierced.

The anxious siblings weren’t helping matters, so we sent them out.

It was the third time we’ve taken her. She chickened out this time, too, but I told her that if she didn’t go through with it, we wouldn’t take her back till she was twelve. I’m not a pushy mother (in regards to ear piercings)—I was just sick of her waffling.

My husband distracted her with his cell phone. She cried her eyes out after the first piercing, and I was a little worried we’d have a one earringed child, but she stayed in the chair and saw it through to the end.

There were celebratory ice cream cones all around. Of course.

enjoying ice cream while watching department store TV.

My older son is begging to get his ears pierced, but we haven’t seen many (any?) males with pierced ears, so we’re making him hold off until right before we go home. The whole process only costs about six bucks, so it only makes sense to punch holes in our bodies while we’re here.


  • Kate

    I'm confuuuuused. Are you in the U.S.A. now (as in, August 5, 2013). This is what happens when I do too much thinking in one day–basic facts escape.

    The shampoo-comercial-horse pictures are so funny!

  • Margo

    that totally cracks me up – you're going to let the boy get his ears pierced?!

    Also, those shampoo-commercial-horse photos are amazing. I have always adored horses in the stereotypical way and I just love those photos.

    I was wondering when you're coming home – could never fix it in my mind. Okay, 8 weeks.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Yes, I'm fine with him getting his ears pierced. (Is that weird?) However, I asked around and learned that here males with ears pierced means two things: that they are a rebel (in a bad way) or they are gay. So we'll wait till right before we leave to get the holes punched.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    You're in the home stretch! That always brings its own challenges. I do wonder about that doctor who looked at your son's ear, however. No eardrops for the outer ear infection?

    • Jennifer Jo

      He wrote out a script for painkillers and vitamin A. I didn't buy anything. I figured Aleve would be good enough (and it was).

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