Monthly Archives: December 2009

my goodness what a fun week we just had! yesterday we dropped off epito and epita in the morning, aya and hana in the afternoon, and then moved back into what i call our “real” house. it was an amazing seven days, and we are all suffering from a little bit of empty nest syndrome and melancholy. luckily we still have francisco, joe, kris and aimee for another couple of days to soften the blow. a “soft landing” as my dad put it so eloquently. now i know how my parents must have felt after every christmas when my sisters and i all went back to our respective lives. luckily, the swell picked up and we had a beautiful morning on the beach surfing and hanging out. nothing like a good surf to make everything right again. but that’s enough sadness for this post. let me recap all the wonderful things that happened!

our christmas holiday began in earnest on the 20th when brenda’s sister christie and both of my sisters arrived. this was also the day we moved into our swanky big house for the week. it didn’t take long to get settled into a groove. the house was very comfortable, with lots of space for everyone to spread out. as usual most of the time was spent in the kitchen, but there was also a nice terrace on the third floor which was cool. it even had a hammock! christie has some amazing photos of the house up on her equally amazing blog, so check them out!





the pool wasn’t heated, but hana bravely led the charge and christie and i followed. that was the one and only time we used the pool though. hehe.



nayou took to everyone very quickly which was great. he did have a grudge against epita for a while because one day she took care of him while brenda and i went to yoga and then for a surf, but by the end he was friends with her again! nayou is at the age where he isn’t as friendly with strangers anymore, so it was interesting to see him be friendly with the family right off the bat. we show him photos of everyone frequently, and he gets skype time with lots of them so i suppose that helped.





everyone was so generous and bought tons and tons of stuff for us. we now have a large stock of unobtainable essentials like coconut oil, organic apple cider vinegar, quinoa and grade b maple syrup. and of course chocolate! i got enough japanese books to last me a couple of lifetimes, and also a new charger for my nikon d60 (thanks hana!). its so nice to be able to take good photos again. my sisters also introduced me to two hilarious australian television series – summer heights high and we can be heroes. they are both by this guy chris lilley, who hana is apparently going to stalk and then marry. if you’re looking for something good to watch, then check the shows out – highly recommended.

our house was very close to the beach so we managed to get plenty of sand time. unfortunately the waves were horrible all week so there wasn’t much surfing to be had. which i guess was fine in the end because we all got more hang time.












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we all got spoiled rotten, but one member of our family in particular got a LOT of loving – rocky. everyone was smothering him in insane amounts of love and he relished every minute of it! rocky even got to sleep in hana and aya’s bed all week, which is something he is never allowed to do in our house. he has made some headway though – now he gets to sleep on his own special mattress on the couch, where before he was outside on some straw mats. brenda and i were scared to let rocky be too comfortable with us because it is highly likely that we will need to find him another home when we leave. but this past week broke down all remaining barriers and now he is most definitely part of the pod!



due to some scheduling issues, we ended  up exchanging gifts on the morning of christmas eve. i hit the jackpot this year with a new ipod and another portable mp3 player for our car. my old ipod decided to finally give up after three years of daily abuse, so i have been starving for tunes for weeks now. thank you santa brenda!











santa bought another great gift in the form of four of our friends from san francisco. we met them all in wellington a few years ago haven’t seen them in ages. they are here for just over a week which is awesome. they arrived just in time for dinner on christmas eve. all of us had big lunches that day so we all said we weren’t hungry, but as soon as aya and epita’s huge dinner hit the table, it all went down in record time.



eating and drinking were two very common themes during this past week. we grazed and grazed and then kicked it up a notch over christmas. christmas dinner was the most ridiculous thing ever. aya took to the kitchen like a bat out of hell and whipped up all kinds of crazy dishes while epito handled the grill. hana and i actually managed to start a charcoal fire which was pretty impressive. high five! dmitri and heidi came over with dessert so it was a pretty full on meal. in fact, brenda and i are just polishing off the rest of the leftovers now!





things calmed down a little on boxing day. we had a leisurely breakfast at choco banana with everyone where nayou devoured his soy fluffy.

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the next morning it was time to pack up and bid farewell to everyone. as is typical with these kinds of gatherings, it was over all too quickly. but i suppose it just means that we have to do it all again soon! a big huge enormous thanks to everyone’s generosity! we can’t believe the amount of stuff you hauled (or sent with the hapless mules). i’m so glad that you got a chance to come down and experience the magic of sayulita and hope that you enjoyed it as much as we do!

everyone took so many photos that its almost impossible to choose the best ones. here are some other photos to finish up 🙂





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we have had the pleasure of being blessed with the company of epito and epita, who made the long haul from maryland two days ago to spend christmas with us. they were smart enough to come a few days before everyone else to get some quality nayou time. i’ve known these two for over six years now and everytime i see them they are as energetic, healthy and vibrant as the first day we met!


nayou was very excited to see them, having developed a good rapport with them through numerous skype conversations. his mantra on our way to pick them up was “‘pito, ‘pita, avion”. he had some big smiles for them at the airport and has been loving on them ever since.




we’ve been taking things nice and easy since then. the first day went by in a blur, ending with an awesome dinner cooked for us by our neighbour cristela. this lady happens to run a restaurant in the front of her house so we have the pleasure of eating fresh handmade tortillas, tamales and other goodies almost every day.


today we went to visit the piece of land we are thinking about buying. every time i go and visit that place i am reminded of how cool it is, and how nice the energy of the land feels. its so close to the middle of town and yet it feels like a world away. we’re still not in any place to make a decision on whether we want to buy it, but if we were to buy in sayulita, that would be the place. brenda and i are in the process of figuring out whether we want to put some roots down in sayulita, but we’re not sure when we’ll be in a position to make a decision. especially such a big one!

we also took a drive out to punta de mita. the beach is so nice there, as is the drive. we had another awesome meal while ogling the waves. its always the days that you don’t bring your boards that the surf is good! brenda and i managed to get a nice surf in this afternoon which was great. the epitos took care of nayou while we went out surfing together for the first time ever! the waves were small but fun to play around in. nayou wasn’t in such a good mood but we figured out later it was because he was ravenous. oops.



this evening we received some very sad news – brenda’s sister julie sent us an email informing us that she had to cancel her flight out here due to the insane snow storm on the east coast. julie was supposed to leave tomorrow morning but all flights have been cancelled and the next one out wouldn’t put her in mexico until christmas eve. this is a big, big bummer and all of us were so excited to see her and her son paul. sigh.

we still have some good news though! brenda’s other sister christie will be flying in tomorrow afternoon, and in the evening both of my sisters will be arriving. so most of the family will be together, although the absentees will be sorely missed. tomorrow is also the day that we move into our new big house for the week. so lots of things happening! we’ll post some more updates later once we have settled in.

dear friends and family, we have been in sayulita for over 4 months now and have been so impressed with the way that the animals are taken care of here. Happily, they have a wonderful clinic called Sayulita Animals that was launched this year and has been providing service to Sayullita by way of free spay and neutering programs, as well as so many other services like an animal fostering program, free animal care to those that can’t afford to pay, advice, kindess, and love to all the people and little critters that come through their door.


But as with any organization, there are stresses for fundraising, animal care, and being spread too thin for the unending work to be done. Within this last week, one of the original founders of the clinic Tamara gave her resignation, AND the two very lovely and compasionate vets – Marco and Paola – also gave their resignation.

I have been touched and saddened by the news as their work has really made a difference to this town (and especially to us via Rocky). They have done an out standing job and made a HUGE difference for the animals and people that live here.  So if you would like to learn more. Or if this story has touched you, like it has us, please help in any way you can! We all belong to one world community and we can all make a difference together.

Also, if you can please take a moment to send your thoughts, good vibes and healing energy to the animals here in sayulita and the wonderful people of the clinic, I’m sure that the universe will listen and provide.

thanks everyone for taking the time to read my first post from Mexico! 🙂 And please keep sending your comments as we enjoy reading them. Much love, Mama-b


its been a roller coaster of a ride over the last couple of days. so many things happened at once that i felt like we were in the middle of a soap opera. well, not really, since only two of the things were bad. the rest are great.

the first bad thing was nayou getting sick. i mentioned this at the end of my last post but since then he developed a nasty smokers cough that is still lingering. luckily he is on the mend thanks to brenda’s amazing home remedies. the mexican families think we are crazy for not giving him antibiotics, but he got better in the same amount of time using old wives’ remedies like this, and this. its been hard to watch nayou so needy and cranky, but i think he does better than me when it comes to putting on a brave face when sick. we’re hoping that he’ll be all smiles again when he wakes up tomorrow!



the other bad thing was that rocky got stolen. yes, stolen. over the past week we have been going surfing at punta de mita, which has an amazing wave that just goes on forever. it is brenda and my new favourite surf spot. two days ago we were hanging out there with rocky and we couldn’t find him when it was time to leave. we figured he would eventually make his way back to our spot on the beach, so we talked to the waiters at the restaurants there and decided to come back later. he was still missing that afternoon so we started asking the local surfers if they had seen anything. sure enough one of the guys said he saw a kid leading rocky by the collar up into the residential area. the guy lead me to the house but no-one was home. so we had to drive back there a third time that evening (20 minutes each way) to see if we could find rocky. we were greeted by this shady man who acknowledged that his “step-son” had taken the dog, but that the step-son lived four hours away and took the dog with him. it was all lies of course, but he promised to have the dog back the next day so we gave him the benefit of the doubt.

just because we were worried that the guy wouldn’t come through, the next morning we talked to the police in sayulita who said that they could intervene if need be. yay. we decided to see if rocky would be returned as promised or bring lots of trouble instead. luckily for that family they had rocky, who was very tired but otherwise fine. the kid tried to spin a story about how rocky followed him home, which is unfortunate since three other people told us they saw him pulling him by the collar. we also found out that the kid lives right in town and not four hours away. i guess with role models like that… which is a pity because the kid had a really nice face and eyes. hope he turns out ok! we’re not quite sure why he did it – our neighbours think he was after money, which is most likely, but maybe he just wanted a cute friendly dog? we didn’t really hang around long enough to find out, although brenda gave him a piece of her mind before we left 🙂

our pod has been happily reunited for the last day or so. i think this incident made us realise how much we love this dog. he is a super sweetie and fun to be around, except maybe when he gets excited and nips at you. but that will go away as he gets older (he’s only nine months old). we’ve been giving him extra loving and are very careful about keeping an eye out when we take him out.


so these stories have or are on their way to a happy ending. there have been other awesome happenings as well. first and foremost the swell has been amazing. i’ve been surfing so much that my body practically shut down from fatigue today. i’ve decided to exercise some self-restraint and take a day off tomorrow, even though the waves are supposed to be amazing. my shoulders might fall off otherwise! as i said earlier we’ve been surfing at punta de mita which is just perfect for longboards. the rides are so long that your legs get tired! the swell in sayulita has been big – like 4-5m (13-16ft.) – which is kinda scary. i went out yesterday to check things out and caught the biggest wave or my life! it was so scary and exhilarating at the same time. you feel like a total rockstar afterwards. but paddling out in surf that big is a chore, and i much prefer the cruisy waves at punta de mita.

another thing that has been fun about surfing punta de mita – partners in crime. earlier this week brenda bumped into matt and susan outside our house and got to talking. it turns out that they are both yoga teachers from san francisco who love to surf. they are really cool, positive people that are a pleasure to be around. their yoga classes also have a lot of similarities with mine, so its been interesting swapping stories with them. matt and susan were with us when rocky got stolen and were kind enough to come and help look for him when we went back. thanks guys! unfortunately they leave on sunday, but that means there’s still one more day of surfing left (except for me… boo-hoo)!


and here is the cute shot of the day to wrap things up. its time for this tired man to get his ass to bed.


its been cloudy and rainy here for the last few days – very unusual for sayulita. i bet the plants are loving it though as we haven’t had any in well over a month. the fact that everything stayed lush and green is a testament to the hardiness of the flora around here.

rain is a bit of a bummer for us here. since the beach is a primary (and pretty much sole) source of entertainment, we are forced to get creative with our activities when it gets wet. we took a drive out to this piece of land we are thinking about buying to see if the soil drained well (it does). the land is beautiful and very peaceful, but there are many factors that are preventing us from taking the plunge and buying it. i’m going to save that story for another post later.

our expedition required some improvised raincoats and turning out huge sunbrella into shelter for all of us.






on our way back to the car brenda stumbled upon this skeleton. at first we thought it was a fish but we looked at its teeth and decided it wasn’t. we still don’t know what it might be, but whatever it is, it looks pretty freaky. any ideas anyone?


and since we were looking so hot we decided to parade ourselves around town for a while before heading home for our siesta.


today nayou came down with a cold. we were afraid it might have been the big D but we took him to the doctor and he said it wasn’t. phew. he has a bit of a fever and a nasty chest cough though. poor little guy. its weird to see him stay in one place for long periods of time and be kind of floppy when you pick him up. there’s nothing sadder than seeing your child like that. please send your healing vibes his way!

nayou’s first birthday, for me at least, was accompanied by a huge sense of accomplishment. brenda and i spent those first twelve months in the murky haze of chronic sleep deprivation raising an amazing little baby that demanded lots of attention. i’m not saying that it was horrible – in fact, it was quite the opposite – but i would be lying if i said it was easy. so when he turned one, it felt like we had just completed a huge milestone.

our second year with nayou was very different from the first. he got his sleeping (almost) in order, learned to walk and communicate, all of which contributed hugely to everyone’s happiness. its like someone flipped a switch one his first birthday. now he’s this cheeky, adorable toddler who i just love to bits. he still drives me crazy sometimes but he is so much fun to hang around with!

nayou’s special day started off with the opening of some presents. we figured that if we gave all of his presents to him at once he would just get overloaded, so we spaced them out throughout the day. many of our sayulita friends were really sweet and hooked nayou up with all kinds of new buses, cars, trucks and trains.



i think nayou now has the most impressive collection of vehicles in sayulita!



we spent the morning at the beach (where else?) playing in the sand. there were some more surprises from some of our friends who work at our usual cafe.


in the afternoon a couple of nayou’s friends came over for a party. i came down with a cold so brenda was stuck with all the prep while i tried to stop the waterfalls gushing from my nose. she did an amazing job making food, a cake and decorating the whole house!


no mexican birthday would be complete without a pinata. our friend brisa was kind enough to bring a splendid one over for nayou. it would be putting it mildly to say that nayou loves pinatas. he’s not so into the toys and sweets in them, but he can’t get enough of hitting them with sticks. we left the pinata carcass in our driveway and nayou goes out to smack it with his stick many times a day.




all the pinatas i’ve seen in mexico are made out of terracotta, which make them satisfying to break but kind of dangerous as well. when we finally got the thing open a shard fell onto nayou’s head! oops. there were some tears but it was all ok. you can’t stay too sad when you’re surrounded with friends and new toys.

and no birthday anywhere would be complete without a cake. mama-b made an amazing banana cake from scratch that was sooo good! maple frosting and everything. i was hoping for some leftovers but no such luck.



our video taking was kind of sporadic the whole day because we were too busy playing/party prepping, but here is a collection of the footage we did take:

the birthday spilled over into the next day with an extra gift from perla’s parents – a train with a phone on top of it! someone in china somehow knew the perfect combination of things for nayou because this thing hasn’t left his grip since he opened it.



i was skeptical about the claim on the package, but after seeing how taken nayou is with the toy i’m beginning to revise my opinion:


thanks to everyone who sent their kind words for nayou. its so nice to know he’s loved by so many people around the world. i can’t wait to see what kind of wonderful things year three has in store for us!

nayou’s last day as a one year old was a lot of fun! we run around getting stuff for his party tomorrow and hung around the house and the beach playing. here is a snippet from our tomfoolery this afternoon, including the mother of all bitchslaps.

still can’t believe he’s going to be two tomorrow!