Sal solcito, calientame un poquito! (Translation: Come out sun, warm me up a little!)

Spring from our rooftop

Looking west from our rooftop (there’s an ocean back there somewhere).

The last week has been unusually cold and wet.

But just like that, prayers were answered…..

….and spring has sprung south of the equator!

Springtime from our rooftop

I’ll miss Colorado’s fall colors.

But for now, we’re enjoying the warm sun on our faces.

Let’s hope it lasts more than a few hours.

Happy fall to all our family and friends to the north!

The forgotten son…is doing just fine

Santi's school was teaching the importance of traffic rules. Each child brought their bike, scooter or skateboard to ride.

Santi’s school was teaching the importance of traffic rules. Each child brought their bike, scooter or skateboard to ride.

It occurred to me, looking back at previous posts, that I don’t write as often as I should about our Santiago.

We made the move to Peru primarily because of Adriana’s positive response to therapy here in Lima.

But of course, it’s a wonderful opportunity for both our kids to experience living in the country that raised their mother.

As with Adriana, Santiago loves being here.

And as is usually the case with most kids, Santi is spared from the typical parental stress points like jobs (or lack thereof) and paying bills.

Then, there are the not-so-typical stress points like moving halfway across the world to start a new life.

Both our kids have handled it very well.

Santi doesn’t need much or ask for a whole lot. Mostly, he asks for cookies, or peaches or pears from the local market down the street.

Santi on his new bunkbed

Santi on his new bunkbed

He’s constantly asking for food.

Or, he’ll ask to watch Transformers. “Just this morning, daddy, while you make my egg,” he’ll plead.

He goes to preschool next door (literally). The school’s front door is about 10 paces from our front door.

He can sleep as late as 8:00 to make it to school by 8:30 formation. Although recently, his teacher, Ms. Angela, asked that he be at school by 8:00, so the latest he can sleep now is 7:30 or so.

That will all change next year when he enters grade school. He’ll be attending Carmelitas, which is where his mom and aunts and uncles went when they were kids. As the crow flies, it’s not that far, but with Lima’s snail-like traffic, it could literally take 45 minutes if we don’t plan correctly.

It’ll be an adjustment.

Some poor kids are on buses by 6:30 to make it to school by 8:00.

As for preschool, Santi’s teacher says great things about him. He has the occasional bad day where he won’t listen or wait his turn (what kid doesn’t), but overall he’s doing well and enjoys being with his friends at school.

Santi singing along with the music teacher

Santi singing along with the music teacher

Santi’s playing soccer now. He seems to enjoy it, although he gets distracted or bored from time to time. I wish I had knowledge to pass on to him, but I’m clueless in this area. Whereas every other Peruvian kid was born with a soccer ball in his crib.

I think he’d much rather be swimming, but that will come soon with summer right around the corner.

We also have him in a theater class, which he enjoys very much.

Every once in a while, Santi will mention Colorado and our life in the states. “I miss Luna (our dog),” he’ll say, out of the blue.

“Hopefully, we can go visit soon,” is our typical response.

Then, he’ll go back to asking for a piece of ham or some cereal.

Unlike his father, Santi is not shy about striking up a conversation with just about anyone. He has friends up and down the street.

Santi singing for the grandparents

Santi singing for the grandparents

Each neighborhood has a security guard, and Santi will shout, “hola amigo!” as he rides by on his scooter.

The ice cream vendors know where we live because Santi shouts after them when they ride by on their bikes.

He’s also not shy about putting people in their place. When we ride bikes, he’s quick to tell someone she shouldn’t be walking in the bike lane.

I’m amazed at his lack of fear, sometimes.

I don’t know if I was like that when I was his age. I’ll have to ask my mom.

All I know is I hope I can be like him one day…..fearless and worry free!




Joy Cometh…with a Bucket of Sand

Santiago spent three nights away from us. It’s the longest he’s been away from mama, papa and Adri.

We dropped him off at a beach called Naplo, about an hour south of Lima. His Tio Luis and 3-year-old cousin, Flavia, were spending the week there.

He saw the sand and ocean and was eager to send us on our way.

We left him without a problem.

Then, that night, the call came.

Santi was crying on the phone with his mama, wanting us to come get him.

We fought every impulse to do it.

After hearing his mom’s voice, and after Tio Luis gave Santi his “magic pillow,” things calmed down.

Luis sent us this picture the next day.


“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” -Psalms 30:15

All it took was a bucket, some sand and his cousin Flavia.

It comes in different forms for each of us, but there is joy in the morning.

I don’t always see it, but God provides.

I pray He gives me the strength and wisdom to find joy every day.

And, I hope you find it, too.

A Small Step Toward “Normal”

It’s hard for me to think about Adriana going to school by herself, without her mom or me by her side.

The thought of her in a classroom with a dozen or more kids — without someone there to lift her up if she falls over — terrifies me.

But of course, it will happen. She will go to school.

She will succeed and make new friends. She will fail and cry.

She will be strong. She will be weak.

She will be a kid.

Her first class


Adriana’s art class starts with story time. Cushions at her side and back keep her from falling.

This week, we took what I think is a huge step in Adriana’s life.

Gaby enrolled Adri in a summer art class at one of the local libraries, and Monday was the first session.

Adri’s first “class”.

During story time, the kids gathered on mats on the floor. Gaby sat Adri at the front and placed cushions at her side and back to keep her from falling.

Isabella, who is a classmate of our son Santiago during the regular school year, is taking this same class. She sat next to Adri and was very protective of her.

It’s a wonderful feeling when other children see Adriana and want to be near her.

Kids seem to have a natural kindness about them and a desire to help when they think help is needed.

Adri was attentive during story time. She didn’t participate when the teacher asked questions, but that’s o.k.

I have a sense that soon, the teachers won’t be able to keep her quiet.

The art project


Adriana and Isabella getting ready for their art project.

Next, the kids moved to the circular tables to do some artwork.

We have a positioning seat for Adri called a Seat2Go. It’s designed for special-needs children, and has a belt that straps around her chest to keep her from losing her balance.

She sat patiently and participated without a problem.

The project involved some painting, as Adri brushed glue onto a picture and then applied glitter on the glue. With painting, she exercises her fingers, hands and arms, which improves her fine motor skills.

Slowly letting go

Gaby was present the whole time, but she tried to make herself as invisible as possible.


Adriana applying glue to her picture.

Adri would look to her occasionally, but Gaby was sure to direct her attention to the teacher if she had a question or problem.

Adri was fascinated when she asked the teacher a question, and the teacher actually answered her!

Her mind, which is in no way affected by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), was no doubt absorbing every experience (as tiny as they may seem).

What’s most important is that she’s now part of a group of classmates working and learning together.

We’re starting her off slowly – just two days a week for a couple of hours at the most.

Adri does get tired, even though the physical work seems minimal. Her muscles can only take so much at a time.

Signs of strength

art class_octopus

Adri showing off her painting from today’s second class.

With a summer full of therapy and activities, she’s up to the challenge, and she’s showing signs of greater strength.

Just yesterday, I was holding her with her back against my chest.

I placed her feet on a short wall and told her to push with her legs.

Normally, I feel a slight push, but this time she pushed strong enough to make me take a step back.

Seems small, I know.

But I pray for the day when she knocks me over!