Recent Posts

Travel with children in Costa Rica – is it safe?

Oct 15, 16 Travel with children in Costa Rica – is it safe?

Just promise me you won´t leave your camera on the beach for a swim, explore deserted places and walk randomly at night, will you?

Is backpacking as a woman alone dangerous? Is traveling alone with a small child risky? My family and friends back in São Paulo, a city in Brazil with about 20 million people, think that I am courageous and that I could be safer back home. I think that any city with a traffic light is too big and has too many problems and dangers to be livable.

I lived in a few paradises already which were all very touristy. Now, in Costa Rica, another country, I live in exactly the same kind of place I was living before in Brazil: tropical beach, lots of tourists and lots of locals from all over the world.

One thing is for sure: where there´s tourism, there´s crime. Where there´s people with a lot, there´s people with less ¨working¨ their way around the stuff. It´s simple mathematics.

There are some precautions you have to take anywhere you go to, traveling or not.

read more

The problem with going home after a big trip

Oct 02, 16 The problem with going home after a big trip

Once you travel far enough to be away for time enough to feel a big change, it´s just hard to go back home. Especially if you started to feel that the new place was home too and that back home is a weird combination of words.

It´s been 4 months since my 5-year old and I are back in Brazil after spending 1,5 years in Costa Rica, and finally I´m starting to feel more like home again.

I´m slowly thinking less obsesively about traveling again. A month ago, I was still checking flights24.com to go to Costa Rica and Chile and imagining ways to raise the money to leave again.

I kept thinking how from the northeast of Brazil I should get to the Caribbean by sea. And it´s too bad that it´s more expensive to travel by cargo ship  than flying. Basically, I need 1000 dollars a head to fly and would need 1200 dollars (a head) to go by cargo ship and take 12 days more instead.

read more

The ¨30 days without yelling at my child¨ challenge

Sep 27, 16 The ¨30 days without yelling at my child¨ challenge

The thing started spontaneously. A few times I had committed myself  to ¨not yelling just for today¨, which gives great results. Then a few times, it was: ¨Wow, 3 days in a row without screaming!¨ But then I´d forget about it.

Last week though, I had a quote from A.S. Neill stuck in my head: ¨Compulsive discipline always implies fear¨ (I don´t want my daughter to de afraid of me, so that I get something done or cleaned), plus learning what self-regulation means, when during a 2-days in a row without screaming I read Jennifer´s post: Do you scare your kids? Do you think they deserve it?  which talks basically about self-regulation and the adult´s need to learn it before expecting if from a child.

All the latest readings I had done were simply calling me to action: Self-regulate yourself for Christ-Sake!

And so I had the idea of the 30-days-without-yelling challenge for myself as a way to make the change happen. And then I read this post from Leo Battuta that talks about how when you want to form a new habit you have to tell other people about it and so I decided to make it public, first on Face Book and now here on the blog.

read more

Let go of control (TV and sweets)

Sep 25, 16 Let go of control (TV and sweets)

A while ago, back in Costa Rica, Luísa had to avoid white sugar to get rid of a skin condition.

It was the first time in my life I had to give up sugar as well (as I joined her needed sugar free diet)

We started eating healthy cookies and my 5-year old was ok with it. We would skip the diet once in a while (probably a few times a week).

Since then, we were still eating sweets out of the house, I just thought it was wise not to have it available in the house.

Now that she can have sugar again, we´ve been having it almost daily again (when we are out).

I was always saying no to sweet requests at the grocery store. ¨I know better for her health¨.

But I think I was encouraging her into more craving for sweets by making it scarce.

Some posts on Always Leanring Yahoo Group made me think more about this.This article: Moving Toward Less Control, Concerning Food has some exerpts from the forum. Like this comment:

¨I just can’t feel ok about that….it makes me so angry….I am not willing to subject my children…

read more

In memory of my mom

Sep 12, 16 In memory of my mom

My dear mom´s birthday was on February 14th. She died 8 years ago (only 11 days after her 59th birthday).

I always felt lucky for having Sonia as my mother. When I was little, I once wrote her a card that said ¨You are my favorite mom¨. She and my sister always made fun of that card, but I still think it makes perfect sense. I wouldn’t have traded her for any other mom.

As a quick glance about her, I can say that she was a funny person, an optimistic, a problem solver, an animal and plants lover (not a beach lover like me, she preferred the country) and an endless curious. She read more books than I can imagine and every time she wanted to know about something, she would get a book on the subject. That´s where I got this certainty that we can learn anything on our own. She was an unstoppable learner.

read more

2 single moms sharing a house – a living experiment

Sep 02, 16 2 single moms sharing a house – a living experiment

For the last 4 weeks and till May, I´m sharing a house with another single mom, her kid is one of my 4 year old´s best friends from kindergarten.

The help you get living with someone else is pretty obvious. And there are also the challenges of putting two single children of single moms living together with now two parents.

Sure enough, both mamas can go out at night more often, which we’ve been doing at least once a week each. The girls are always busy playing together and we can share a lot of living costs. Like the 300 dollars rent: nice.

The house is by a river. The girls are free to come and go to the river at any time, usually naked, since the river is very shallow and not dangerous at all. One might say it´s still dangerous because it´s in the jungle and so all sorts of poisonous animals live nearby, like the eye lash pitviper that was found at their school one of these days, but screw that, the girls have a blast and we can watch and hear them from the house.

Change, if you want the other to do it, do it yourself first

read more

Give kids space

Aug 27, 16 Give kids space

I had two couple of friends coming to visit from Chile.

They were eager to meet my 5-year old, and I could take the chance to meet them first and tell them a little about how to deal with her.

¨She doesn´t like to be called a princess, beautiful, or ugly. She doesn’t like any attention from strangers. She won´t say hello or goodbye, I´m sorry if she looks uneducated at first, she is just really sensible to meeting new people. Don´t even think about touching her¨.

They understood, as they are parents of grown children and had their own stories on the matter.

Then, we picked Luísa up and went for a pizza. As expected, Luísa didn’t talk to them or look at them much. When she asked for the salt and one of them passed it, she said in a low voice: ¨Mom, I asked YOU for the salt¨.  Usually, she won´t take anything from a stranger´s hand.

My friend apologized: ¨I´m sorry, I won´t bother you anymore.¨

It was a pleasant night, and soon Luísa was sleeping in my lap.

read more