Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Part 1: We have had a difficult month for electricity and a difficult week for household maintenance. Monday we had our sink repaired because the pipe just kind of came off the sink. The plumber also helped us clean out our sobia pipes... which means that I spent Tuesday morning pushing soot around on the balcony for quite some time. Tuesday night, I prepared dinner and put it in the oven. To make a long story short, the food just wasn't cooking. We ended up throwing it all away. I was kind of traumatized... pretty dramatic, but I was so sad that we weren't eating a decent meal despite my time and effort... and that we were wasting so much food!! (And, I have to admit, this prego tummy was looking forward to eating that particular meal, and nothing really sounded good after I smelled it cooking!)
Part 2: I started to make chicken and biscuits for dinner. First, I didn't cut the chicken the right way to make little biscuit sandwiches. No worries, my sweet husband assured me, he didn't want to make sandwiches anyway. I put the chicken in the oven, set about making biscuits, and got them in the oven. Timers are set, running a little late, but not too late to sit down with Joshua. 10 minutes later, I check the oven. Gas appliances are finicky, and I usually have to adjust the temperature several times. I thought, "Huh, those biscuits look kind of funny. I must have put in a little too mich butter. Well, maybe, but the problem was that the oven was not on. I mean, it HAD been on, but the gas bottle had "expired." We scrambled around a bit, and David changed the gas bottle in time to salvage the meal. We ate our chicken and biscuits in shifts when they were done; the chicken was a little less crispy and the biscuits were more like pancakes that we ate with a fork. It felt a little more victorious than dumping a roasting pan full of chicken into the trashcan!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Another thing Joshua has been figuring out is that he can't clap while holding things. Last night, he was tossing a tennis ball around, and he kept trying to clap as he threw it. This morning, he wanted to clap to the beat he was making as he banged together metal measuring cups, but somehow the measuring cups kept falling out of his hands as he clapped. Go figure! I have to admit, I prefer the sound of clapping to clanging metal!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Last summer we went to Germany when I was 7 months pregnant, and no one even seemed to notice. This trip, I didn't even think about getting a doctor's note to travel because I had no use for it last summer. Big mistake. It wasn't a big deal on the way; I got some raised eyebrows and had to sign a liability form for one flight. I also had to put a pillow between my stomach and the seatbelt. I think it was supposed to protect the baby in case a suitcase flew out and hit me in the stomach... maybe they know something that I don't.
On the way back, however, I was escorted by a woman to visit the airport "hospital" where they expected me to pay for an examination that I knew I didn't need! They told me it was for my own security, and I assured them that I had seen my doctor the week before I travelled, and I felt very secure. Ultimately, I submitted to the examination, but I did not pay for it... the doctor determined that my temperature was normal, my blood pressure was normal, and I had a baby moving around in my stomach. Thanks for the helpful information!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Where we live, when it rains it is kind of like what happens in Houston when it snows. People don't seem to know what to do, and there are lots of technical difficulties. We had one hour of electricity on Sunday, and that was much more than what we heard some areas had!
David and I were remembering some of the hailstorms from last winter. We were always amazed at how Joshua slept through the deafening sound on the windows. I anticipate this year will be a bit different since he is older and more aware. Last night, we did not have hail, but the thunder was so loud that it startled me awake at least 3-4 times. I was sure I would hear a terrified scream coming from Joshua's room, and I would hardly have blamed him, but he never peeped!
One time I woke up to the sound of the bedroom door slamming shut. I opened it to see David holding on to Joshua's bedroom door. The wind blowing through our house was pretty forceful, apparently. David pushed our big gallons of water against the front door because it was rattling pretty loudly. We also soaked up water in our kitchen and in our bedroom; this is when we are most thankful for tile floors rather than permanent carpeting!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
- with few exceptions, 24 hour power... which means air conditioners the whole time you sleep, which means I did not wake up every 2 hours to feel how hot it was.
- endless food options that did not require my cooking or washing dishes
- lots of walking to get nearly anywhere you want to go
- bagel with cream cheese for breakfast... yes, I really did order it at a coffee shop, and I definitely saved the cream cheese that squeezed off of my little sandwich. You wouldn't think it was gross if you didn't have the option to eat it all the time!
- coffeeshops across the street from each other and on every corner... with American-style coffee! Not instant coffee, and not with powdered creamer...mmmmmmm
- sitting at previously mentioned coffee shop for 2 hours with sisters-in-law while Joshua, David, and Andrew had a "guys' morning.":-)
- bathing Joshua in a real bathtub; he LOVED it! We are going to have to figure something out at home because during his first bath at home, he successfully emptied a good portion of bath water on me as well as the kitchen floor
- and finally, the indicator that I am, at heart, a city girl: I was relieved to hear construction and honking at all hours of the day and night rather than our neighbors, their roosters, their dogs, and their screaming kids at all hours of the day and night. I think I actually thought the village sounds were charming at first, but I guess that has worn off.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- When you take a baby to a restaurant, particularly one who has started throwing temper tantrums, it is helpful to have some toys that do not make a lot of noise when thrown on the ground. Good options are toys that are made of softer plastic with the exception of teething rings; they bounce and might end up underneath the table next to you.
- It never hurts to bring along preparations for the next bottle... we have bought 4 containers of formula in the last several days because I either just wasn't thinking or didn't anticipate being gone for the next feeding.
- first visit to a cave
- first time in a train
- first time in a boat
- first trip to a zoo (there were approximately 3 animals, but hey, it counts!)
- first attempt at drinking out of Mommy and Daddy's water bottle... he actually did pretty well, and he thought it was the best!
We will include some pictures later!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
There are other days when the sounds of silence include banging on metal and groups of children shrieking as they run around. The sound of lots of street noise like huge truck engines and honking combined with roosters crowing and dogs barking make me wonder what happened to the peacefulness. Somehow, right when Joshua goes to sleep at night, the babies start to cry and women chatter excitedly outside his window.
Here, they don't like the sun at all. I really think the noise level adjusts with the height of the sun. If I walk with Joshua between the hours of 8 and 6, I am scolded. "The sun is too strong," they say. Everyone stays inside if at all possible until sunset, and then the community comes alive.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Driving here feels like you are in a video game. It is like defensive driving in the States where you learn to anticipate what others are going to do... only there are no laws that would ideally govern what those others might do. I have now ventured out of our little tiny area just twice, and when I hit the highway, I have to fully expect the unimaginable. Cars and trucks driving straight at me against the flow of traffic, for example. When you encounter this, the one going the wrong way actually flashes their lights to tell you to move! People pulling out in front of me... I guess that happens everywhere, but usually the person pulling out receives a honk or two. Here it is just the way you drive. 5+ lanes of traffic where there are three painted lanes, motorcycles coming out of no where, traffic cops standing next to the one or two traffic lights to help people use them... the list goes on. Can you tell I am a rule-oriented person? It helps my sanity just to think it is a video game rather than real life.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I am not really a bug person. Actually, I get disgusted by things like roaches that can't even hurt me! So naturally, I called David. I didn't expect or want him to come home, I just needed some moral support. (At this point, as he said, it could easily have been a fly!) The power was out, so I couldn't see very well. I armed myself with a can of Raid and our trusty headlamp. Do you have a good picture of me? It only gets better. I carefully poked at a bag and then a roll of paper, knocking them over and waiting to see what happened. After the third or fourth attempt, I saw it. I shudder just to think of it! Again, I have to call David! I kept him on the phone until the ordeal was over. My biggest concern was that I couldn't shriek since Joshua was sleeping about 10 feet away. I darted into our room and put on the first shoes I could grab. Now I am sporting some dressy shoes with my sweatpants in addition to my headlamp... I ditched the can of Raid because apparently you have to squash scorpions to kill them.
I don't know if scorpions are normally slow, but I am thankful that this one didn't scurry around. I stomped and ground him into the carpet. Yes, I am going to have to scrub that later, but I wanted to make sure he was really, totally, and completely dead! I added elbow-length rubber gloves to my ensemble to get the scorpion off the floor using paper bags. Yes, I am a wimp...and I still haven't taken off my shoes!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
- Driving along, we approach a vehicle going pretty slowly. We come up beside it and realize it is behind the actual problem. The delay is caused by a man who is in a little orange car towing his plow. The plow was dangling from a string that seemed to be tied onto the trunk. The car behind the plow stopped to wait while the driver turned the plow upright again on its tires so that he could continue.
- Still driving, we make a tight turn on the mountain. A couple of cars shot around the U-turns making swerves and putting on some kind of show. We were thankful that we weren't hit! Perhaps in some parts of our country at home you would see such a display, but not with an audience dressed in traditional clothing. They were still there 3 hours later when we headed home, but David knew to honk a lot as we approached them.
- We stop to buy some snacks on the way home. We have eaten at this little spot before. It added at least an hour to our trip, and we were ate at a plastic table in the owner's backyard while he cooked the food. David picked a few things, and since the owner didn't have change, he had David select an extra bag of chips. (When we shop for groceries, our change is usually in chewing gum that you would rarely want to chew!)
Monday, May 4, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
We are on day three of experiencing this new version of rice, and my son who eats everything has yet to finish a serving! I don't think it is that it tastes badly to him. I think he is just used to finishing the first bowl of broccoli or potato or whatever I give him and getting on to bowl #2... the good stuff! So naturally, when I gave him bland rice mush when he was expecting rice pudding, he protested. He was pretty tolerant at first, but after a few bites, he turned on his "green bean face." This is the face he makes when he doesn't like something. We are now working on tricking him by mixing some fruit with the rice, and little by little, cutting out the fruit. We shall see if he falls for it!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Her Dad and Uncle finished their work, and he prepared to leave with his daughter. She wanted to stay, and I said that would be fine. I think that Joshua's toys were quite interesting to her. So we continued to play for about 30 minutes until Joshua woke up. Our little neighbor loves Joshua, and he is fascinated with her! She wandered around the apartment asking me to put Joshua in each of his different "places." (He has a swing, a bouncer, a floor gym, and a small mat with his toys.) She wanted to watch him play in each spot. I took her upstairs when we needed to leave, and I hope she comes back to visit!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
That is the necessary background information. Last night, we went to bed as usual. It was a little bit warmer than it has been, so I kicked off the blankets. I woke up with a pain on my ankle. I thought that something must have bitten me, but I didn't know how I should go about trying to find it without waking Joshua. At times, he seems a bit more sensitive to light than he does to noise. So I used my little watch light to look over the sheets. I didn't find anything, so I got back under the covers for some more protection. My ankle kept burning, so I finally got up to look at it in the light. There wasn't much to see. I went back to bed, but I couldn't go back to sleep. About an hour later, I was still awake when David started tossing and turning. I nudged him and whispered, "You are making a lot of noise!" (He had earplugs so I figured he didn't realize it.) He said something had bitten him, and it was hurting really badly. He got up to check it out as well. Now what we are thinking is that something has hurt each of us badly enough to wake us up, and it is somewhere in the room with Joshua.
We decided that we would have to move Joshua to check things out. I picked him up and took him into the dark living room while David combed the room. I was amazed that he didn't even budge as I held him... he even kept his thumb in his mouth. How incredibly lucky! What wasn't so lucky was that his pajamas were all wet. I hated to disturb him, but I had to change him! So what started as a bite on my ankle turned into our whole family awake at 3 in the morning... turning the room upside down, changing clothes, etc. We think it must have been a scorpion, and we never found it. I keep feeling things crawling on me now! Thankfully, Joshua cried while I change him, but he went right back to sleep at the end of the ordeal.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Joshua is officially sitting up by himself! His big realization over the past few days has been that he can't actually lunge for a toy out of reach... this results in a shocking fall. Now he simply reaches toward something, and if he can't get to it, he looks around for something else. Always something new in the first year, right?
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The most obvious difference is construction. Maybe a month ago someone commented on how peaceful and quiet our street is. I now laugh when I think about that comment. There is one building going up across the street, a gazebo right behind our house, 2 buildings a bit farther away behind our house, and a cage next to our building. I thought it was going to be a fence at first, but no, it really is a cage! And the bulk of the noise is in Joshua's room, so I am very thankful that he likes to sleep! You can also hear people outside enjoying themselves well into the night. I thought this was a fun part of the culture last year, and this year, I am hoping that the sound of voices, laughter, and music doesn't remind Joshua that he is missing out on things!
There is one interesting more weather-related difference during this "in between" time. When I say "in between" time, I mean that the temperature outside is warmer, but not warm enough to make our apartment that warm. So starting yesterday, we wore short sleeves outside and put on jackets to go inside!:-)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Joshua has a mobile above his head and a little stuffed dog tied to the side of his crib. They both play the same song. We thought that the mobile was defective in some way because the song started playing spontaneously in the middle of Joshua's nap or shortly after we put him to bed for the night. It seemed like it stopped before it completely finished unwinding. One afternoon, I went to look at him while he was sleeping, and Joshua was holding onto the little ring that you pull to make the puppy play music. I just thought it was so cute! It dawned on me later that it wouldn't take much coordination or effort to pull the ring and make the song play. David was pretty sure it was the mobile, so we stopped winding it for awhile. It started happening more and more, and Sunday, I was so frustrated because it was clearly waking him up! That afternoon, David caught Joshua in the act, and it turns out that the mobile was not waking him up, rather Joshua was waking up and playing with his little puppy friend. We have since put it out of reach!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Joshua can pick up the little pieces, but he doesn't seem to get that what is in his hand goes into his mouth. At other times, he leans forward with his mouth open as if the little pieces might jump in by themselves.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
On Sunday evening, I went to put the dryer hose through the window, and the hose came off. I had trouble re-attaching it, so David gave it a shot when he got home. Some time in there, we shuffled some things around and apparently stumbled a bit. The only reason I know this is that an hour or two later, I found water all over the floor! We ran a load of laundry through the washing machine with the hose pouring out onto the tile floor! Thankfully, there is a small step into the bathroom, so the water was contained. Also, the washing machine is propped up enough that it was fine. We just had to throw out about 10 rolls of toilet paper, and it gave me an excuse to "deep clean" the room. I just maybe would have preferred to do it at some time other than 8pm on Sunday!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
- cram it as far into his mouth as possible
- pull it away to get a quick look at it
- perhaps rotate it around a little bit to view it from different angles
- repeat steps 1-3
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This week, we have watched about one a day. Joshua has been sick, and he has been waking up an hour early every day. He is actually quite punctual! If the time had changed here, he would be waking up right on time! Alas, we have 9 days... and yes, I am counting... until the time changes! So that leaves me with a sick, tired, and fussy baby nearly every day. Usually Joshua only fusses when he is ready to sleep, so I think I am spoiled now! With the PraiseBaby dvds, he is content, and I am more relaxed with the sound of the music. I am not trying to advertise; I am just thankful for a "worshipful" television option tat has made my mornings more manageable over the past week!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Another phrase we actually learned before we came is less polite. Maybe one would never say it, but it has always made us laugh. When translated, it means, "Go tile the ocean floor." It is fun to learn another launguage!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The last couple of days have been super cold here. It is funny to me that the coldest days are happening at the beginning of March, especially when I keep reading about how nice the weather is at home! Last night, we were really concerned about Joshua's warmth while he slept. We lost power at midnight, which is normal, but our house is in the 50s without it. My face was quite cold when I was bundled up in bed, so I knew Joshua's head must have been freezing.
Lesson #1: If your baby is sleeping well, and has been for several hours, then he is probably pretty comfortable.
We decided to dart into his room, put a hat on him really quickly, and then dart out.
Lesson #2: Don't mess with a sleeping baby!
You can probably see where this is going... Joshua screamed off and on for the next 45 minutes or so. I felt terrible for disturbing him, especially since the power came back shortly after he fell asleep again.
Today we put Joshua down for a nap shortly before the power came back on, so I put the same hat on him. About an hour into his nap, I heard him screaming. From time to time, he will wake up in the middle of his nap and then go back to sleep within 10 minutes. So I stood outside his door, ever the watchful mother, and listened for a minute. I have never heard that kind of cry before, so I rushed in to get him. He had pulled the wool hat down over his eyes. I snatched it off of his head and held him for awhile, and I was very thankful that he went right back to sleep. I think we will have to figure out another way to keep his head warm while he is sleeping!