Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31st

Our Mom's Group had a little costume party on Tuesday. Oh, kids in costumes are so cute. The little guy on the right is a sushi roll- don't you love it? Can you find the firefighter and ladybug (the non- Chinese one?)

 We played a few games then the kids walked around the room to the moms and collected goodies in their bags. It was much easier than going door- to door! Here are Jack and Josiah comparing their "loot"

A grocery store near our house did sell mid- sized pumpkins this year.  But they were over $20 usd each so I decided to let the kids paint a pumpkin on my belly instead tonight. They LOVED it! I did not anticipate how much it would tickle, ha, ha! Then as the paint started to dry it was very itchy. We also made popcorn balls and figured the kids had had enough sugar and fun to call it a Halloween.
We are pretty used to celebrating holidays untraditionally. And trust me, painting a pumpkin on my belly will not be a repeated tradition (: 

Monday, October 29, 2012

4 Months

Whew, made it to 4 months!! 16 weeks is the magical number in my pregnancies that concludes
essentially 10 weeks of the stomach flu. I feel like having a party and giving a speech thanking all the people who stood with me along the way.  Jason is happy that I am enjoying cooking once again and says that everything tastes better. Poor guy, I set the bar pretty low. I definitely look pregnant now and strangers are giving me their seats on the train, which is so kind.

Apparently our baby can hear now, and I was reading that even in the womb it is getting used to noises in the environment. That is a very good thing, since it is coming into a little house with a lot of noise.  So, even now the baby is learning to not be startled at Annette's frequent high pitched screams, Josiah's hammering and my yelling (I never do that) to get out the door.

Because all our friends live in small places too,  everyone is eager to off load their baby stuff. Yesterday we got this chair for baby. In case you are curious "what" we are having, the color provides a little clue. For now, Annette has some fun doll toys.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Because some moments in life are too fun to keep to yourself

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kids at Play

Josiah loves to build. Legos and blocks don’t do it for him, but he loves his hammer, nails, tape, glue, paint, scissors, a good box and lots more tape. I wish we had a rooftop, balcony or garage where he could have a little work bench because I think he would be there all day. Instead he works at the table in his room where I let him hammer (sorry neighbors), glue, paint, glitter etc. He makes some good messes, but also interesting creations. 

Today while Jason was sleeping and I was working on the computer he created this ark completely on his own, the only thing I did was get down the paint for him. Most of his projects he wants to mail to his cousins in Wisconsin, but I end up throwing them away while he sleeps to make room for the next day’s creations. (: 
Did I get paint on my face?
And here is Annette. She likes to be Mommy’s helper and will drag the stool into the kitchen whenever I’m cooking. She has a smile here because she helped herself to a “sample” of sugar while “helping” me make pumpkin bread today.

If she is not being my shadow she is serving us food from her kitchen or pushing he “babies” around the house. She also spends a lot of time packing and unpacking her purse and loosing and looking for her prized three cell phones. She is very protective of her babies so if you touch them or the stroller- watch out!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Festival

Every October ICS hosts a Walkathon and Fall Festival fundraiser.  The school is turned into a giant homespun carnival with games, food, sales, music and fun school traditions.  This is our first year wearing a “parent” hat at ICS and it was fun to experience the festival through Josiah’s eager eyes. For me a highlight is always seeing past students and parents that I love. My “kindergarteners” are now in 5th and 6th grade!! I love that they still come up for hugs and to say hi.  

One thing is for sure, after a two mile walk, tons of stimulation, sugar and games, every child (and parent) leaves the festival ready for a nap! Which is another good thing (:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking Back

Today my mind wandered very far away to a day just over a year ago, that feels like a lifetime ago. It was the day of our boarder crossing from South Africa to Mozambique. Nerves were running high as our little family stepped onto a big bus for a ride into the unknown.  As if managing 4 suitcases, a pack ‘n play, 2 backpacks, 4 precious passports and other valuables was not worrisome enough on the bus ride, we were faced with another concern. The kids had both picked up eye infections and runny noses from the orphanage we had been staying at. Ever since Josiah was a baby every runny nose has led to a fairly seriously asthma attack. On this day he was taking in deep, labored breaths and resting listlessly in the arms. We were giving him to inhaler in more frequent increments than advisable just to offer relief. The nebulizer would have helped in this moment, but were unable to plug it in on he bus ride.
When we came to the boarder we had to get off the bus and carry baby Annette and three year old Josiah, too weak to walk, across the boarder.  “What are we doing?” I cried out to God as it felt counterintuitive to take a sick child into a less developed country. “Why does he need to suffer like this? I know you can heal him, why don’t you?” It was a prayer that my mama heart had called out many times in the middle of the night sitting by his bed in stiff hospital chairs. 
After six hours on the bus, and a crazy taxi ride through the capital city of Maputo we finally arrived at our guest house where we had just a short nights sleep before going to the airport the next morning to fly to Pemba. I remember that night (we were able to plug in the nebulizer so he could breathe better) sweet Josiah asking over and over again in the middle of the night for a blue bicycle. I wanted to offer him something normal and safe, yet we were about to spend 3 months in the bush. Little did I know that God was about to give him something even better than a bike. 
You see that day, October 3, 2011 was the LAST time Josiah has had asthma. Since he was six months old, he has never gone more that 6 weeks without an attack. We were amazed for 3 months in Mozambique- no asthma. For the first time ever he got a runny nose and we waited and waited- but no breathing problems developed. We went to America, six more months- no asthma. We took him off the daily steroids- still no asthma. We brought him back to the pollution of Hong Kong, where he currently has a runny nose- still no asthma!
It is not uncommon for kids to outgrow asthma (usually around 5). I’m not sure how the healing happened, if his lungs grew larger or God directly touched him. But I do  know the timing was incredibly personal. The same month we crossed into a country without access to oxygen and proper hospital facilities, was the same month of his life he was healed.  I feel God’s love so intensely, that he cares about needs and hears our heart’s cry
And, as promised one year later, here is Josiah on his blue bike. God is so faithful!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Inside Look

Hello World!
 We decided to make my 13 week ultrasound a family affair. At first I was going to go by myself with the kids, but Jason decided to miss the cross country meet to be there. I was so glad he did, because it was really wonderful to all get to see the baby together. At this stage it really looks like a little person and is still small enough to all fit in the picture.  As expected, Josiah and Annette were full of questions. But, the loved seeing the baby in action and analyzing which body part we were looking at. 

The doctor says that all looks good and the baby is measuring the right size (about a lemon). We asked if he could tell the sex, but the legs were crossed. He “jiggled” the baby with the monitor, which is when he captured this video. I love it. 

He told us he was 90% sure it is a ____. Sorry, I don’t think I’m going to reveal that here YET. Got to keep you reading (: Besides I’d hate to publish false information. 

We have no clever name for the baby in utero, but Josiah, suggested we call it Geo.  I don’t know where he comes up with these things. 

Looking at the ultrasound photos yesterday Annette said, “Excuse me Mom, is that a monkey?” Which was really quite cheeky of her, since she knows its a baby! Picking on the little on already!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mom's Group Field Trip

On Wednesday we set off on a fun field trip with our Mom's Group to Wetland Park.  Here is a very excited Josiah on the train platform, he always tries to board on car 4.
Our group chartered a private bus to the Wetland Park which made the whole outing so much easier for all the mamas and little ones. 
The kids loved exploring on the boardwalks and taking in the wildlife and scenery. The mudskippers were their favorite. 

 The park has indoor exhibits and a fun playroom so the kids had a great time, so great I forgot to take pictures of that (:
Here is the group shot. In a culture that doesn't value stay-at-home moms I am so thankful to have an awesome community of mom friends to support and encourage each other weekly. Our group has really grown and we are averaging 15- 20 moms a week! People come from lots of different backgrounds and experiences, but all share the common bond of raising their kids in this crazy city. I am leading the group this year along with Emily and we are having so much fun. We are blessed!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I got behind on posting photos, so here is some randomness for ya'll (:
 Waiting for the bus to go home after church- I think that is a growl!
 Three school boys under an umbrella
 Annette spends 2 hours a day commuting in her stroller and she is still smiling!
 We discovered a star fruit tree in our village and then discovered they are lots of fun to stamp with
 We may not go to pumpkin patches or corn mazes, but we do enjoy the Mid-  Autumn Festival! This year we had a BBQ at the beach by our house then the kids had a blast playing with their lanterns and glow sticks under the harvest moon.

 paper lanterns + candles + 2 year old = close supervision 

My beautiful mama friends Yukie and Jamila

 And for those of you who don't get to hang out with Annette on a regular basis here is a little glimpse into her BIG personality!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

3 Months!

I decided that I should start documenting this pregnancy.  It has not been my forte in the past so I'm going to really try to get a photo every month.  I feel so big for 3 months, but I guess that is was twice pre- stretched tummy muscles will do (: 
I'm 13 weeks along now and think that *maybe* the doctor will be able to tell the sex this week at my appointment (he knew Annette was a girl really early)! It is a wonderful feeling to be coming out of the 1st Trimester fog. Although I continued to vomit til 16 weeks with the other pregnancies, I do feel an increase in energy and stamina!

There are a lot of big smells and unusual foods in this city that can turn anyone's stomach. I know exactly where to hold my breath and divert my eyes. Even Mc Donalds sells weird stuff, red bean or black sesame sundae anyone? (blah!)
Another hardship is bathrooms. Here is a line I waited in at a mall one day when I had to puke (you'll be glad to know I made it!)

I truly am so excited about this baby and know the little treasure is worth every second of sickness and exhaustion!  Josiah and Annette talk about the baby a lot and all the things they will do together. My mom is mailing out all of my maternity clothes from America, unless anyone wants to come visit me and bring them along (: