Our journey

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Language Study!

Our biggest goal right now is learning the language. (Biggest meaning both most important, and most difficult.) Laura will begin her one-on-one lessons tomorrow. I have been attending a class for 2 weeks. For those past two weeks, I have come home and taught Laura the lesson I learned. Today, we really kicked it up a notch and are looking at the present continuous tense.

It can be difficult to carve out significant time to study since things just take longer here to do (walking, riding public transit) and of course our cute as a button kiddo demands a good bit of concentration. Thus, like good multi-taskers, tonight I taught Laura the present continuous tense while she prepared food for the couple we will be hosting tomorrow night.

Just for fun, take a look at the board. I'm sure it makes sense.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Brown Sugar

I looked for glasses at Ikea and didn't find any like I had pictured in my mind, but did come away with these. Ryan doesn't like them as much as I do, so I'll have to look for some others to add to these that Ryan likes.

Brown Sugar recipe

2 tablespoon molasses
1 cup granulated sugar

Add molasses to sugar and stir with a fork. Store brown sugar in an airtight container to keep it soft.

I never would have guessed the recipe was so easy and that molasses is what does the trick. I believe I will be making brown sugar soon as I'm itching to do some baking and Ryan is hungry for some cookies.

Friday, July 27, 2007


The weather has cooled off and we're sleeping better at night. Thought you would enjoy a pic of Ryan sleeping in today.

God is good. We have been blessed by so many friends and family praying for us as we adjust to our new home. Our full-time job right now is to learn language. Unfortunately, I have not met with a language tutor yet but will start on Tuesday, Lord willing. Ryan's language is progressing, as we knew it would. He has been to 6 3-hour language classes now and spent over an hour hanging out and talking with a group of guys at shops just down the street from us. One of the guys is a barber and cut Ryan's hair last week. The others hang out at the Electric shop where Ryan tried to buy a transformer so I can use my mini-food processor, bottle warmer and hand mixer.

I haven't been feeling well for the past few days so I've stayed put and didn't interact much with the locals. Today, I am going to Ikea to look for some of the things on my long to-buy list. Again, we have been blessed to have the opportunity to buy a lot of appliances from a family that is moving back to the States. We are saving a lot of money and are so thankful that we were put in contact with them. I'll itemize the list of what we're buying from them:

2 large wardrobes
Range/Oven (double oven...woohoo!!)
Table and 6 chairs
3 ceiling fans
Space heater
Vacuum cleaner
Iron and board

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Beating the Heat

Yesterday, Selah and I decided it would be fun to play in some cold water to cool off. It definitely cooled her off! We're going to the swimming pool today to beat the heat.
We've had some dear friends from our time in San Francisco in town. Lisa is about 6 months pregnant and more of a trooper than I would be in the heat. It has been great to reconnect with them.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

She Sleeps!!!

I realized that I had not updated ALL the people with whom I've discussed Selah's night wakings. She has been sleeping through the night for about 1 week straight. She only woke up once in the past week and went back to sleep after about 45 minutes. Ryan and I are so proud of our little girl. She did it in her time...just another confirmation for me to stop worrying about the little things because it usually works out with time.

In other news, I was scheduled to have my first language session with my tutor today. I was supposed to meet her at the office at 1:00 PM. I planned on taking a taxi since I would be carrying Selah, the diaper bag and the pack'n'play (Phil and Ted's miniature version). As I prepared to leave, I realized I had no money with which to pay the taxi, so I would have to walk about 7 min to the bus stop, ride the bus, then walk another 7 minutes or so with all of my stuff. So, I put Selah in the bjourn and headed out the door.

I got to the office at 12:30, hoping to get Selah to sleep around 1 PM so we could have our session w/o a baby (I'm trying to get a babysitter for the other times). I walked up to the office to find it closed. I waited on a bench and talked to a group of kids that were excited about Selah. I use the term "talk" very loosely. However, I did understand the questions regarding her name, gender, and blue eyes and answered them with one word responses. I ended up waiting til 1:35, to no avail, then headed back to the bus stop to put my very tired baby to bed. I also would like to mention that the temperature is 91 F and I'm hauling about 40-50 pounds of stuff around. I was really thirsty but didn't have any money or free hands to hold water with. As I was walking back, I realized I had my debit card and got some cash for next time...but water had to wait til we got home at 2:05.

Two great things came from today's experience: I practiced my language with several people and I sweated a lot. I'll pretend the sweat is equal to calories to help me keep my attitude of gratitude.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Langauge and Parenting Tips

Selah really likes cherries as she purees them through the net thingy'bob.

One small piece of reality has hit...I no longer have doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to help me watch Selah during the day. About 3 months of constant help was enough to spoil both of us rotten. I find myself with a familiar feeling of wanting to be out and about, but needing to stay in for Selah's sake. We stay in for naps during the day (of course) and when we go out into the neighborhood, she only wants to sit in the stroller for so long before she's finished with that. We change activities a lot. I want to go out and talk to people around me so that I can learn some language, but am having trouble overcoming my small problem of knowing only 10 words and am unable to put sentences together. These are the times I wish I were a strong extrovert, but I revert to the introvert side in these situations. This is definitely something you can pray for.

Today, we went to the office to set up a language tutor schedule for me. As we were about to walk out the door, Selah threw up. Fortunately, tile floors are easy to clean. She was kind of tired and sedate as we rode the bus. She was staring at everything with her mouth half open (an unfortunate tendency that her mother also has). An older woman on the bus said something to Ryan and the only word we understood was "baby". Then she emphatically turned to me and said the same thing, but with hand motions that made me think she was worried about Selah getting too much sun. We just looked at the woman and smiled. Then, she said it again and I told her we only speak English. She turned to her daughter and had her translate, "The baby seems thirsty." Wow, the woman was very concerned for our thirsty little Selah. Ryan told her that he had already tried to give her a drink, but she didn't want it. To prove it, he offered Selah her sippy cup and she declined. We are told to be prepared for a lot of unwanted advice in our parenting. I'll be thankful that we can't understand right now. Later, I'm sure it might become a bit annoying.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Life is Good

Selah fell asleep with her hand through the bumper pad in the crib. She even does cute things when she's asleep! The mornings and evenings here are very nice. Laura cooked a delicious meal that we enjoyed out on our balcony. She made this spicy spaghetti that she just made up as she went and used some of the tastiest fresh tomatoes we have ever had. Those are definitely better over here--along w/ the peaches and the cherries.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Home and Neighborhood

Per request, we have posted more pictures of our apartment and our neighborhood. To take a look and get an idea of our surroundings, click here to view the photoset. It includes a walk to the park 2 blocks away w/ Selah.

Here's Selah's new room. As you can see, she likes it. (Click on the pic for a larger version.) Laura has done a great job making this place homey. We're learning to ride public transportation today and hope to get our cell phones activated. Yesterday I sat out on our stoop w/ Selah for 30 minutes and I met the landlord and one of our neighbors. Selah is an asset to meeting people.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Welcome Home

It's 3.02 AM our time and I'm wide awake. Subscribing to the theory that a full stomach helps you go back to sleep, I imbibed on some banana bread one of our new friends made and a bunch of delicious cherries--they're so good here. As promised, here is a picture of our new apartment. It is in a nice part of town (from what I can tell) and it is very comfortable. Quite a blessing. We have been taking it easy so far--napping, unpacking, & meeting new people. We start language school on Tuesday.

Last week was a bit of a blur, but it was so great to reconnect with almost all of my family. Here is a pic of everyone at the lakehouse on July 4. We are so blessed to have such an amazing extended family behind us. They gave us a great send off.