Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day

An all time favorite of my mom and me, Sept '04 just after my 14th birthday

There isn’t much to say about my mom that hasn’t already been said by me or someone else.  She is a woman of integrity.  To list her all her many attributes would be a great undertaking but a few which come immediately to mind are fun, honest, disciplined, godly, helpful, kind, generous, creative, thoughtful and faithful. 

Throughout my life, I have observed her as a devoted wife and mother and she modeled for me a wonderful example of godliness in her role as homemaker.  I have fond memories of spending my childhood days with her, as she taught me school, or observing her as she sewed and cooked.  A few of my most precious memories are of the summers we went to camp together.  She has been steadfast for me throughout the many stages in my life.  And she has been a dear friend to me as I’ve entered into adulthood and I cherish her input into my life even now.  

Easter just before I got married, April '09

Without question, leaving her in January was the hardest goodbye I’ve ever said.  Knowing she was coming this summer dulled the ache in my heart slightly, but watching her wave goodbye through tears was just about as lonely as I’ve ever felt. 

I wish we could spend Mother’s day together tomorrow.  I can barely look at that photo of us without crying.  I miss her terribly but I’m so thankful for technology, which allows us to stay in touch.  And I can’t wait to see her in less than two months when she comes to meet my new baby!  I love you, Mom.  Thanks for all you taught and are still teaching me.  You are a treasure to me.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ellee's Nursery

The word “nursery” is a real stretch.  You will notice that there isn’t a photo of the room as a whole.  You may also take note that the walls are white and there aren’t any decorations to be found.  There’s a reason for all that.  Ellee is going to come home to live in the AIM Lesotho office.  But, shh, don’t tell her!  She won’t know the difference, I know, and at least she’s got a place to lay her head.  It is hard for me as a mama not to be able to make a special place for my girl like I did for my Kyle.  I don’t particularly enjoy the idea of cuddling my daughter at night in an office surrounded by a copy machine, filing cabinet and giant desk.  But, I don’t have a choice.  Once we get to Mokhotlong, I anticipate making a pretty space for my little girl to sleep and play in.  For now, however, I’ve done the best I can to make her “nursery” as sweet as possible.

After hunting all over Bloemfontein, South Africa for a crib for her and coming up with only a couple extremely expensive options, I was thrilled to get a message from a friend in Botswana telling me she knew someone selling a crib.  My immediate response was, “We’ll take it!!!!!”  I wasn’t picky about what I wanted in this piece of furniture; I only knew I did not want my daughter to sleep in a pack & play for the first two years of her life.  Turns out the crib is a custom made, beautiful wooden bed which came complete with a mattress, sheet and thin bumper to cover the inside edge.  And it was all for a girl baby, how perfect!  I am giddy!  It is white which is what I wanted.  It is smaller than a standard crib we’d buy in the US.  But, it is plenty big enough for the first couple of years as Kyle tried it out last night to make sure it was good enough for his little sister.  No, really it’s because his room was being de-bugged but I digress.  Having the smaller crib will actually be a great thing in Mokhotlong because Ellee will share her room with the queen sized bed we bought to have for guests.  That means someone better come visit…. Hint hint.  Oh, the best part about the crib?  It was ¼ the price of the only other option we were half way considering in Bloem.  I love a good bargain!

I love that book, When the World Was Waiting for You.  I bought it for Kyle after he fell in love with When the World is Ready for Bed.  The Waiting for You book tells the sweetest story of a family of rabbits who were welcoming their newest bunny.  My favorite thing about the book?  It's a big family of rabbits!  We like big families.

"We made your room so warm and snug, with crib and blanket, lamp and rug."

Dear friends also had a (get this) white dresser/changing table, which they generously gave us for her room!  I was more than thrilled.  I was ecstatic!  The dresser is a piece of furniture they had shipped from back home and it is absolutely what we needed for Ellee.  I found a changing pad at a resale shop in Pretoria where we met up to retrieve the furniture and Lollee is making a cover to go on it.  Ellee’s clothes are now folded into outfits and nestled into the top drawer.  The second drawer is full of various baby necessities like nail trimmers, a thermometer, the bag of diapers my doctor’s office gave me and a couple burp cloths, among other things.  Isn’t that octopus towel cute?  I found that in Bloem when we were trying to hunt for a crib.  At least we had some success.  The gift bag was from some friends - Ellee's first gift in Africa!  It is a pack of connectable ring teether toys.

Lest Ellee think she can get away with waiting to be born in Africa and only becoming bilingual, I brought the little wall hanging my sweet friend in Mexico made for Kyle to remind her that she's going to be required to learn Spanish, too.
I don't know what's sweeter.  The sleeper with the flower pot or the fleece jammies on the far left with the polka dots?  Or the adorable sweater in the upper middle?  Or the leggings on the far right with the ruffle on the bum?  Or the lacy shoes?  Or the rose petal bloomers?  Really?  Have little girl clothes always been this adorable?!

While in Pretoria, we stayed with new friends from South Africa who helped take us around to a few baby stores there.  One was a second hand shop where I found the little cradle/rocker thing in the bottom of the photo above as well as a baby bathtub for cheap.  Then the same friends had a Bumbo, which they gave us!  I sold the one I was given for Kyle so I am thrilled to have been offered another.  I gave it a good bath this morning as it had been stored for quite some time in their garage and it is ready for use.  Kyle is enjoying trying it out and he carries it around saying, “Ellee seat.”

Speaking of Kyle, he has finally mastered Ellee’s name and says it now with precision.  I can’t quite figure out how much he grasps but he is at least aware that something is going on with my belly and that apparently he has a sister coming.  And that she’s gonna drink milk.  We are really looking forward to his reaction to her arrival and of course we are hoping it is a smooth transition between one and two children in the family.

Because just about everything we eat is made from scratch, I decided to make up as many meals as my freezer would hold to have for after we return to Maseru with Lady Saint.  After baking lemon cranberry and apple pecan breads the other day, I have to call it quits.  The freezer is packed.  We have thirteen main dishes ready and waiting for us along with the breads I just mentioned.  I tried to get a variation between chicken, beef and pork so we can have some diversity.  Besides having to buy fresh foods for go-with-its, we should be set for a few weeks.  The only other thing I need to do is make some tortillas up but those are so flat, I’m sure I can find space for them somewhere.

I know you are all dying to know what I fixed so here is the final list:  chicken almondine, baked chicken alfredo, chicken pot pie, Mexican lasagna, sloppy joes, baked spaghetti, my grandmother’s famous Where’s the Squash lasagna, taco meat, dinner quiche, honeyed pork chops, balsamic glazed ham, shredded BBQ, and I think I’m forgetting one but I don’t feel like pulling it all out to check.  You get the idea.  We’re gonna be eating good.  Lose baby weight?  What?

Two weeks from yesterday we’ll make our way to Bloem to await her arrival.  Her due date is four weeks from tomorrow.  I don’t know what made us settle on 16 days ahead of time but for whatever reason, it’s what stuck.  Maybe it’s a foreboding.  Regardless, I just wanted to get there and settle into our guest room and not feel so anxious about making it in time for her birth.  Hopefully that is plenty of time to achieve my goal.  I would really rather not deliver here in Maseru as I’ve seen the hospital and was way less than impressed.  Even many of the Basotho leave and go to Bloem to give birth to their babies.  So, we hope to avoid that possibility as much as we can.  Our guest room set up is going to be really nice; we’ve finally settled on staying in the suite, which has a decent amount of space where we can prepare meals.   There is a small fridge/freezer and a microwave and we plan to bring a toaster oven.  Hopefully doing so will allow us to eat in often and save money on food.  And it has a little sitting area that will make our daily living a little more normal feeling.  The owner of the guesthouse has worked out a really reasonable rate for us all to stay for however many weeks we end up being there – hopefully about four.  It would be easier if we knew exactly when Little Lady will arrive but since I won’t be being induced, that just isn’t possible.  Regardless, she’s prepared for us to camp out and wait and she is letting Lacy stay for free.  Kyle doesn’t know he gets to go live by that in-ground trampoline for a month.  He is going to be so excited!

That’s all for now folks.  I should probably go take a nap while I still can.  Until next time….