Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Friday, January 24, 2014

8 Months to Treasure

Ellee girl is 8 months old today.  She gets sweeter everyday and I love her more and more.  I treasure her like nothing I've ever had before.

I'm not sure which is the biggest update since my last Ellee post.... sleeping or rolling?  Sleeping, certainly! This girl is sleeping through the night, all on her own, in her big girl crib in her big girl room.  "Hallelujah" you hear me cry!!!  I started sleep training her just before the New year.  She had a little disruption while we went to South Africa for AIM prayer day for a few nights, but since we've been home, she's slept all night the past 5 nights!  She still wakes up occasionally and whines but she soothes herself and goes back to sleep on her own.  She is still breast feeding before a bed time, but she usually stirs some when I lay her in her crib and she still goes right back to sleep.  Good girl.  Mommy is so proud!  It seems that we were keeping each other awake because she immediately did better in her own room than she'd ever done sleeping beside me.  She takes a nap in the morning for about 1-1.5 hours and another nap in the afternoon for about the same, and she sleeps from between 7-8 until between 5-7.  If she wakes up around 5 or 6, she'll usually doze beside me until about 7.

Also this week, she has discovered how to roll from her back to her belly.  I wondered how long it'd take her to make the connection that rolling back to front and front to back can create mobility across the room.  I think it took her all of about half an hour.  Now she rolls to get what she wants.  And now I have to keep a close eye on whats on the floor, so she doesn't get anything too small in her mouth!  It's fun to watch her determination to get what she wants.  She did roll over onto an action figure of Kyle's yesterday and has a mark on
her back to prove it.  It's hard to be mobile when ouchie things get in your way!

Despite my efforts to feed her homemade, home grown baby food, she still much prefers getting her calories from breast milk.  She only tolerates about two bites of baby food before she quits opening her mouth.  Oh well.  I don't know any 5 year olds who only drink milk, so I'm not worried about it.  She is also still toothless and I find it a bit silly to feed a baby food before they even have any teeth.  Plus, I thoroughly enjoying our snuggle sessions and use that time to sing and talk to her and pray for her little life.

She thinks high fives are great fun and she loves it when I clap, although she hasn't discovered how to do it for herself.  She giggles at her brother and he is eager for her to start playing with him outside.  He likes to blow on her belly or back and make her laugh.  She babbles now, mostly saying "mamamamamamama", which of course I love!

All dressed up for church
I think she weighs about 17 or 18 pounds and is wearing 6-12 months clothes.  She finally outgrew her 3-6 months stuff she had been in for months.  She's a chunky thing but she's actually quite petite, I think.  She desperately needs clothes, and I hope to hit some consignment stops/sales while we are home in the US next month.  Her hair is filling in nicely and her eyelashes are really long.  She has a lot of cradle cap under her hair still, any recommendations on what to do for that?

That should be a pretty thorough update on my girl.  She's sick of being on the floor so I better grab her now.  


Thursday, January 23, 2014

23 Things I Love About Living in Mokhotlong, Lesotho (and 5 things I don't)

Cool, crisp evenings and mornings even in the dead of summer.

Clear blue skies every morning and thunder showers that roll in almost every afternoon during the summer.

Happy birds that sing pretty songs all day long.

Only seeing three extremely lethargic mosquitos all summer.

Hearing the rain poor on our roof.  It isn't a metal roof but the shingles give it a soothing sound.

Seeing how vibrantly green the mountains in front of our house are after an afternoon shower.

Watching Kyle play with the very sweet and very active neighbor kids.

Receiving greetings from every person that passes on our street or we pass in town; everyone here is so friendly.

Feeling welcome even though the number of white people here could be counted on two hands.

Living next door to great Basotho friends who help us navigate life in this foreign country.

You don't need a prescription for drugs; you just go to the "chemist" and buy what you need (after consulting medical professional friends).

The fresh fruit and veggies in town are amazing... and cheap!

Spending every single day with my kiddos and rarely having anywhere we need to go.

Living within 5 minutes of anywhere we need to go.

Having to plan way ahead when we go further than 5 minutes and are actually around a grocery store.  It makes life go so smoothly to have a plan and not be running back and forth to the grocery.

Hearing the clip clop of Basotho ponies carrying men wearing blankets down the street.

Having good internet reception despite living in the middle of nowhere.

Witnessing my husband's excitement in doing something he is passionate about.

The slow pace of life.

Baking zucchini bread with zucchini fresh out of the garden.

Beautiful sunsets.

Being able to see a crazy number of stars at night.

Positively no traffic, ever.

On the flip side:

Regularly finding spiders in my house which are much larger than I care to deal with.

Living many hours away from nearly everything, especially good medical care.  

The local rooster community which enjoys communicating constantly in the wee hours of the morning.

The unbelievable number of flies.

The electricity going out almost every time there is a thunder storm (which often occurs over the dinner hours....).