Archive for October, 2013


Saturday, October 19th, 2013

There are certain moments in your life when you come to the realization of just how lucky you are.  Today was one of those moments for me.  I am lucky to have two precious and healthy children I can love and kiss on each and everyday.  There are those in the world that long to have that luxury and privilege.   

I have some very dear friends who have been on the adoption journey for over 2.5 years.  They have had many ups and downs along the way and today was just another one of those battles that they must fight and endure.  They are fighting to love on their daughter while I am lucky enough to snuggle mine daily.  I am luckier than I deserve.

After finding out this disappointing news from my friend my son woke up and I just clung to him.  I sat and nursed him in the dark and all sorts of thoughts ran through my head.  I thought of dear Bella and her precious laughter and catch phrase, "Eat up a Toe" and how difficult her death was.  I thought of sweet Simo who bounced back from deaths door only to die too young when his house collapsed.  I thought of our hundred or so children at the hostel who have lost countless family members in their short lives.  I thought of all those families I know who have tried in earnest to have children, but for whatever reason have not been able to.  I thought of just how lucky I am to have two healthy children to love on each and everyday.  This luck I will cling to as I go to bed for the evening and look forward to their sweet hugs and snuggles in the morning.

Sunset, Max 3 months 139

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Sometimes my daughter is hysterical!  She will often say things that prompt Ben and I to look at each other and say, "Where does she come up with this stuff?"  I mean seriously. 

Case in point.  Last night we had a late dinner so Mikayla showered beforehand.  The dinner included rice.  After dinner she showed us her bowl to see if she had eaten enough and I noticed clumps of rice in her hair.  Oy vey!  Off to the shower again to get out the sticky rice.  Ben got her rewashed and dried off again.  Then he told Mikayla it was time to dry her hair (before putting on her jammies).  Mikayla immediately started to cry and scream that she couldn’t dry her hair without her clothes on, leaving Ben a little confused.  So he turned on the hair dryer and attempted to dry her hair.  She started crying more and began to cower in the corner of the bathroom, pitiful I know.  Ben then asked her why she couldn’t dry her hair without her clothes on.  Her response, "because my skin will fall off".  Seriously??  You can’t make this stuff up!!  Ben then responded, "Mikayla, why do you think your skin will fall off if we dry your hair without any clothes on?"  Her response, "Because mommy said so!"  So Ben scoops her up and brings her to the kitchen where I am washing dishes and asks me if I told Mikayla her skin would fall off if she dried her hair with no clothes on.  My response was no, of course not!  Her demeanor immediately went from tears and fear to smiles and laughing!  She allowed Ben to dry her hair, with no clothes on, and amazingly her skin stayed right where it was!

Another funny Mikayla antidote happened a few weeks ago.  She was playing with one of her dolls that go with her dollhouse and he leg popped off.  She took it to Ben and asked him to fix it for her.  Here is how the conversation unfolded:

M:  Daddy can you fix his leg again?

B: Why did you break the leg off your doll?

M:  I did it on accident…No wait… On purpose…wait… Mommy, which one do I not get in trouble for?

Got to love the things that come out of a kids mouth!  Happy Tuesday everyone.

Sunset, Max 3 months 131

Mikayla in her silly jammies.  She loves to mix and match her jammies tops and bottoms every night!

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Like Father, Like Son

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Does anyone else see the resemblance?


Sunset, Max 3 months 047 2

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Max at Three Months

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Our boy continues to grow and change each day.  I forget just how quickly they can change at this young age!  He is still eating every two hours or so (which is a little exhausting for this momma, but so worth it)!  Here are his three month stats:

Weight – 6kg / 13.2lbs

Length – 24 inches

Head circumference – 16 inches

According to our calculations that puts him in the 50th percentile in weight and length, which is much lower than we thought he would be.  He just seems so big to us, and the Swazis. 

Sunset, Max 3 months 102

Sunset, Max 3 months 118

His sleeping patterns are still very inconsistent.  At the beginning of the month I thought we had made a turn toward sleeping through the night.  He had a week where he would go to bed around 7 or 8 and sleep until 4 or 5, nurse and go back to sleep for an hour or so.  However, that was short lived.  After a week of this he returned to his old habits of waking to nurse every two hours or so.  he will now go to bed around 7 or 8 and sleep until 1 or 2, occasionally early, and from then on he wakes up every two hours.  We had stopped swaddling him for a short period, but have started that again and he seems to sleep a little sounder at night, even if it isn’t for a long period.  Nap times are hit or miss.  He will regularly wake up for 1-2 hours and then take a short 30-45 minute nap.  He usually takes two longer (1-2 hours) naps mid-morning and sometimes in the afternoon and then will dose off again for a  short period around 4 or 5.  I am trying to make sure he is in the crib for most of these naps, but we are still so inconsistent with nap time schedules.  Not sure how we were able to get Mikayla on such a good schedule!  On a typical day he will take at least one of those naps in a baby carrier. 

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Sunset, Max 3 months 145

Speaking of, I use my baby carrier so much more with Max than I ever did with Mikayla.  Max is "worn" everyday!  It makes it easier to get things done with a 4 year old around, plus when we are traveling to the hostel for various meetings and groups it is easier to carry him in one than it is to carry him in my arms.  He sleeps great in the baby carriers too, and will fall asleep almost instantly when you put him in one.

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The hostel kids and staff are still enamored by Max and will often fight over who gets to hold him.  If he is awake when we are there, I hardly see him!  That is until he cries and they bring him back to nurse, their default response for when a baby cries.  As soon as I calm him down, often without nursing, he is whisked off again!

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Max’s personality continues to grow and change each day.  He is smiling and cooing more and crying less (most days)!  He is even making a real effort to laugh.  It is really funny to watch him try to make noises.  It is almost like he tries to make them in the back of his throat, but can’t quite get the sound to make its way out.  But when he gets going you could keep him talking for several minutes.  Mikayla absolutely adores this and is constantly trying to engage him in "talking".

Sunset, Max 3 months 141

Max is still not a big fan of tummy time, although if you can catch him in a good mood he will tolerate it for a few minutes.  While on his back he is able to wiggle around, so much so that if you walk away for a minute he will be in a different position entirely when you return!  He is still rolling from belly to back, but not vice versa yet.  Although he is now rocking himself up on his side, so I don’t think it will be long now.

Sunset, Max 3 months 046

Like Mikayla at his age, Max has a full head of hair but it is a little awkward looking.  He has a small cowlick on the crown of his head which makes it look like he is wearing a toupee!  Ben is ready to shave it off, but I am not there yet.  It does look a little silly,  but he is a baby after all!  Speaking of appearance, he is still sporting his three birth marks.  The forehead one is fading some, but still there and the other two are still very red.

Sunset, Max 3 months 115

Max really enjoys pushing up and standing on his legs when you are holding him.  And again, just like Mikayla, he loves to face out and check out what is going on.  I think he is going to be social like his big sister! Ben also got smart and started rolling a towel to place in his tub to make bath time a little easier!  Genius!!

Sunset, Max 3 months 027


Sunset, Max 3 months 056

First "swim"!

Sunset, Max 3 months 122

I have been meaning to write a post about how we chose Maxwell Simo for our son’s name, but haven’t gotten around to it.  Thankfully my amazing husband wrote one so I will just share his with you.  You can find it here.

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September Update

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

The month of September flew by!  Playing dress up, preschool, snuggles, working and nursing is how we spent most of our month!

Sunset, Max 3 months 030

A little early in the morning for Mikayla, but Max is loving his sisters snuggles!

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Dress up fun!!  (Sorry Ben and Katie, hope you don’t mind.)  This is Ben’s version of what a prince would look like, complete with a "baby" stick horse…

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Early morning "burrito" snuggles!!

We started back our preschool routine the second week of September.  Mikayla is doing so good!  I have started using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  It is similar to Reading Mastery, which I used when I taught at T. C. Cherry.  It took her a couple of lessons to get into it, but now she is loving it and wants to sound out everything!  Even make believe words.  Often at dinner she will "spell" words for us and then have us sound them out and say them fast.  I am also using some of the pieces from the K4 curriculum that Confessions of a Homeschooler created.  The rest of our curriculum I am just piecing together.  We end up spending about 1-1.5 hours a day, four days a week on preschool time.  We also have two art therapy volunteers here completing an internship so they are each coming down once a week for an art class with Mikayla.  It is a combination of visual arts and dance arts.  And Katie has started a yoga class with Mikayla a couple nights a week (whenever we can squeeze it in between bath and bed)!  She is loving it all!

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It is that season of the year when the sugar cane around our area is being burned (it is a 10-11 month cycle).  Mikayla gets excited each time she sees the big burns.  And just for the record, she still refers to the ash as black snow!

Sunset, Max 3 months 009

Sugar cane being burned at night.  The picture does not do the flames justice.  They can get up to 60 feet high!

Along with sugar cane season comes the hot snake season!  We have seen a couple around our house already this year.  One was a spitting cobra in the banana fields, a mamba by the office and a speckled bush snake (not poisonous) in a mango tree in our yard.  There have been a lot of spiders this season already and mosquitoes are out in full force!  Poor Max gets bit on his face every once in awhile.

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Can you spot the green snake??

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What about now??

Ben and Mikayla took a father/daughter bush walk to take pictures towards the beginning of the month.  You can see some of them here.  Speaking of pictures, Joe’s dad was in town for a few weeks and he was so kind to take some family pictures for us.  There is an album here on FB, but I will also include a couple of the shots for your preview in case you missed them.






I got brave and drove a group of us ladies (and Max) to Ezulwini (about 1.5 hours away) for a day of shopping and eating.  It was a fun day and a much needed day off the mission.  Max was a trooper and slept most of the time we shopped.

Finally, the bananas are starting to ripen.  Won’t be long before we will have so many bananas around the mission we won’t know what to do with them!!

Sunset, Max 3 months 072

Sunset, Max 3 months 082

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