Monday, October 29, 2012

And there's more...

Some random thoughts about Israel vs. Jordan:

-Israel has awesome roads.  Their highways are beautiful, like driving in the US or Europe.  Lots of clear lane markings, plenty of signs (in Hebrew, Arabic and English no less) and even little turnpike-esque gas station/rest area things.  It was awesome.  Then we came back across the border to a not-marked-at-all almost one-lane road back to Amman.  Yikes.

-They have the good milk.  Maybe because they have more agriculture, I'm not really sure.  But we bought the normal milk in a plastic jug, not the weird UHT milk we have in Amman.  Which I refuse to drink, because it's gross.  They also had plastic bags of milk, which I'd never seen before.  I'm not sure how you would store any leftovers.  But it was awesome to have real milk around for a change.  Even though I'm not sure I drank any...  Hmm, wasted opportunity.

-Their currency is shekels.  I'm not sure why this surprised me, but it seems such an old-world word.  So, shekels it was. 

-Some towns are heavily Muslim.  Again, not sure why I wouldn't have realized this before, since obviously it was populated by Arabs before Israel existed.  I guess I always assumed since there's so much tension between the cultures that Israel was only inhabited by Jews.  Silly me.  We didn't spend any time in the West Bank/Palestinian areas.  Before we left, my phone gave me directions that went straight through the West Bank to get to the border, but one of the guys told me that the roads aren't as nice as the Israeli roads.  So we stuck to the known quantity on the way back.

After we got in, Thomas and Benjamin took naps and I enjoyed the luxury of constant Internet access.  There was intermittent WiFi at the rental house, but with my addiction to online news/Facebook/Scrabble it was awesome to be back home.  I put together my new coat rack from Ikea, and I think it's great.  It's more modern than I would have picked if budget were no consideration, but I think it'll be perfect.  We don't have any closets or storage near the entryway, and with winter coming I think it'll get used. 

Naked coat tree.

Coat tree with clothes.

Today we had a slight mix-up with the time.  Israel is an hour earlier than Amman, so we changed our watches over.  And we knew that Jordan decided not to "fall back" (for whatever reason) but I spaced and didn't remember/know to change the clocks forward once we came back home.  So this morning I got up and showered, just taking my time before Emy came and I needed to leave for my class.  Then at 9:30am the doorbell rang.  It was Emy, and it was really 10:30.  My class starts at 11, so I pulled my wet hair into a bun and ran out the door.  I got there early and checked mail, we got two packages so I carried them out to the car and made it back just in time for my class. 

After class I ate lunch with Emily and Allison, who had hosted Emily's shower a couple weeks ago.  (Thomas had stayed home to make sure he was 100% better before going back to work.)  It was so much fun to have a girly lunch and a couple other people we all know came by and we had lots of great chitchat.  Most people traveled over the holiday, so it was nice to hear their accounts.  I picked up some milk and ice cream and a frozen P.F. Chang's dinner for two at the co-op, then headed home.  Benjamin was pretty sweet today and seems to have adjusted fine back to being the only kid in the house.

Playing with measuring cups, his favorite kitchen toy.

I have to explain a little about the pants he's wearing in the above picture.  Before we moved to Amman I spent about 10 months going Goodwill shopping to have his wardrobe mostly taken care of for the next couple years.  I bought lots of cute things in sizes up to 5T, in all seasons, etc.  These shorts are 2T (which he wears, but everything is waaaaay too long) but after I brought them home I started feeling like they are girl shorts.  They're from Old Navy, and there's no distinguishing characteristic that screams "girl", but still, I felt weird about putting them on him.  When I got back from the embassy, this is what Thomas had put him in for the day.  It's funny that they look like pants instead of long shorts, and they remind me of "Caddyshack".  So I think he can pull them off, at least until he's taller.  Opinions?

Tonight we'll watch "Elementary" and "Nashville" on AFN.  It's so fun to be able to watch current seasons of shows on the TV and not always use Hulu on the computer.  I love "Nashville" for the music and Connie Britton.  She'll forever be "Mrs. Coach" to me, and she's doing a great job on the new show too. 

Ahh, it's great to be home.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


We just got back from spending a long weekend at a house in Olesh, Israel with two other couples and their kids, for a total of six adults and six children.  It was a fun time, despite some disaster and calamity.  Let the good times roll...

We left Wednesday before the Eid holiday, which started on Thursday.  We all caravaned together and it was great to have experienced travelers with us at the border.  Driving to Israel doesn't take very long, the Allenby Bridge border crossing is only about 40 minutes away.  But getting through the process of having everything stamped and looked over, and having luggage and cars inspected on the Israeli side, means that it could take 3 hours before you're ready to continue on your journey. 

Thankfully the Jordanian departure wasn't painful, Thomas and the guys took all the passports and got everything done so we girls could stay in the cars with the kids.  And miraculously, the Israelis decided not to take apart our cars so the checkpoint wasn't as awful as it could have been.  We still unloaded everything to take inside and they put it through a big scanner, like what you see at security in an airport.  And we went through metal detectors that were so sensitive, I had to remove my glasses to get through without beeping.  (My glasses are made of plastic, so it was just the hinges that set the machine off.  Crazy!)

After getting the passports stamped and everything loaded back in the cars, we set off.  The border crossing was about an hour from Jerusalem, so we decided to try and find a certain restaurant that someone had seen on a previous trip.  At this point it was about 1pm and the kids were definitely in need of sustenance.  We drove into the old city, by the Jaffa Gate, and it was pretty obvious right away that cars were never meant to drive there.  The road was tiny and one-way, and with lots of people walking around it was pretty scary.  I was convinced that we were going to smush a tourist.  Happily we avoided such an encounter, and drove to the restaurant. 

Sadly there were no street spots open and the lot nearby wasn't open either.  So we decided to just park at a pedestrian mall nearby and eat at a modern cafe.  It was stressful getting out of the old city, there was a lot of traffic.  But we made it and had a delicious lunch.  While sitting and eating our meal, it felt a little like we were in Europe.  After a nice break from the car, we all piled back in and were able to find each other to keep the caravan going out of the city.  Jerusalem traffic was no joke and it took us a long time to finally get some speed on the highway.  It's pretty hilly in parts of Israel and going down the mountain was exciting/nerve-wracking.  But we finally found our vacation house two hours later. 

Hanging out in the living room.

Everyone was ready to be done with driving, so two of the guys went out to a grocery store nearby and got basic supplies while everyone else unpacked and settled in, while trying to keep the kids entertained.  The house was enormous, with 7 bedrooms and a pool and a yard with grass.  The kids were super excited about the lawn.  The best part was being able to put Benjamin in his own room, so he would sleep better.  Amazing.  He slept like a champ, even the first night (after a little yelling).  Since we ate a late lunch we snacked for dinner, then we put most of the boys in the big bathtub in the master bath.  It was hilarious to see these little naked boys running around, splashing and having fun.  Benjamin wasn't too excited about it, and Thomas pulled him out for a solo bath after a few minutes.  Since he's all by himself and doesn't have a ton of peer interaction, it was a lot to take in.  But still good for a photo op.

Thursday we drove the caravan over to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation, where the angel told Mary that she would bear the Son of God.  Pretty cool, but I'm not positive that is the exact place it happened.  Getting there was a nightmare, traffic in Nazareth was nuts.  There were traffic lights with a two-second green, and the light ahead of it was out, so you'd just be stuck in the middle of the intersection.  Pretty challenging to keep three cars together in that situation.  So we eventually got close to the church and went our separate ways to get a parking spot.  We met up after just a few minutes, and then walked to the church.  The courtyard around the church has a lot of representations of the angel's visit to Mary sent by countries around the world.

Some of our traveling companions.

On our walk up to the church it was threatening rain, and when we got into the covered courtyard area, it started pouring.  I haven't seen rain like that in ages.  It hailed a little, and thundered and lightninged.  It was a very intense storm which lasted about 10 minutes.  But after a while it calmed down and we went inside.  The kids mostly stayed outside, since they asked for silence in the church.  The lower level was the actual shrine/spot of the angel's visit.  Upstairs there was a sanctuary with very modern, spare concrete pillars and more art sent by different countries.  It was so nice to be in a church, and I hope that there's a congregation who worships there regularly. 

Exterior of the church

The shrine

The sanctuary upstairs

I really liked the exposed, spare concrete.

On the walk back to the cars we stopped and ate some shawarma and falafel at a little stand.  They had a back patio/courtyard with chairs and tables and they were very accommodating to our large group.  The kids had a lot of fun eating and running around, Benjamin ate some fries and goldfish but nothing exciting.  Hopefully by the time we leave Amman he'll be chowing down on some Middle Eastern fare.  We left Nazareth and hoped to find a storefront for a winery that one of the guys was interested in, but he couldn't remember exactly where and so after turning around a couple times in a different town, we gave it up and just went back to the house.  Kristin and I ran out to the store and got supplies for the next few days.  She and Heidi made pizza for dinner that night, which was delicious.  (I was so relieved to not have to cook, I could just load the dishwasher and do other menial tasks within my skillset.)

Friday morning we (the girls) and the two youngest kids drove to Ikea, about 45 minutes away.  I was super excited to get some random stuff and just walk around.  We arrived just in time for lunch, and I got the traditional Swedish meatballs.  However they didn't offer the mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce, instead it was just fries.  But it was pretty tasty anyway.  We spent around an hour walking around and it was fun to just check everything out.  I found a lot of stuff, some plastic kids plates and silverware that I'm planning to use for the next church meeting at our place.  And there was a coat rack that I'd been wanting, since we don't have a coat closet or any storage near our front door.  I got some more train pieces for Benjamin for Christmas, and a laptop stand and a couple nightlights.  Nothing I couldn't live without, but it was nice to get some stuff that isn't available in Jordan.  There is an Ikea coming to Amman, the building is up but I guess they're still working on the interior.  Supposedly in 2013 it'll open.  Inshallah. 

We got back after the guys, who had driven to Tel Aviv about 30 minutes away to fish in the Mediterranean.  Naturally they didn't catch anything, but the boys had fun playing in the sand.  Thomas and Benjamin had both stayed behind at the house to have some quiet time.  Kristin made some amazing vegetable soup for dinner, and we also ate Heidi's homemade rolls.  It was a truly delicious meal and so fun to be with friends.

Saturday we all packed up and set off to visit a Safari park/zoo in Tel Aviv.  But as we were leaving the driveway, we noticed that Kristin's car had a flat tire.  We transferred their kids' car seats to our car and just piled in together.  It was nice having the travel time to hang out.  The safari place was absolutely packed, and we weren't sure there would be enough parking.  But after you pay, you drive through a little safari with ostriches, hippos and wildebeests and then you get to the parking lot for the walking part of the zoo.  Thomas took Benjamin in the backpack carrier and we got inside just in time for the little "train" ride around the zoo.  It's really just a tractor with some train cars behind it, but the boys enjoyed it.  And we saw some giraffes and Ibexes and deer.  Benjamin was pretty excited about the animals, which was fun to see.  He's really getting more interested in things. 

On the drive in, we saw lots of ostriches.

I was worried they would peck at the car.

Rhinos under the trees.

Hippos in a pond.

On the train ride.

The largest member of the antelope family, the Eland.


A type of deer.


Benjamin was pretty excited.

The lions were just hanging out.

After the half-hour train ride, we walked around to see the elephants and some bears.  It wasn't the best zoo ever, but if their aim was to impress 2-5 year olds, they succeeded.  Evidently the Jerusalem zoo is better, if we end up going back.  After the zoo we drove back to the house and fed the kids a late lunch.  Once they settled down for naps, we heated up leftovers and chatted for a while.  I took an amazing nap and Thomas read by the pool.  The guys grilled chicken for dinner and we had roasted veggies and a pasta bake.  Oh and ice cream for dessert most nights, which was awesome.

Today, Sunday, we got ready to leave.  Thomas had a rough night so he tried to rest as much as possible and he looked after Benjamin while I got us ready to go.  The other guys went out to get the flat tire fixed.  We were ready to go, and Thomas was determined to head out, so we left before everyone else.  On the way out of the neighborhood, we saw the guys coming back, so they weren't far behind us in leaving.

The sad part of the weekend: a lot of people got sick.  First it was the oldest boy, then the next oldest.  Then Thomas and a couple other adults.  Thankfully Benjamin and I have been spared thus far.  It's not good, and Thomas is still not 100%.  We also discovered that mice had been making a home in the kitchen, and some bread got gnawed on.  But even though there were some bummers (sickness, flat tire, needing to flip a breaker at least once a day) it was a really great time.  It was wonderful to have a change of pace and let Benjamin experience the rowdiness of five other boys.  (Well, four, the youngest is only four months.)

I feel like you should get a prize if you read this entire post.  Sorry it was so long, I just wanted to remember everything!  Any suggestions for other places to visit in Israel if we go again?  I'd like to see Bethlehem and do some other Biblical sites.  Thomas isn't ready to return for a long time, though.  Pray for his full recovery, he had a fever this evening.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Magnet Fun

Well I did it again, dropped the regular blogging "schedule".  Not that there was one, but still I think every-other-day is my goal.  Which means I'm a couple days behind.  On to the news...

So I'm guessing a lot of you recently saw this article about the terrorist plot in Amman.  Pretty scary, but it's nice to know that people are working hard to keep things calm around here.  There's a lot of uncertainty about Syria and now Lebanon but I'm grateful to be in a (somewhat) stable and peaceful country.  I have thought about needing to pack a "go bag" in the event that we're evacuated but haven't done it yet.  But we're safe and doing fine, and we know that no matter what happens God is in control.

On to the fun stuff.  Today (Tuesday) was good, a friend from church came over with her two little boys and the older one, David, played with Benjamin while she and I talked and watched the youngest play.  It was great to have some adult interaction and Benjamin really enjoyed having friends over.  He loves playing with other kids, even though they're usually older and he just sort of follows them around.  But it's nice for him to have the socialization, I need to actually find a regular playgroup or something for him to do.  Or at least go to the park.  Rebecca was saying today that there's one fairly close, so maybe another day we'll try that out.  And the embassy has a park with a bit of grass, so I could always bring him over there some morning before we meet Thomas for lunch.

She and the boys left a little before noon, and we left the same time so we could eat lunch with Thomas.  It was warm again today, we had a few days of nice cooler weather (low 70s) a couple weeks ago, but it's been high 70s/low 80s for the past week.  I'm really missing fall weather, and the changing colors.  Everything here looks the same, still a little green on the palm trees and shrubs but mostly beige.  I'm sure once it gets really cold and the time changes so it's dark really early I'll be sad, but I'm ready to wear my new boots (!) and sweaters and normal fall clothes.  Eventually, I guess.

I recently ordered some alphabet fridge magnets for Benjamin.  He's been interested in the oven and I thought they could keep him occupied while I'm using the oven or stove.  So a couple days ago they came, and he likes them a lot. 

Notice the Carolina Gamecock magnet.  I think it belonged to my brother a hundred years ago.

Putting the "J" back in Benjamin.

Not much else to report, except I got the next book club title in the mail.  We're reading "What Happened to Sophie Wilder" and I don't know anything about it.  I read the first few pages, but it hasn't grabbed me yet.  It's fun to read something totally new without any preconceptions, even though the chance that it's going to be dumb/bad/boring is probably high.  I need to spend more time on Goodreads to get recommendations for new stuff.  I really enjoy silly YA fiction, but I'm not willing to actually pay for it.  Now that I'm ordering books off Amazon I'm going to read less fluff.  Oh, how I miss my Columbia Pike library.  I could troll the electronic offerings of the Arlington library system, but since I don't have an e-reader I would have to read it on my phone.  I did read Mindy Kaling's "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" memoir/ramblings that way, but because it was so short and in quick bursts, it made sense.  (It's a cute book, and worth it if you enjoy her work on "The Office".)

Any good book recommendations?  Or ones to avoid (equally important)?  I donated my copy of "The Dog Stars" to the little library at the embassy, since it's not something I'd reread.  And I'm all about rereading if something really strikes me.  But that also means I read the same 10 things over and over.  And I'm also becoming that person who lets magazines pile up.  But now I'm off to actually look at my Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple before bed.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Trains and Kittens


(That's a shout out to my friend Clay, who lives in Hawaii.  I'm jealous.  Hi Clay!)

Well here I am again.  This morning I got up and made Benjamin his Nutella on bread for breakfast and looked out the window to see four kittens hanging out on our patio.  I'd noticed them earlier, there might be more, but there are definitely some little baby cats that are new to the neighborhood.  Here's a terrible picture.

We went to church and got to fellowship and eat lunch with everyone.  I miss getting to drop Benjamin off at nursery and having that dedicated hour or so to just worship with a big crowd, but I'm enjoying the total change of pace with meeting in homes and really getting to know the 20ish (?) people who come.  But we're losing some people, it turns out that Kristin and her family are going back to DC soon.  I'm so bummed, I can't even imagine life here without my friend.  She's been completely instrumental in helping us feel settled and at home.  And with the miscarriage and everything, Kristin has been there for me and just so generous and loving.  I can't believe we just met them three months ago.  I know God has a plan for them, but it makes me so sad that it isn't here anymore.  Sniffle.

This afternoon we just chilled at home, I finally broke out the Ikea train I'd bought before we moved.  I know Benjamin has more than enough toys, but I think he enjoyed it. 

We also introduced Benjamin to finger painting, I'd ordered some tubes online a while ago and just had them sitting around.  Since tonight was a bath night, I figured we might as well try it out.  We stripped Ben down to his diaper and put him front of the paper with a couple squirts of paint, but he wasn't into it at all.  He eventually dipped a couple fingers in the green paint, but got upset.  I think new things are hard for him, so maybe in a couple days we'll try again.  Baby steps.

We got some frustrating news today, a guy named George who does car stuff took the van last night so he could look it over and give it a tune-up.  But it turns out there's a lot wrong, including transmission stuff, rear brakes, and a bunch of other stuff I don't understand.  So, assuming George isn't pulling one over on us, we'll be spending almost as much as we spent buying the van to get it actually road-ready and safe.  Naturally part of it is us being stupid and not having it looked over before we bought it.  And trusting the horrible man who sold it to us.  Thomas is going to call him and see if he's willing to do the decent thing and help us pay for it.  Jeeze.

We had a basic dinner, baked potatoes with bacon and cheese.  Yum.  I tried the cold-oven-start method of cooking the bacon, and it worked pretty well.  Next time I'll do it a bit longer, the bacon wasn't all that crispy but I was nervous it would burn.  Ben didn't touch either the potatoes or the bacon, he just wanted his milk.  I'm not stressing about food as much these days, four months ago I was really worried he wasn't eating enough, or the right things, etc.  But recently he's tried some new things, like today he had some biscuit for the first time.  He didn't love it, but he ate a couple bites.  And he's really into hot dogs, after we got home from church he ate two for his lunch.  I might be doing the cornbread and hot dog lunch a lot.  I just need to find a good cornbread recipe that is moist and not crumbly, and that doesn't require buttermilk.  The UHT milk that we have doesn't respond to adding vinegar to make it like buttermilk, so I'm out of luck.  I'll look at Spinney's the next time I go and see if they carry it, since they have a lot of random American stuff.  But I doubt it.  So any tried and true cornbread recipes you have, please share!

Tonight on AFN they're showing the Thursday night NBC shows, so I'm really excited to just lounge around and watch my shows.  I'm super mad that they're not starting "Community" this fall, as planned.  They'd better bring it back soon.  I know they're trying to tank it on purpose.  Grr.  In the kitchen I have my iPod player set up and I've been listening to a lot of country these days while I cook or wash dishes.  Maybe it's homesickness, or a byproduct of watching "Nashville" (which is amazing!), but it's lots of fun.  Today it was the soundtrack to "Crazy Heart", the movie from a couple years ago with Jeff Bridges.  It's really good, if you haven't seen it I recommend it.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I know I've been posting more like every-other-day-ish, but I thought since yesterday ended on such a downer, I'd do a more picture-heavy, emotion-light one to cleanse the palate.

Today was good, Benjamin and I went grocery shopping in the morning.  We stopped by the fruit guys, and I used a little of my Arabic: maws = banana, xoch = plums.  The "x" is a very gutteral, coughing type sound.  They have lots of letters that we just can't pronounce as westerners/Americans.  But the guys understood me.  Oh and bataata =  potatoes.  Pretty easy, that one.

We also ran into the little grocery store nearby, and I got some bread and a couple bottles of juice.  I'd like for Benjamin to drink a little juice every now and then, but I tried a little apple juice in his water and he totally refused it.  Maybe I missed the window?  But I wanted to keep his sugar consumption down so hopefully he won't be as addicted to it as I am.  I'd like him to be healthy like Thomas.  We had a low-key afternoon, just hung out at home and played. 

My parents had saved this toy and book from when I was little, I don't know if it was my sister Sarah's originally.  But Benjamin likes it, it's about a squirrel family who make their home out of a hollow log.  The book is "Lightning Strikes Twice" and the toy includes the little house, Mom Dad and little squirrel, and the mailman/bird.  Ben had a good time opening and closing the front. 

Isn't that the sweetest face you've ever seen?

For lunch, I gave Benjamin some cornbread and hot dogs, warmed up in the oven.  The from-scratch recipe that I'm using isn't great, it falls apart and when I attempt the corn dog mini-muffins, it's a battle getting them out of the pan.  So it's not pretty, but he seems to think it tastes good.  (The first time I made them, I used a Trader Joe's box mix from our HHE.  That stuff is delicious!  If anyone in the vicinity of a TJ wants to mail me some, I will totally reimburse you...)


You can see that the hotdogs went first.  Thankfully the co-op sells Hebrew National brand, which are pretty delicious.  And we've been buying a lot of Tyson's chicken nuggets, those are a hit too.  I'm excited that he's getting more protein now, but it's a little more expensive than the old PB&J, which he now refuses to eat.  But he's still a total fruit eater, he loves bananas and apples and plums.  The pears have been delicious here recently, and he finished ours up today.  I need to drop by the fruit guys again, I forgot to get pears this morning.  Doh.

So, today's been better.  A long day with Benjamin being super fussy, because I think he must be getting more than just the one molar in.  But maybe in a week we'll be done with teething for a while.  That would be magical.  Other than that, a good day.  Thomas installed the other car seat in my car, and our Boab finally washed it tonight.  (After Thomas asked him to.)  And I'm still addicted to Etsy, I'm going to ask Thomas if I can order this ring for my birthday/Xmas present.  I love yellow, and it's different than anything I have.  But I like almost everything she makes.  I wish I could make jewelry like she does.  I would just make lots of fun stuff for me and to give as gifts.  Oh to be creative and capable.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nothing Much

Hi guys,

Well it's been pretty normal around here the past couple days.  Except... we got my car!!!  Yay!!!

Thomas called me Tuesday while he was at work to say that it was approved and delivered to the embassy.  So he drove it home, and of course there was no gas in it, so later on he took it out to fill it up.  Which was super expensive, but hopefully with my small amount of driving won't be an every-week experience.  It was so nice for him to be able to drive himself to work today, and I picked up Emily and drove to class later this morning.  I'll be sad when their car is delivered, it's been fun to hang out with her twice a week.

In other silly news, I got my boots!  Another yay!  I'd been wanting to be more stylish/put together, hence my wearing makeup on a regular basis.  And using cold cream before bed, like an old lady.  I ordered a few pairs from Zappos, since their shipping and return policy are great.  I tried two on, and one was definitely cuter and fit better, so deciding was easy.  I'll get another pair in the mail sometime soon and just turn around and return them.  But return shipping is totally free, so not a big deal.

I returned the boots this morning before class, then ate lunch with Thomas and Emily afterward.  It's so nice to feel like we're getting more and more settled in.  Now we just need to get my car washed, it is the dirtiest car I've ever seen, outside of one of those gigantic jacked-up trucks that goes mudding.  I asked Thomas if they have car washes here, and they don't.  Your Boab is supposed to do it.  And the first guy who was here when we moved left to go back to Egypt and we don't know if he'll be back.  The replacement Boab isn't as proactive so I don't have high hopes for a clean car anytime soon.

This afternoon Kristin and her oldest boy drove me and Benjamin to the children's museum here in Amman.  It was really nice, like something you'd see in America.  I had no expectations but it turned out to be really fun, Benjamin liked having wide open spaces to run around and buttons to push and lights to see.  Of course I totally forgot to take pictures.  But he had a good time, and it was nice to get out of the house and do something different.  I was totally exhausted when we got back though.

One sad moment, this morning Emily and I were on our way to class and ran into a girl she had met before, we introduced ourselves and they talked about pregnancy, Emily's due in December and the other girl, I think her name is Lauren, she mentioned that she's due in April.  Which is when I would be due, if I hadn't lost the baby.  I thought about it then and it didn't faze me, but dwelling on it this evening has made me sad again.  And I think about a girl I know from back home, whose daughter died very soon after birth (they knew she wouldn't live long) and I read her blog last night about her husband carrying her baby's casket out of the church, because they only needed one pallbearer.  It was too much for me.  And as sad as I am, I'm so grateful to be spared that pain.  But.... I still want another baby.  And it seems so unfair.  That she doesn't have her daughter, and I'm not pregnant.  Man, I didn't mean for this post to be such a bummer.  I guess I just need more faith to trust that God's will is good and perfect.

Hm, from boots to serious grief.  Yikes.  Hopefully the next one will be a little more fun.  And I'll try to take a picture of my boots that doesn't involve an undershirt.  Thomas was so horrified when I posted that picture on Facebook.  Oh well.  This evening I watched a few episdoes of "Freaks and Geeks", one of the best TV shows of all time.  And I've been ogling jewelry on Etsy, which is fun.  So it's been a good day.  Staying positive, mostly.

Over and out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shave and a Haircut

Saturday was very laid back, we were all a little tired from all the fun and excitement of hosting church on Friday morning.  So we hung out at home in the morning, ate lunch at a pizza bistro/cafe thing at the mall, and got Pinkberry on the way out.  We made it home by 1pm so we could put Benjamin down for his nap.  One day last week I discovered that if he falls asleep in the car before we get home, he won't take his nap.  Which is bad.  So, home by 1pm no matter what.

I made some more sausage biscuit bites, experimenting with adding a little pepper and crushed red pepper flake.  I honestly think the original with no spices tastes better, but it's nice to try something different.  Thomas took the opportunity of a lazy morning to shave, which is only a weekly activity for him now.  I hope he'll grow back the beard, but he claims he won't.  We'll see about that.

Saturday night/early Sunday morning Benjamin woke up about 3 times between 2:30 and 4.  I had a really hard time going back to sleep and Thomas just stayed up to watch the second half of the Carolina game.  Such a bummer that we lost, and it was so close.  Argh.  Oh well, doesn't mean we can't still win the SEC East.  Let's beat Florida!  I slept in a little and Benjamin was quiet until 8am, so that's the silver lining.  Thomas drove himself to work since I was useless, then he came and picked us up so we could do lunch and I could give him a package to mail.  It was nice getting out of the house, and eating my usual chicken Caesar salad. 

It was a race against the clock again Sunday afternoon to get Benjamin down for his nap, but we succeeded.  We got a huge box from Target in the mail, diapers and wipes and mascara and cold cream, some toddler toothpaste and a baby gift for Emily, the pregnant girl from my Arabic class.  We also got some shears from Amazon, so this evening I cut Benjamin's hair.  It was getting a little crazy and tangle-y, so I took the plunge.  Of course now I totally regret it, but I'll give you the photographic evidence so you can make your own decision.  Ben wasn't too sure about it, but Thomas distracted him with "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and then gave it a once-over and fixed a couple things.  It's still a total hack job, but I'm hoping in a week or two it'll grow enough to not be too noticeable.

Benjamin loves going through his clothes drawers and pulling things out.

Thankfully he can also put them back in, as seen here.          

One of the last shots of the curls, while he plays with blocks.

Before commencing surgery.

After a bath, much less curly.

Well I wrote all that yesterday and planned to publish it then, but our Internet has been the hugest hassle and we didn't have any gigs left, so I had to wait until this evening.  While I'm at it, I'll just recap today and do some extra pictures.  Benjamin woke up once during the night, which was sad but then he slept until 8:30 which was a-maz-ing.  He was pretty sweet this morning, then I left for class.  Thomas and I had a quick lunch, then I brought him home so he could grab something then dropped him back at work.  I bought some cleaning stuff at the little grocery store near the embassy and headed home.  Benjamin was down for his nap, so I just hung out and let Emy do her thing. 

After he woke up, Ben was more of a pill and so the afternoon wasn't great.  My outlet is to mindlessly surf the Internet and without that relaxation while he slept, I was not in a great mood.  We picked Thomas up from work and ordered Indian food for dinner.  And again, the delivery guy (who did speak English) couldn't find our place.  ARGH.  I was completely enraged.  A combination of all the little annoyances and Benjamin's fussiness just took over and I was sooo mad.  Thomas washed dishes while I put Ben to bed then he left to fix our Internet issue while I polished off the chocolate ice cream.  But I'm happy to report that everything is working great, and I can finally upload pictures and look at my silly blogs.  Thank heavens.  Here's hoping the unlimited Internet kicks in tomorrow...

During his snack, I trimmed around the ears.  I think it's passable now.

And with that, I bid you farewell.  Etsy awaits...