Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Good and the Bad

Hello there,

I'm writing this while Benjamin naps, which is unwise because I really need to lie down as well.  Last night we had a disaster, with Benjamin crying ten minutes after getting in his crib for bed, then again ten minutes later, and a third time.  And again at some ungodly hour of the night after Thomas and I were asleep.  Thomas got up twice to help settle him, and then I tried two times.  Eventually he calmed down but not until I was fully awake at 4am.  Not my favorite.  So I tossed and turned and eventually fell back asleep around 7am (I think). 

Ugh.  I read somewhere online that there's a sleep regression around two years old and we've definitely hit it.  In the past six months or so he's gone straight down (or at least been quiet) after we put him in his crib for nap or bedtime.  But the past couple weeks he's made some noise and required repeat assurances.  But I am not going to lose the few months of "regular" sleep to a worried toddler.  So any seasoned parents of older kids, please give me any and all tips!  I don't want him to be afraid but I'm also not going to pick him up repeatedly as I get larger and larger.  Dilemma.  OK, rant over.

We had an unfortunate incident a couple weekends ago; we were going to do a train ride organized by the embassy, and I was really looking forward to it.  I knew that Benjamin would love it, since he screams any time we see a truck or a cement mixer, etc.  The instructions told us to be there at 9 but I figured, hey it's Jordan, so we rolled up at 10 after.  No dice, the bus had already left.  I was so irritated, when does anything leave on time in this country?  And even more infuriated when I found out that someone had taken our spots on the bus, so they thought everyone was there and left without checking names.  I. was. livid.  And I also completely broke down and sobbed when Benjamin said "bus!  train!" as we drove back home.  Valuable lesson learned, never assume that things will be late, even in this delightful land.

Today I had a doctor's appointment and he did the detailed sonogram, he measured all the bones and the skull, etc to make sure everything was normal and developing according to schedule.  Praise God, baby boy is healthy and very wiggly.  We've almost settled on a name, but I'm hesitant to share it with anyone in case I change my mind.  There's one name I love that Thomas had totally vetoed, but I'll see if I can wear him down over the new few months.

20ish weeks along.

It's strange, I've been really hit with the nesting thing for this baby.  I've picked out additional crib sheets and I wish I had my kitting stuff so I could attempt to make a blanket.  (Silly, because we have the swaddle stuff all ready to go, and he won't need a big blanket until he's a toddler.)  And I've picked out his lovey, it's a raccoon, which I think is so cute and will "match" Benjamin's owl.  I made an Amazon wishlist and it's filling up fast.  We're still working on getting some things out of storage and shipped, but there are a few things I'll still need, like a sterilizer for bottles, since I'm not about to boil that stuff every time I feed the baby.  Oh noooo.  The joys of being overseas.

I think that's about it for now, I know it's a light month, blog-wise, but life hasn't been too exciting.  Which is how we like it. 


Saturday, April 6, 2013



Benjamin loves vehicles these days, and work trucks most of all.  But he positively freaks out when he sees a cement truck.  Happily there is a ton of construction happening here in Amman, so we see one almost every day.  Thursday we drove home after eating dinner at the embassy and there were at least three cement trucks parked in the vacant lots near our apartment.  He flipped, and was so excited.  Thomas held him and we watched them for a while, then one of the drivers came over and talked to us.  He was very friendly and nice, and actually let Thomas take Benjamin into the cab of one of the cement trucks! 

Happiest kid ever!

Hussein (our new friend) put his sunglasses and hard hat on Benjamin, and gave him his construction vest.  (He also invited us to his house for dinner next Friday, but I'm not sure we're available.  It's amazing how hospitable Jordanians are.)  Benjamin was over the moon and had the worst breakdown I've ever seen when we went inside.  I don't know if you can remember things long-term when you're two, but I hope he remembers that.

Otherwise, life has been pretty normal for us.  This weekend we hosted church on Friday morning, and it was so nice to see everyone again.  I'm back to having almost-normal energy, but it's taken a lot longer than I thought.  I'm now about 18 weeks, and I would have expected to be feeling good around week 14, but it's come much slower this time around.  Thankfully I'm getting there and was able to get a minimum of food on the table.  It's so nice to have people bring food, that way I don't feel too stressed about providing everything.  We decided not to have Emy come and help clean up, which in hindsight was a mistake.  Lesson learned, even if it's a smaller group, she is very much needed.

Today's been very low-key, I got to sleep in and we just hung out at home.  For dinner we went out to Fatty Dab's, a burger and shake place that is delicious.  I've been really into shakes recently, and I justify it by claiming I need lots of calcium.  The major accomplishment this week has been transitioning Benjamin from using a straw cup for milk to drinking out of an open-top cup.  We have a bunch of kids cups from Ikea, and he gets to pick a color each time, which is fun.  The first night was rough, he didn't want to do it, but I knew that I was late getting him to drink from a "normal" cup, so we just plowed ahead.  And now he doesn't complain, but he hasn't totally gotten the concept of tilting his head back to fully drain the cup.  Thomas or I will push his head back, but I'm sure he'll catch on sometime.  I think it will make life much easier when we're traveling around SC for vacation, not having to wash and dry the straw cups constantly.

Speaking of home leave, I can't believe it's April already!  And in just a couple months we'll be heading home.  I am so incredibly excited.  I'm also a little nervous, I really don't want to have any pregnancy complications on the plane or while we're home.  I just need to trust that God is good, and I don't have any control over it.  But I think I'll still order some compression stockings for the plane.

There is a dilemma I'm facing, about baby supplies.  We don't have an infant car seat or stroller anymore, I'd bought them used off of Craigslist for Benjamin and then sold them to friends before we left.  I guess I can buy new, but I have a hard time paying a lot of money for stuff that only gets used a short period of time.  I also need new bottles.  Some things, like the bouncy seat and exersaucer, we might be able to get out of storage, if we can bribe some friends in DC to deal with that hassle.  And I might see if we can borrow a lot from people here.  But the main thing, all of Benjamin's clothes, up to 18 months, are in storage too.  I really don't see the point of buying new stuff when we have boxes and boxes just sitting around.  We aren't going to DC over vacation, otherwise I'd love to paw through all of our stuff.  Argh.  Hopefully we can convince our friends who are moving back this summer to do it for us.

Anyway, I'm too much of a planner and I should just relax and chill out.  My other obsessive outlet is deciding which crazy range I want to put in our kitchen when we move back into our teeny duplex.  Right now I'm debating between a Viking and a Bluestar, since they both make a 24 inch gas range.  If anyone has thoughts about either, I'd love to hear them!