Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Congratulations Jeremiah!

It's official! Jeremiah is a U.S. citizen. We received the passport today. We're very excited!!!
To celebrate, we're having an American dinner: BLTs and broccoli salad. Actually, that's what we were having for dinner today anyway, it just happened to fit...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jeremiah's Buddy

For this week's Meet-and-Greet Monday, we'd like to introduce you to one of Jeremiah's buddies. Dylan is the son of Leah Law (the preschool director here). I met them when I first student taught here, and Daniel met them when we moved down. They're an important part of our life here, and we consider them family (Leah is Jeremiah's "Aunt" and Dylan is his "cousin"). We get together with the Laws at least once a week (for our Tuesday night dinners-along with Regan), and enjoy spending time with them. Dylan loves Jeremiah and is very good with babies. We had fun with Dylan on our recent trip to Monte Cristi (picture below).

Jeremiah's First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year started out with cinnamon rolls at Leah's house. Next, we went to the school to play some football. Afterward, we ran home (literally; Leah took Jeremiah and Daniel and I jogged home), finished baking our food, and went to Leah's for a small Thanksgiving dinner that included Leah, Dylan, Karen, Regan and his parents, and us. After dinner we relaxed and watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.

From there, we went home, fed Jeremiah, and joined the large gathering (JCS people and others) for dessert. Then, we went home and packed for the weekend. The next day, we started off on our trip to Monte Cristi with Regan and his parents, and Dylan. We spent two nights camping on the beach and being eaten by bugs. The area of Monte Cristi is very different than the rest of the D.R. It is very dry and has a lot of low shrubs and cacti. Around our campsite it was rocky, and not very "beachy." Highlights include: a short but very enjoyable hike, hanging by the pool of a nearby hotel, cooking fish and other yummy food over the fire, playing games, and seeing beautiful views (like the sun setting over the ocean and the full moon rising-not over the ocean). It was an adventure, and we came back with lots of bug bites, but it was enjoyable, even so. :)
Monte Cristi
Peterson Fam at JCS Fall Festival
Jeremiah and the Fall Fairies at the JCS festival

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Pumpkin-farmer boy (and the rest of his family).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Exercising with Baby

I enjoy exercising. But, I don't want to sacrifice baby nap time to do it. The solution- exercise with the baby. While I was pregnant, I exercised using a pregnant moms dance exercise video. I really enjoyed it, and looked into videos of exercises I could do with Jeremiah. I discovered the Mambo Moms exercise video. I enjoy doing it, and it calms him down and puts him to sleep. He loves doing the floor exercises with me. I use my new Ergo Baby Carrier to do the video, but any baby carrier would work. It's great to exercise and "play" with Jeremiah at the same time. But of course, if you're looking for a free way to exercise with your baby, turn on some music and dance! Or, go for a nice walk. Here's a page to find some strength exercises that can be done with baby (the exercises for mom are near the end of the PDF).

More "Works For Me Wednesday" Posts here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Teething Time

Jeremiah is teething! We realized this when he started putting his mouth on everything possible and drooling. Then we discovered that when he wasn't sucking... he was bitting! Poor boy... he's so good-tempered, but is not very happy when his gums are hurting. I tried his teethers today, and he didn't want them. When I gave him my finger, he bit down so hard that it hurt. I'm not sure what else to try...

Misc. Pics
Jermiah the Indian

You can't tell, but Jeremiah's sleeper says, "Taylor" on it. (as in the University) Regan got it for him over the summer.
Check out other meet and greet posts.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Corned Beef

I meant to post on this sooner, but hadn't gotten around to it.

Our first year here, Daniel and I really wanted corned beef for Saint Patrick's day. However, we are unable to buy it here. So, last year we decided to corn our own beef. It worked well! We used a recipe, but didn't follow it exactly. This year, we corned some more beef, this time to use in reuben sandwiches. Here's how we corned the beef:

We bought about 3 1/2 pounds of a beef roast and cut it into large chunks. Then, we put the raw meat cuts into a large, ziplock bag and rubbed them well with about 1/2 Cup (or a little more) of non-iodized salt. We added a few tablespoons brown suger, some black pepper corns, allspice, thyme, sage, paprika, a few bay leaves, a chopped onion, chopped carrot, and a chopped celery. We put the bag of meat in the fridge with something heavy on top (so the juice runs freely). Then, every day for the first few days, we would massage the bag to make sure all the meat gets cured. After 2-3 weeks, (we waited 3), we took out the meat and put it in fresh cold water to rinse out the salt. We did this a few times (using new water), so we could rinse away as much salt as possible. Then, we cooked the meat in water with more onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and some garlic. It cooked for a few hours. If you want a corned beef meal, you can also throw in some potatoes and cabbage, and lots of peppercorn (while cooking), and eat it as is, but we took the beef and made reuben sandwiches using rye bread (we had bought from the north shore and frozen), saurkraut, home-made thousand island dressing, and white cheese (alas, we could not find swiss, but we will try again next time- which happens to be tonight). We decided to make open face sandwiches. Some time we will try to make our own saurkraut, because we also had to buy it at the north shore (not a lot of options in Jarabacoa). We froze the leftover beef to use for future meals (some of which we will be eating tonight).

So then, for the pics:

Cooking the beef

The reubens

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Itty Bitty Baby

Here's a video we wanted to post a while back but it never seemed to work. What a difference 3 months makes!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dancing Jeremiah

Jeremiah loves to dance! The music coming is not coming from our house- it's coming from the house across the street. And no, I didn't fall asleep very quickly because it was playing until at least 11:00.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Get in the Game

Today during church, our pastor spoke about "getting in the game." Unfortunately, I was out feeding Jeremiah during the sermon, but Daniel took notes for me and shared it with me, and I really appreciated the analogy our pastor made. He spoke from Hebrews 12:1-2.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. "

He talked about how many Christians, though they are on the team, sit on the sidelines and don't actually "play the game." He stressed that Christianity is not a spectator sport. As long as we're not involved, satan isn't threatened by us, but as soon as we involve ourselves, we are a threat. He describes the "great cloud of witnesses" like a hall of fame, where we learn and grow from the lives they lived for Christ. We need to "run with perseverance" without the weight of sin. It is a marathon and our goal is to finish well. In order to do this we need to "fix our eyes on Jesus," and look ahead towards our goal, not behind us as we run. Finally, we need to realize that though we will face trials and pain in our life, it is only temporary, and the hope of Heaven gives us joy. (This is the part I came back in for) Just as Jesus had joy in spite of the pain of the cross, and woman who are in labor suffer pain, but then such joy from having the child, our earthly pain in temporal, and our joy is everlasting!

Our visit to the U.S.

Changing Jeremiah in the park

Some building in the park

So, on Friday, we visited the United States... for about 2.5 hours. Ok, so it was just the U.S. Embassy, but it was Jeremiah's first time on U.S. "soil." After waiting 2.5 hours, we had our interview (which lasted about 5 minutes), and were told that the passport should arrive in a few weeks! Yay! We're going home for Christmas! Afterwards, we went to the Colonial Zone (where Christopher Columbus established the first city, and built the first church in the New World). We ate, did Christmas shopping, and walked around. Jeremiah got to eat/was changed in: the U.S. embassy, a restaurant, a store, and the park around the old fortress. And only the U.S. embassy had a changing table in the bathroom. Ah, the joys of traveling with a baby. :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy 3 months, Jeremiah! (yesterday)

And what an incredible 3 months it's been! Here's a picture of Jeremiah only a few days old, and still in the hospital. I was trying to post this with a video yesterday, but it has not been working. Argggg! We'll get the video up when we can.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Want to turn your Christmas Upsidedown?

I prefer my trees right-side up. But, if you really want an upside down Christmas tree, it's "only" $299... that's less than $300!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Meet Jeremiah: The Pool Baby

On Sunday we decided to have a family fun day.

First, we went to church.

Then we had lunch, and I slept.

My first attempt getting in the water was very unsuccessful, but the second time I was happy to be in it (the water was chilly-even to Mommy!).

Later, Daddy held me in the water. The neighbors were playing 80's music.

I posed for a "cool baby" photo.

Then Mommy dried me off and I giggled and smiled.

For more Meet and Greet, go to The Natural Mommy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Baby Products and Chemicals

So, my mom sent me a link to an article about possible dangers of baby personal care products. I didn't think much about it at first, because the article isn't very specific, but then I decided to look into it a bit more. As I researched on the internet, I realized how many skin care products contain chemicals that are not good for human use. I don't know why I never questioned in the past the chemicals that I put on my skin everyday. I have allergies, and I never thought about the possibility that my worsening allergies may be due to things I use everyday. Even more, it made me think about the products I use on Jeremiah. Why did I not think that putting talc or mineral oil on him might not be a good thing? Now, I don't want to be an over-obsessive mother, but I don't like the thought of using un-necessary, harmful chemicals on him on a regular basis. In my searching, I found a great website that rates many different products, lists the ingredients, and why certain ingredients are harmful (ex. found to do (fill in the blank) when tested in high doses, or found to do (blank) when tested in low doses, etc.). It's a very helpful website to find products that are less harmful. My question is, how does one afford these products because, just as the tendency is with health food, the healthier products are generally more expensive than the unhealthy ones? When I massage him I can use vegetable oil (better anyways because it's edible and he often sticks his hand in his mouth) and cornstarch on hot days or at night to prevent heat rash (he gets very sweaty). But, any recommendations for inexpensive safe diaper rashes (he gets a little in one area if we don't use diaper rash cream), baby wash, suntan lotion, etc?
I also want to look into better products for myself that I use daily (certain things every one in a while I don't think will be too bad). My allergies have worsened over the years and my use of lotions, body sprays, etc. have increased. I don't know if there's a corollation, but it's worth looking into. I have an aloe plant I sould take advantage of, and I have 100% cocoa butter, and Vitamin E oil.
Any thoughts? Do any of you use natural products?
Another helpful website.
(note: The website with the ratings also rates the health and protection of sunscreen products)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Last night some of our teachers put on a halloween party. There were great costumes and yummy food (and some American candy!). Here a pic; go here for more Halloween pics and other random Jeremiah pictures.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

So, we were going to have loaded baked potatoes for dinner. But, baked potatoes take such a long time (at least in our oven) and we didn't feel like waiting that long. So, we decided to do loaded mashed potatoes instead, and since we don't peel the potatoes for mashed potatoes, they took less time. On top of the potatoes we put chicken (already grilled, from the freezer), broccoli (also pre-frozen), tomatoes, peppers, and homemade cheese sauce. It was yummy. :)