Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Protecting and Growing our Marriage

When my husband and I were first married, we decided right away that we would pray for our marriage every day. We spend some time together in prayer in the mornings (sometimes while holding a crying child), but what I want to share right now is an evening ritual that works for us. Before we go to bed, we share with each other our struggles and trials of the day, as well as our confessions. Then we prayer for each other. Not only does it draw us together in further intimacy, but it forces us to reconcile if we are holding anything against the other (and it forces us to admit our part in it, instead of complaining about what the other did). By sharing our personal confessions, it also makes us realize our own part in problems of the day, instead of blaming it on others (for example, even if my son has been whiny and grumpy how I react toward him is my responsibility). Sometimes this time is only 10 minutes, sometimes it is longer. But since we've made the commitment to do this we make sure it happens, even when my husband is staying up later than me to work on grad school. It has taught us how to be accountable to each other and reminds us to make Christ the center of our marriage.
What are some things you do to protect and grow your marriage? I would love to hear your suggestions!
Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me tips.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Meet: My kitchen helper

Cooking Tips from Chef Jeremiah

Don't try to cook with your eyes closed (things like this could happen).
However, sometimes mistakes turn into new fads, like this potato-masher leg bracelet

Shoes can be a very important part of culinary art (so long as you remember to cook barefoot)

Raw potatoes do not taste good.

Two potatoes are better than one, but...

...you can't fit two potatoes in your mouth (but it's worth trying anyways)

Don't mess with the chef!
and, most importantly,

Never forget to enjoy your food and make as big a mess as possible!

And for those of you who aren't the cooks of the family, make sure you give your cook a big kiss of thanks!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Da-da and Bwha-bwha

Da-da, of course, is Daniel. And Bwha-bwha, is me. He's been making the da-da-da noise for a while now, but it was just recently that we could tell he actually understands who "Da-da" is. Yesterday when Daniel walked in the room he excitedly cried, "Da!" He tries to say, "ma-ma," but everytime he tries it comes out, "bwha-bwha." It's a similar lip motion, and since he tries to mimic our lips, that's what he gets. Today when we tried to put him down for a nap, he was happily playing. However, he soon got bored with that, and started yelling. We heard a very distinct, "Bwha-bwha!" "Da-da!" and then, "A, a, a, a." It was cute. But then he started getting mad. That wasn't so cute. So much for the nap (he was off his normal nap schedule today -already had 2 naps in the carrier- so we decided we wouldn't force it if he wasn't tired).

Other milestones of interest- he can stand in his crib (with it all the way down) and his pack and play. He is very close to crawling (he can crawl a little on our bed).

And for some random pics (these are pre-haircut):





Friday, April 25, 2008

Eggs for Dinner

In an attempt to find more ways to save money, as the price of food continues to rise, I've looked into finding more meat alternatives. One thing we've done is made a "Dominican night" every Wednesday. This often means beans as our source of protein, though not always, as I love Dominican chicken too! Another thing we've done is to have an egg night. Once a week I try to make a meal with eggs as the protein source. Of course, we could just do breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, omlets, etc.), but I would get a little bored with that every week. So, we've looked into creative egg meals. We've made fried rice, tomoato poached eggs (and threw in some beans), bean egg soup, egg curry, and this week we're having Brazilian Quiche. Eggs are easy to throw in soups, salads, rice, etc.. either scrambled or hard-boiled. We've also done potato/veggie skillets with dippy eggs on top (which I guess is a breakfast thing). All this to say, eggs are a great, frugal protein substitue to meat (when you consider the cost of 1-2 eggs per person compared to meat prices). If you have any other yummy egg recipes, I would love to try them out. :)
For more frugal tips, see Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandmas!

First, a Happy, Happy Birthday and Feliz Cumpleaños to Grandma Dee, whose birthday was Tuesday, April 22!

Reading the sign, to make sure everything's spelled correctly

Jeremiah picked purple paper and pretty markers for mommy to use.

Mmmm... tastes good too. Happy Birthday!


Wait, where'd it go?




And a Happy, Happy Birthday and Feliz Cumpleaños to Nonna Linda, whose birthday is tomorrow, April 25!


Jeremiah picked yellow paper and different pretty markers for Nonna.


Happy Birthday!

He's very excited!

And also very mischievous

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kermes

I tried to post this yesterday, but the pictures didn't want to upload...


This year for our the theme of Kermes- our school carnival- was a "Hawaiian" theme. It started at 11:00 Sunday morning (I walked there with Jeremiah, Daniel had to go earlier). It was well planned including games, raffles, food, a bake sale, and a candy shop. Many students, staff, (and others) dressed for the theme. We just happened to have a hand-me-down Hawaiian outfit for Jeremiah. The carnival was going very well when suddenly, it started raining. Now, it rains every year for Kermes. Other years it just sprinkled, or rained near the end, but not this year. Half way through, the rain came. And the wind. And things blew over. And we all huddled in the comedor or hallways. Jeremiah thought it was great; suddenly, he was in the middle of lots of people! As the wind calmed, they began the giveaway for the raffles, since that could be done under cover from rain. I had fun and am thankful that it was sunny for at least half of Kermes, as it's been raining a lot lately.
As far as the storm went, apparently there was a tornado in La Vega (a nearby city), which explains the severeness of the storm. (Although it sounds like it was really linear winds and not a funnel.)
Okay, now for the part that really matters...




The candy shop



The comedor



Games


(look, they even brought in palm trees to make it really feel Hawaiian!




The sawdust dig

Our family




Daddy kisses!


Discovering glass windows


I can see daddy; why can't I touch him?




Nice nose.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Food musings

I was reading Beth's recipe swap the other day (check it out!) This edition was on toddler food. Now, I don't have a toddler yet, but I will soon and I liked the ideas I saw, so I bookmarked it to go back to sometime in the near future. However, talking with Daniel about it got me thinking. In the Dominican Republic, there's really no such thing as "toddler food," especially among those who live in poverty. Babies and toddlers eat what their parents eat. Now, I know toddlers even in the States do this for the most part, but here, many baby's first food is beans. If I were Dominican, Jeremiah (at 8 months) would most likely be eating rice and beans, Sancocho, fried platanos, etc. by now (from my plate). I don't think either way is "wrong," or "right," but it's interesting to think about. Many Dominicans have wondered why I don't just feed him what I'm eating (which I'll do soon, just not yet), and one tried to give him some orange-oatmeal juice a few weeks ago (which, thankfully, he spit out, as I'm trying to introduce foods gradually, especially citrus fruits). Once again, it may not be "right" or "wrong," but it's an interesting cultural difference.

Baby Musings

Wow, is Jeremiah growing up fast! He looks more and more like a little boy every day. I was lamenting last night how much I miss holding him close without him pushing me away in order to find something to play with. It's ironic- he's beginning to go through the separation anxiety phase, yet is so active he doesn't want to be snuggled with as often. He'll cry to be held, but then squirm so much I have difficulty holding him when I pick him up. Sigh. Where did my baby go? And yet, part of me rejoices as he grows and develops each day. Isn't that what motherhood's about? Yearning for them to stay with you, yet training and equipping them to leave you. And I know this is just the beginning.
As far as other Jeremiah news goes, he loves to sit and stand. He still hasn't crawled yet, but I think he's close to it. His two bottom teeth are continuing to come it, making him slightly crabby. Yesterday we had Kermes (the school carnival- more on that to come later). Jeremiah did so well. He was happy to be around lots of people, took a nap with his daddy in the carrier, and hardly fussed. (Praise the Lord!) We was also adorable.
As far as food goes, Jeremiah continues to eat well. We just recently introduced him to tayota (or chayote in other Hispanic countries) (somewhere in between and fruit and a vegetable). I used it to make "applesauce" (3 tayotas and 1 apple). Apples here are expensive (I could buy 6-8 tayotas or 2 mangos for the price of an apple). He seemed to like it. He ate it anyway.He love to eat! (And play with the bowl)

Hanging out (note the doggy with him)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jeremiah's First Haircut

Jeremiah was happy and smiley for his first haircut.

All ready!

"Before"

Isn't he a cutie? (Don't look at me- I look evil. I'm really just smiling.)

Watching the parakeet

All done- what a little boy!

"After"

And for the video...

video

As for other news, his second tooth has just appeared; his first started showing on Friday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Meet our House!

Going up the stairs to the house

To the left of the house

The front yard

Looking into the living room/front room (couch waiting to be finished)

Looking out of the living room (front door to the right) , into the entry way and, past that, into the dining room

Our messy kitchen

The "dining room"

Our bedroom (yeah, we need to buy more paint and finish it)

Baby room (happily, it was already painted with a bright yellow wall- perfect for a winnie the pooh room)

Backyard with our family pool (a baby present)

The swing set- it was here when we moved in

Clothes line and a dog house (dog house was also already here)

Our gazebo

My birthday present from Daniel (clearance, online :) )

Other nice things about our house: a small service bar between the kitchen and the dining room; two full baths that actually have mirror/cabinets, and one also has an under the sink cabinet (no more plastic shelves!); toilet paper dispensers (no more tp rolling around the bathroom); drawers in the kitchen; and (gasp) shelves in the closets (I never thought that would excite me so much)
Sorry, no pics of the spare room, it is currently be used as a junk "storage" room until we are all unpacked.