Thursday, January 24, 2013


So thankful to have our passports and to those who prayed! And now to finish packing...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

missionaries aren't perfect

Most days it's weird to think of myself as a missionary.

You see, I grew up in a church that had many missionaries coming and going. My piano teacher ended up moving with her family {4 little kids at the time!} to Malawi. But for some reason I had this idea that missionaries are...better than the rest of us. Somehow different than "normal" people. Here's the deal, though. They aren't. I mean, we aren't. We're normal. We mess up. We swear {well, some of us do.}. We lose our cool and skip quiet times and have days {months?} when we don't feel close to Jesus.

Today I was having one of those days.

We're going to Spain {for the same conference as we went to last year} on Friday morning {like 3am. Yikes.}. Well, technically we have plane tickets to Spain. Whether we're going or not is still not certain. You see, we don't actually have our passports. They're currently at the immigration offices here in Kampala. Where they've been since August. I kid you not.
And after paying over $500 in "fees" {due to their inefficiency in processing Jamie's work permit} I expected to have our passports like 4 months ago and the only worry in my mind would be whether I had packed enough diapers. A bit of a fool's hope.
We were told we'd have our passports by today. Jamie went to the immigration offices today and after talking to multiple people was told to come back tomorrow. Oh and apparently our lawyer was "surprised" to find out that we are leaving on Friday. Even though Jamie told him several times.
When Jamie came back without our passports I had very unsavory thoughts go through my mind toward Uganda and the system and the people.

What am I even doing here?

Anyway, it's frustrating. But it is what it is. And the thing is, Jesus is not surprised by any of this. So we continue to trust in His goodness. Regardless of whether we miss our flight or not.
But I really, really, really want to go to Spain. So that's what I'm praying for. Because with the ants and cockroaches and rats and mice and the heat and the inefficiency of things here {oh and possible bed bugs}...I need a break. Because I'm normal too. I'm nothing special. But He is.

Friday, January 18, 2013

those words

Three kids is totally pwning {I'm stuck in 2010 apparently} Jamie and I. Seriously. I don't feel depressed or unhappy, but I am tired. Kinda like I'm treading water. Trying to keep my head above water. The difference is, I'm treading water with my best friend.
I don't think I can say/type it enough; I am beyond thankful to have had Jamie on parental leave for December and January. BEYOND thankful.

Now I'm not much of a swearer. I've never really been one to use a curse word - except for that rebellious phase I went through in grade 3 when I felt the need to use every swear word I knew at recesses. But I digress...
Since Blaise has been born, a dark side of me has been revealed. I swear. I'm like Joe Pesci's character from Home Alone when he's muttering "frickin' frackin'" after getting knocked upside the head. Except I'm not saying "frickin' frackin'". I'm saying the real thing. Usually at night. Usually when Blaise won't sleep. Liiiiiike last night. Froooooooom 12:30-4:30am. Awesome, right? WRONG. It was not awesome. It sucked.
But I held my proverbial shit together and actually managed to lightly doze amid the fussing/complaining/crying/hollering done by my youngest instead of getting angry or frustrated. Jamie got up and surfed the internet for a bit. Eventually I fed him {again - do not be fooled. The child was not hungry. Just...anti-sleep.} and he finally settled.
I don't swear around my kids {not the ones who understand, that is. *cough*} and just adequately communicates how I'm feeling. And then I'm over it. And sometimes I laugh at myself. It relieves a bit of tension.
I have a bunch of friends who swear. And ones I know would never swear {and might be aghast to hear that I do...?}
I've been thinking about words and swear words and what will happen when our kids go to school next year in Canada and how they'll be exposed to many ideas and thoughts and ... words. And I remembered reading a blog post about how these parents sat down with their school-aged child and wrote out every swear word they could think of and then explained {generally} them to their child. So that they could hear it from their parents. So that the whole stigma of those words would be lessened. Perhaps so that their child could see that there's nothing magical about them, but that we have a responsibility with the words that come out of our mouths. I've thought about what we'll do when the time comes for Noah and Jude to go to school. Right now we have rules like "We don't say stupid or shut up in our family." And I've explained to them that not every family has those rules, so some kids might say them because they don't have that rule in their family. But that if they are being said in a hurtful way, they can tell that person that those words aren't nice and they shouldn't use them that way {instead of saying, "We don't say stupid in our family." since that child isn't in our family.} And we've talked about how we have the power to use our words to be kind and loving or to hurt people and make them feel bad and that once our words come out of our mouths, we can't take them back.

But I'm not perfect. And I mess up. And I've learned/learning to apologize quickly to my kids. It's been hard, though because that wasn't ever really modeled to me as a child. But I want to model humility to my kids. That if I can and need to ask for forgiveness, then maybe they can and need to as well.

So. Swearing. I don't want it to creep into my every day vernacular. But I do swear. Sometimes. And not in front of my kids {that they can hear}.

So I have to ask, do you swear? Does your family have rules about which words you can and can't use? What are those rules based on? Are you offended that I confessed my recent development in swearing? Do you make up alternate swear words? {If so, read this. HILARIOUS.}

Thursday, January 17, 2013

4 months

Dear Blaise,

You are 4 months old! One third of a year old. How did that even happen?
As I type this, I have briefly rocked you but then put you down in your crib still awake, but sleepy. You are falling asleep on your own. Sometimes. Oh sleep. The theme of this month. The theme of every month.

We started {again} doing some sleep training trying to help you fall asleep on your own at night. You are doing pretty well but I am a far cry from the Mama of your older brother - strict and by the book. I go in to help you multiple times - usually just to pop the soother back in and shush you for a bit until you quiet down. Slowly-by-slowly you will get there. I know one day I will wake up and have slept more than 3.5 consecutive hours. Or maybe that's just a dream. Lately I've just given up and have nursed you whenever you've woken up which usually ends up being every 3ish hours. Whatevs.

Your hair is getting taller {longer?} and it stills garners the most comments from strangers when we do happen to go out and about.
You weigh 16lbs5oz and handled your immunizations yesterday like a champ. You are wearing 3-6 & 6 month onesies but 9 month sleepers! I think it's because you're so long. You're somehow a combination of your brothers - bulkier {husky as Old Navy calls it I think} like Noah was as a baby, but also still really long like Jude was.

You can roll both ways! You are always twisting around and rolling around in your crib - preferring to sleep on your left side {as we are now officially swaddle-free!}. I was reading a breastfeeding book and the fact that you prefer this and it brings you the most comfort, makes me wonder if you have a slight case of reflux. You are definitely a spitter. This morning was no exception {this picture was taken first thing and already, less than 2 hours later, you are wearing a different outfit. Much thanks goes out to my dear friend Jen Hill for the adorable bow tie.} but I make it a rule to always have a receiving blanket with me when I pick you up. But back to the rolling. You will be sitting up and then crawling and then walking before I know it. You are a mover, that much is clear. You LOVE being on your tummy and think it's play time when you're on your tummy despite me hoping that sleeping on your belly might help you sleep better. Oh well.

You are now reaching out for things and grabbing toys, bringing them to your mouth and gnawing away on them. You often will clasp your hands together and often do this when trying to soothe yourself to sleep. Sucking on your soother, hands clasped together in front of you. It's cute.

You are a soother baby. I think the soother is sticking around. It helps you fall asleep and while you like sticking your hands in your mouth, I think it's less soothing and more exploratory for you. I can't wait until you can reach around in your crib yourself and find it and stick it back in your mouth when it falls out.

You are already watching us as we put things in our mouths. Seriously. Already!?! You will be ready for solids in a couple months. I'll hold off until at least 6 months, but it might be tough with the way you watch us and mimic the way we move our mouths when we chew.

Your face lights up into a huge smile when you first glimpse your brothers. You love your brothers and are always trying to be in the best position to watch their crazy antics.

We are going to Spain in 1 week and I am so excited! I think you are going to LOVE it and love being pushed around in a stroller. I'm hoping for a smooth transition with the time difference {only an hour I think} not that you are sleeping through the night or giving me anything more than 3.5 hours at a time {really? Are you trying to kill me or something?}. It's a good thing you're so stinkin' cute.

You are babbling. I adore your babbles. And you love talking away to me on your change table while grabbing your toes. I love it when babies find their toes/feet and you are no exception. You will grab on and just chatter away. Adorbs.

You've recently gone {still going through?} through a growth spurt, wanting to nurse every 2-2.5 hours at points during the day. You, my little Blazer, are my most difficult baby but we are surviving. Your Daddy and I are becoming a stronger team as we have moved from man-to-man to zone defense. You and your brothers are giving us a run for our money, but we love you so so so much and can't imagine you  not in our family.

I love you.

watch Blaise grow!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

three on the fifth - oops

I take pictures of my boys on the third of each month. You can view past months here.

It seems like just yesterday {that's so cliche, isn't it?} that I started taking pictures of my boys on the second. And so we begin a new year and I'm off to a fabulous start by posting this two days after the third. Oh well. I'm really going to try to not forget February's picture like I did last year and that will make up for it. Right?
And now we're on the third with another Wild Thing to add to our family.
Check out how much my boys have grown with last year's picture! Amazing.

We let the boys watch cartoons all morning. It's Saturday. And ... a certain pair of grown ups did not go to bed early enough. So they were tired.

We had leftover pizza for lunch. It's also on the menu for dinner today. 

Apparently this is how we smile in our family. Seconds after this, Blaise spit up.  
And breaking news, Blaise likes watching Baby Einstein. This could be revolutionary for fussy periods. {Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.}
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

new years eve in pictures

- star wars episode VI; the boys watched it {and loved it} for the first time!

- roasting hot dogs!

- handsome. oh and the baby's pretty cute, too.

- homemade hummus and pita chips. {so good! and apparently Jude's favourite!}

- s'mores pre-marshmallow. the boys first time having them. shockingly they weren't that keen on them. I think they were too stickity-messy. Oh well. Oh and Jude burnt his hand on the bbq. It's not a real bbq until someone gets burnt. Or something.

No more pictures were taken after this, but that doesn't mean we stopped having fun! No sir, our celebrations included about a 15 minute discussion on what movie to watch once the boys were in bed {Anger Management was decided upon and enjoyed} and then a lively game of Wizard that took us until 2:30am. We almost missed midnight! We could see a lot of fireworks from our hill and decided to wake up Noah and Jude to see them. It was sweet and they loved it.
And in classic Ugandan style, power went out about 5 minutes after midnight and we spent the last 16 hours without power. It's how we roll here. Bringing in the new year with no power.

Blaise was up at 6:30am but thankfully went back to sleep until 9, but Noah and Jude were up and at 'em by 7am. Coffee, anyone?
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