Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Make Ya Smile Tuesday ? {08}

So I sorta forgot yesterday. We have a short-term team from Canada staying with us and they all got in Sunday night/Monday morning. So it's been busy. I'm tired already. But I so love having people stay with us and there are three other little boys for my kiddos to play with so we're having a grand ole time.


Happy Tuesday to you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

things I will miss 2.0 {an ongoing series}

This weekend we said good-bye to our dearest friends here in Uganda.
It sucked.



I am overwhelmed with the kindness of God when I think back on these past two years and the bright light that my friendship with Kelly has been.
I will miss hanging out with Kelly and her boys. I will miss watching our boys tear around their house and being the three musketeers or Star Wars or Angry Birds characters. They all played so well together and I can even recall a time when we had to separate them or give time outs or anything. I will miss the ease and welcome we felt in their home to just be. I will miss sitting down in the dining room or living room with a cup of coffee and sharing our lives and the things God had been teaching us or the books we'd been reading or the music we'd been listening to.
I will miss the beauty of the drive home coming down the various hills and seeing the city and the cathedral with the sun glinting off the dome on top.
I will miss this wonderful friend and gift from God. I will miss this season of friendship and this "doing life" with someone who intimately understands exactly what I am going through. Oh we'll still be friends - but this next year with them in New Jersey and us in Canada, distance will alter the way our friendship looks.
When I ask the boys what they will miss about Uganda, they always say "Seth & Caleb!".
Yup. We'll miss you, Hallahans!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Make Ya Smile Monday {07}

Um, how adorable are these two?


- Watch More Funny Videos

Seriously, if you don't smile at that, well then, good luck to you!

Happy Monday, everyone! Also, check out this video of the current state of affairs in our home - nothing is safe now! Hide your wife! Hide your kids! {Or just your paperback books and tiny lego pieces, whatevs.}

Blaise crawls from Vanessa Strickland on Vimeo.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

7 months



Dear Blaise,

You are 7 months old! Amazing.

You continue to grow and change and learn new things all the time! You have entered the phase of learning to sit up on your own and have done so now many, many times. It started in your crib - I'd go in to get you up from a nap or in the middle of the night and you would be sitting up on your own! Then one day I actually saw you do it and it just continued. You get a very "I'm proud of myself" look on your face when you do it, even if you're crying in your crib when I see you.

You are learning to eat and like solids still. I admit, I haven't been very consistent with how often I feed you, but you eat rice porridge, mango {a very new favourite}, banana {not a fan}, avocado {used to like but now you very much DO NOT}, carrots, butternut squash and soon we'll try green beans and pumpkin.

You love the swing set outside. As soon as I go outside with you in my arms and walk toward the swings you start pumping your legs and breathing quickly in and out. It's very cute.

And you still love, love, love your brothers. They can both make you laugh like nobody else. It's SO adorable. Yesterday Noah was making you do the hugest belly laughs and I caught a bit of it on camera.

You love your Mama. You prefer me over pretty much anyone else except the other day when Uncle James {our lovely Ugandan friend} was here and you were completely happy and content in his arms even though it was your fussy time of the day. When I went to take you from Uncle James to feed you, you smiled and turned away back into his arms. You rejected me! I pretended to be offended, but really it was sweet that you love him so much. In fact, you are quite content with Ugandans holding you and interacting with you which they, of course, love and say it's because you are a true Ugandan.

You're still waking several times a night; sometimes to nurse, sometimes not. I don't get it. But your naps are usually pretty good. I can almost count on you taking two 1.5 hour naps a day. At least. So this is fantastic as you pretty much figured this out on your own. Now we just wait for you to get the nighttime sleeping down.

You are on the verge of crawling and will often get on your hands and knees and violently rock back and forth. You've only face-planted a couple of times and recover quickly.

Oh! And you've figured out how to pass things from one hand to the other which I think is adorable.

The other day I gave you mango and you LOVED it. When you had finished everything in the bowl, I said and signed to you, "All Done" and you wailed. So I thought I'd try to give you avocado if you were still hungry. When you got a spoonful in your mouth you started gagging and then you screamed and were really angry. Oh Blaise. You certainly know what you want.

This next month is going to be a fun one with lots of visitors and people in our home. I'm sure you'll love every minute of it as it will mean lots more attention for you and arms to hold you.

We love you, Blaise. I honestly can't imagine our family without you.

love
Mama

PS I am SO sad that your hair has officially "fallen". No more faux-hawk. No more Ugandan Crane hairdo. You're looking so much older and it was in your eyes so I attempted to give the front a bit of a trim. I'm not a fan of it, but then, I never am whenever any of my boys gets their hair cut.

watch Blaise grow!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Make Ya Smile Monday {06}

You know why I love funny gifs? It's because it's like getting to a funny part in a movie and rewinding it over and over and over again and laughing harder each time. Yes. I totally did that as a kid. Except with gifs you don't have to rewind!

Hope these make you laugh - if not, I hope you at least cracked a smile.


HILARIOUS. Quick thinking on throwing the printer out of the window to escape from the monster, buddy.


Poor cat. He'll never play the same.

Aaaand, if you haven't heard of this blog, you need to check it out. http://reasonsmysoniscrying.tumblr.com/ It's funny because it's true.

Happy Monday to you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

14 things I've learned about driving in Kampala

After about a year and a half of driving in Kampala, and on my way home with the kiddies today I was reflecting on things I've learned since driving here and I thought I would make a list for you to read in case you ever decide you'd like to come and drive here.

1. "The Arm" is magical and makes traffic stop. "The Arm" consists of waving your arm or getting your passenger to wave their arm out the window you are turning or merging with traffic. People respect and abide by the arm. The turning signals are useless.
2. Flashing the high beams is almost as magical. You can flash your high beams at someone coming in the opposite direction if you want to turn in front of oncoming traffic. They will usually slow to let you pass in front of them.
3. People probably aren't honking at you. They just honk a lot. They honk as they illegally pass you to let you know they're coming. they honk if they see you about to turn onto the street they're driving on to tell you they're coming and don't turn out just yet {this is most commonly done by boda drivers}. Taxi drivers {public transport vehicles that are like large vans} will honk upon coming to an area where they usually pick people up from.
4. Don't ever drive in a straight line. You will probably hit a pothole.
5. Don't give the police your drivers licence from your home country. Give them your international drivers licence and have a copy of your home drivers licence on hand to give. If they are going to issue you a ticket, they take your licence and you have to go pay the bill and show a receipt at the police station to get it back. Better to hang onto that puppy. Unless they specifically ask to see it.
6. LeftSide! STRONGSIDE! LeftSide! STRONGSIDE! {ie. stay on the left side of the road. If you are just starting to drive here, you may need to repeat this to yourself over and over again. Especially when pulling out to make a right hand turn.}
7. The bigger car usually has the right of way. You can get all aggressive and try and beat them to an opening, but it's usually better not to risk it.
8. That car isn't cutting you off. He's just driving. You gotta take a mile if you're given an inch. It's how they roll here.
9. Never trust the turn signal.
10. Just assume that nobody knows how to properly drive through a roundabout and just make your way in when it seems like there's a gap or a friendly person has let you in.
11. Just assume that nobody knows how to approach a traffic intersection with the lights out. Cautiously approach the intersection and if possible, tag along with another car in front of you.
12. There are no lines on the road for a reason. In cases of traffic jams or other occurrences  a two lane road can easily become a three or four lane road.
13. You don't really need to treat boda drivers like you would treat motorcyclists. I think of them as flies. You wave your hand at them and they fly away.

That being said, there is a general flow to the traffic here. You get used to it and it doesn't seem so crazy.

Oh and the final thing I've learned about driving here is to never ask why someone just did what they did. You just have to shake your head, laugh {if you can} and move on.

This is Africa!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Make Ya Smile Monday {05}

Oh Monday. This morning I needed coffee. BAD. Except we had no milk. So I tried drinking my coffee black. FAIL. Why anyone does this, I cannot fathom. 

Thankfully Jamie was on Twitter and found a hilarious tweet from someone we both follow on Twitter. {When you get to the minivan tweet, you'll understand why we were both laughing.}


Today I am thankful for @prodigalsam for making my Monday a little brighter.

Friday, April 5, 2013

things I will miss {an ongoing series}

I've starting compiling in my head and on paper, a list of things I will miss about living here in Kampala.

Right now a storm has just rolled in. I'm hit with that incredibly powerful, heady smell of warm rain hitting dry soil. The temperature drops slightly as winds blow through our open-windowed house. The sound of the rain is so much louder than I'm used to in Canada because of the type of roof we have. It's not exactly corrugated metal, but it's no Canadian {insulted and quiet} roof, either. I love it. Right now the rain falls steadily, but it's not overpowering. Yet. The boys are scared of it. {These same boys are now outside as it storms even harder, with thunder and pounding rain. They frolic about in the deep puddles as if it's not at all scary. Strange children.} I tell them it's a sound that I could fall asleep to and they look at me like I have three heads. Thunder is rolling around in the distance.

I love the rainy season.

I will definitely miss rainy season.

I love the birds here. The massive Marabou Stork with its ugly head, but impressive wing span. Just hanging out in the city. Eating garbage.
The "laughing birds", as I call them that hang out in our trees and tell jokes to each other and then trying to be the one who has the last laugh.
The ones with the long beaks with their black feathers that glisten with dark blues and purples if you watch them in the sun. They come and eat the bugs in our grass and then fly away when we stand by our window and clap really loudly.
The roosters that crow. All throughout the day. Silly roosters.
I hear the birds in the trees in our front and back yards and even if I am woken by them in the morning, it doesn't bother me like being woken by crows did back when I lived with my parents. {I hated those crows.} I will miss these birds.

Our view. I've written about our view before. But it's a glorious, amazing, blessing of a view that we get to wake up and look outside and see this.


to be continued....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

april THREE

I almost forgot to take the boys' picture today. Then I looked at the calendar on my computer and realized I get to take another picture of my three boys. I honestly love these monthly pictures and enjoy looking back on the pictures I started taking of them last year!


This is in our backyard {or maybe I should just say it's the part of our yard that's located behind our house since our whole yard is fenced in} under our very own mango tree. I have never seen a mango on this tree, nor eaten one from it although that would have been nice. But the boys, the big boys that is, like climbing it. It's their "climbing tree".


Jamie is taking Noah and Jude to a showing of Madagascar 3 at MishMash tonight under the stars! They're super excited and I think it'll be a fun time for them with Jamie. Some fun "guys time".


We had a good Easter weekend. Very low key and chill. We read the Easter story, watched a cartoon version of Passion week {on Good Friday} and Resurrection {on Easter Sunday} and the boys had some good questions. There was no candy or egg hunt at our house although we did participate in a small egg hunt at MishMash on Monday and the kids were just as thrilled to be searching for laminated paper eggs than to be finding candy. Note to self - don't bother with the candy next year.

On the third of every month I take pictures of my three boys. See past monthly pictures here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

teething and baby food hack

Okay so I'm not really sure if this is a "hack" per se, but I've always wanted to do a hack and since I'm not super handydandy and can turn an IKEA product into something amazing, here's my best shot.

I think Blaise is teething. He's actually been quite a happy little guy for the past couple months and happier as the days go by. Until a couple days ago. So as a Mama to a baby, you can always blame it on teething. Regardless of the actual cause, it's teething.
And of course he could care less for Sophie or any other teething toy we have, preferring our knuckles or fingers or his toes.
Today I opened our fridge, peeled a carrot, washed it with previously boiled water and then handed the still-cold carrot to Blaise.


Success! He gnawed and licked and drooled all over that carrot like it was the best thing since sliced bread {of which he has no knowledge of, of course}.


And when he got bored or tired enough that I thought he needed a nap, I just rinsed off the carrot, stuck it back in the fridge and gave it back to him this afternoon.


And when you think the carrot has reached its limit, chop it up, boil it until tender, and then blend/mash it to the desired baby food consistency. Voila! A teether and baby food all in one!

*Please do not leave your baby unattended with a carrot and watch to make sure s/he doesn't bite off any little bits. I did not have any issues with Blaise biting off bits, but please make sure to watch your baby.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Make Ya Smile {04}

This isn't a new video, but man is it FUNNY! I'm not sure about you, but I can be easy to scare {just ask my husband or siblings}. But it's definitely funnier if someone other than me is getting scared, that's for sure.

Happy Easter Monday to you!



Oh and April Fools! {What an appropriate video. *pats self on the back*}
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