Sunday, February 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Ella!

February 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Ella! It is her four month birthday today. I can’t believe she is getting so big! Wow…she is already rolling over (a lot! And right off of couches!!) and can almost sit up by herself. She coo’s a lot and it pretty noisy when she wants to be. We bought her a new little toy, one of those activity centers they can sit in. She really likes it, and its nice ‘cause it holds her up so she can look around. It was only $20, too! I bought it off a girl here…it worked out nicely!

Anyway, this weekend was pretty fun. Friday night was “Bunko Night” with the Spouses Organization. It’s this game that you roll dice with. It was very fun! There were only about 12 girls that showed up, but it was still really nice. They had food all set up, and then we played for about three hours. I didn’t win anything, but it was still fun. Tom went over to Derick’s and they watched the kids while Megan and I were gone. Tom said that Ella cried for half an hour or so. I always feel so bad when I hear that! I don’t know what to do, though! Sometimes I just need a little break from her, but then I feel bad when I come back and Tom is ready to strangle her! Babies can be such a pain!! Oh well, hopefully it will get better…we’ll have to wait and see.

Yesterday we went into town to pick up a package from Tom’s parents, which came! YAY! It had books, pepperoni, and baby onesies! It is like Christmas all over again getting those packages! After we picked that up, we went over to Ace to try and find a rug…but they’re pretty much a million dollars for anything bigger than a 2 x 3. I’ll try the 1-2-3-4 Store next week and see what I can find. I just want a big fluffy rug I can lay Ella on. She needs something to crawl around on, too. Tile isn’t very comfortable on your knees!

After we came back from town we went and picked up Ella’s new toy then went to the beach. We were there for a couple hours and the weather was just fabulous! We even took Ella in the water for a while and she only screamed when we first got in. I think it was a little cold for her. J Silly baby! There were very interesting people at the beach yesterday. There was a group of three guys, maybe in their 40’s, late 30’s? in little speedos walking around talking to all the girls. They had HUGE muscles, but in a gross way. It was pretty funny – they were quite the show. All the normal girls that saw them all were chuckling under their breaths, it was funny to watch their reactions. They were standing in line at Rosie’s Food Shack trying to talk to the other women in line. Every time I looked at them I couldn’t stop laughing! Very entertaining J

After the beach, you’ll never believe this…I went running with Tom. Yeah. Me! Running! Whudda thunk, right?! We put Ella in the stroller and ran about a mile. That is A LOT for me!! I was very proud of myself. I only had to walk a little bit. Tom pushed the stroller the whole way! I couldn’t believe it! The road we ran on had major hills, too! And he pushed it without stopping the whole way!! Wow…I definitely am not at that point yet. J Baby steps, though.

After that we got cleaned up and I made pizza for dinner: BBQ chicken pizza. It was pretty dang good. I don’t think we have any leftovers of that…I think Tom ate the rest of it while watching the Tennesse/Memphis basketball game.

Anyway, it’s time to get ready for church, so I should probably go. Plus, Ella is screaming at me. She was up aaaaaaallllllllllllll night……grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr………..

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Day!

February 18, 2008

What a busy, busy day!! WOW!! So this morning I got up early to take Tom to school. After I dropped him off, Ella and I got ready for our busy day! I left around 10:00 to pick up Amy. She goes grocery shopping with me and helps me with Ella. I don’t know how people go grocery shopping with babies by themselves!! Wow…Anyway, this was our day:

We went and got gas, then went to GEBE to pay our electricity and water bill. I had to go to the ATM to get cash (they only take cash…I swear…what decade do these people live in??) then waited in line FOREVER!! Holy cow…I think I waited in line for OVER an hour to pay my stupid bill. Then when I get up there, she says that it is $200.64. I give her $210. She asks if I have a smaller bill because its only 64 cents. I wanted the extra change so I would have some one’s for tipping. But she made me count out 64 cents, while I’m holding a screaming baby, and there is a huge line! So I’m counting nickels and dimes to get this stupid 64 cents! I was so irritated…by the time I finish and leave, the damn bridge is up! Amy meanwhile had gone to the post office and was just finishing when I was too, so I picked up Amy and by then the bridge was up…finally! So after that took forever and a day, we were on our way to Cost-U-Less. So we did our shopping there, then headed into ColeBay to go to the Grande Marche. On the way, we stopped at the Beauty Supply store for hair gel and hairspray. No, you can’t buy it at the grocery store. Yes, that is super annoying.

After that, we went to Grande Marche and did the rest of our grocery shopping. We couldn’t find basil anywhere, though, so that was kind of annoying. After the Grande Marche, we stopped by the pharmacy so I could buy sunscreen and pick up my prescription. Then we went to the Food Express to get hot dog buns and hamburger buns (no, they didn’t have them at either grocery store we had already been to). They didn’t have basil either. Then we drove home! It was all in all, a very busy day! We left at 10:00 and didn’t get home till after 2:30! Wow…such a pain. I just had enough time to go home, unload the groceries, take out the trash, and do the dishes before I had to go pick up Tom. SO BUSY! So now I am all stinky from sweating. It is hard to carry a baby around during all of this, change her diaper, and keep her fed and happy through all this ordeal. Wow. She was pretty good through most of us, except for the last 15 minutes of the line at GEBE and the ride home from dropping Amy off.

Also, at Cost U Less, they didn’t have the brand or size of diapers I was looking for, and at Grande Marche, they didn’t have the right brand. Grr… it gets irritating sometimes trying to time your purchases around their deliveries.

So now I am waiting for my chicken to thaw so I can make dinner. We are just sitting around for the rest of the evening, which is FINE BY ME!! J

Valentines Week!

February 15, 2008

Happy belated Valentines Day! This week has been super duper busy!! Monday, Tom had his first set of block exams. He studied SOOOOO much for them and it paid off! He got a 90% on his Histology exam, and mid 80’s on all his other ones! All his scores were above the class average – even the one he got an 85%, the class average was FAILING! Yeah…a little ridiculous if you ask me. To celebrate the finish of the first block, Tom, me, Ella, Eli, and Amy all went to the beach for a couple hours. It was pretty fun. Afterwards we went and had dinner with Ashley, her husband, and her kids at Marks. They had the BEST ribs! They’re all you can eat, too! We have decided that the restaurant food is here is mediocre at best, except for the ribs – they are faaaaaaaaantastic! Mmmm…ribs. After dinner, we went to this little club called Khush because they were having a big “End of Block” party thingie. It was kind of lame because we’re not drinkers. We stayed for a few minutes, then called it quits and went home to sleep! Tom was BEAT! I don’t blame him, taking tests AAAALLLLLLLLLL day can wear on anyone! Wow…

Tuesday we found out Tom’s scores, so that was exciting J Tom came home and took a nap, which was much deserved! That evening I was invited to a “Tips and Toes” party at Heather’s house. I went over and we did our fingernails and toenails. It was very fun! Those girls are very cute and super nice. I had a really good time, and now I have faaaaabulous toes! Yay for cute toenails!! Our car is acting up, though, which is super annoying. It keeps overheating and stuff, so we called Arthur to come fix it. He is picking it up on Thursday – cross your fingers that it gets done soon!

Wednesday was busy, too! I went out to lunch with a bunch of the girls at Toppers. The food was NOT very good…blah. Oh well, it was nice to be in fun company. Kara picked me up and took me home and we had a very nice conversation. I bought a bunch of stuff from her, too – a printer, baby stuff, etc. Very fun. Later that night, we took Ella over to Megan and Dericks. Amy and Eli babysat all our kids that night so we could go out to dinner for Valentines Day. I’m soooooo grateful for Amy and Eli and all they do for us! They are such great friends!! Well, we had dinner at the Harbour Queen and it was pretty good. Tom had the all-you-can-eat ribs and I had the Mahi Mahi…mmm…the fish here is pretty good, too. Derick and Megan are very fun to be around, too! We were laughing about the Spouses Organization and stuff on the island. It was very pleasant!

Thursday: Happy Valentines Day! This morning we went over to Megans for a Valentines Day Party! It was so very fun! We were there till around 2:00 when we had to go home for Arthur to come pick up the car. The Valentines Party was really nice, though. We had good food and even better company! After they came and got our car, Tom and I went for a REAL long walk through Maho. It was really nice, though. We walked to the Food Express and got drinks, then went to Sunset Beach and watched the airplanes. It was pretty fun, but I got blisters on my feet ‘cause I was wearing very impractical shoes: flip flops. All in all it was a pretty uneventful Valentines Day, but it was nice nonetheless.

Friday is Beach Day! We went to Mullet and it was pretty nice. I think I am getting a little tired of the beach, though. It is hard to do with a baby – so much stuff to carry! I am always grateful when Tom can come with me because then I actually have a free arm to carry stuff! Haha!

February 16, 2008

Today we went to the pool with Amy and Eli. It was pretty nice except Ella was all fussy and stuff. That was annoying. After the pool we tried to have lunch at Rosie’s on the beach, but they close at 3:30 (whudda thunk?) Then we went and bought a bunch of stuff for pizza and I made pizza that night while we watched Night at the Museum on HBO. I like having HBO.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Productive Day!

February 9, 2008

I haven’t written in a while because nothing really has been going on until today. J Wednesday I sat at home with Ella while Tom studied all day. Thursday I did the same thing. Friday we had dinner with Amy and Eli. Amy tried to make this Thai food…the flavor was pretty good, but the noodles were pretty soggy J It was kind of funny. The rice was good, though! And so was the crystal light! Haha! :) That’s okay, its better to try than to not try at all, right?

Anyway, this morning was “Beach A Week” and we all went to Mullet Beach. It was pretty fun! We were there for a couple hours, and Ella actually slept for most of the time! That was very nice, I even got to get in the water for a while. I love it when she sleeps for a looooong time without waking up every fifteen minutes! Sheesh…

After the beach, Amy, Camille, and I went grocery shopping together. It was very fun! We went to a little baby store called “0-14” to look at bouncing chairs for Ella and a highchair. They were pretty expensive, so we might have to wait until the next check! It is good to know they have everything I was looking for, though. After the baby store we went and got the car engine washed. Yes, the engine. Apparently, Arthur (the car rental owner guy) said that the car was smoking the other day from oil spilling on the engine…and that we had to get it washed *rolling eyes*. So we did. I also got it vacuumed and the guy did a FABULOUS job and it only cost $10! I finally found something cheap on the island!! Woohoo! I was worried I was going to have to vacuum the car out myself *groan*, but I didn’t! So that was good J I gave him a big tip ‘cause he did such a good job.

Anyway, after the car place, we went to the Grande Marche in ColeBay and they actually had pepperoni’s! I was very excited J Then we stopped by The Mailbox to pay our internet bill, then dropped Camille off, then went home. We did all of that in LESS than four hours! Can you believe that?!?!!?!! We didn’t get caught behind the bridge, or stuck in traffic ONCE! It was AMAZING!!!!! I seriously thought it was going to take us a good 6 hours to get all that done – we even left the beach EARLY! But nope! We made DANG GOOD TIME!!!! J It was very fun having Amy and Camille along. Camille held Ella the WHOLE time and she didn’t cry AT ALL! Yay for friends that like babies!!!

After that entire escapade, we had Amy and Eli over for dinner and I made “Grandpa’s Pizza”. Yeah, that was pretty dang good, too. It’s pretty much my specialty J I had pepperoni and fresh pineapple on one of them, and it was super good. Even Tom liked it, and he doesn’t like pineapple on pizza. So I was very pleased J Then we watched Bruce Almighty, which is always funny. Overall, it was a pretty productive day. Where was Tom during all of this? Studying. From 10:00a.m. until 5:15p.m. and now he is back at it until probably around 11:00p.m. I am trying to keep him motivated. I’m sure he’s ready, though. He is so smart and did really well on his last quiz. I’m sure he’ll do great. All the other girls husbands have their noses stuck in the books, too. It’s good, though – that’s what we’re here for!

Anyway, that’s about all for today. I’ll write more when more exciting things happen!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What a day!

February 5, 2008

Well, today was pretty exhausting. So, Tuesday has become our grocery shopping day. So I picked up Amy around 9:30 and our first stop was to get gas in the car. All the gas stations are full service, so it is nice that you never have to get out of the car. Well, when we pulled into the Texaco station, the lady was like, “Your car is smoking out the front.” We definitely drive a little hunk of junk, so I wasn’t toooooo surprised. I get out and pop the hood, but we don’t see anything. She says that it probably needs more coolant because it is overheating. So I pay the $9 for the coolant, and then we find out that both coolant containers are full. Fabulous. So I call the car rental guy, Arthur, and tell him that the car was smoking. He asked if we could get a ride back home so he can send his mechanic out to look at it. I tell him that we can…but we ended up not being able to get a hold of anyone: all the moms were at the zoo, and Camille had her car stuck behind where they just laid cement! Soooo, I called Arthur back and told him we would just wait by the car. So we went into this super cute little restaurant and drank some super yummy fruit punch while we waited for the mechanic.

When the mechanic finally came, he popped the hood, looked at it, and said it was fine. I said, “Are you serious? Are you sure? It was smoking?” He said, “No, no, its fine.” *Rolling eyes* So we get in the car and start our grocery shopping trip again. Amy had to go to the post office, so we stop there, but there were 19 people in line! Things don’t go very quickly here on the island, so who knows how long that was going to take. Amy came back to the car and said she would go later. Of course, right when we pull out of the parking spot and into the road – the bridge goes up. Faaaaabulous. So we waited in the car for a little over 20 minutes for the stupid bridge to go back down.

Aaaanyway, we drive to the Cost-U-Less and start our shopping. When we went to the Grande Marche, Arthur calls back and says that he wants his other mechanic to look at it, so just wait there because he’s on his way. So we wait at the Grande Marche and the other mechanic comes, pops the hood, tightens some screws, and says its fine. I swear…these people. So, yeah, then we tried to go to the post office again, but now there are 25 people in line! Can you believe? Then we went to The Mailbox to buy stamps, but the lady says you can’t buy stamps at the Mailbox, only at the post office!? What is wrong with these people! Wow…

By the time we were done with all of this, it was almost 1:00. Yes, it took us from 9:30 to 1:00 to do our grocery shopping. Fabulous, I know. So we went to Amy’s and got into our swimsuits and headed over to the Tradewinds Complex to have a little “pool party” with some of the other girls. It was okay. I kind of feel like I don’t have much in common with the girls just because I have a baby. I don’t mean to talk about her so much, but there just really isn’t anything else going on in my life right now. I also have a hard time butting in the conversation, even if I have something to say…I think I’m just a little intimidated by the other girls. They’re all so cute and all like to do the same things…and I’m just at home with Ella. It’s weird being in that situation, but oh well. They’re nice and I like them, so maybe its just me.

After we swam for a while, we went and picked Tom up from school. Bytheway, Ella was an ANGEL the whoooooole day! Even when we were waiting in the hot car, she didn’t even cry! Thank you, baby Ella! So now we are sitting in the apartment watching The Weakest Link while Tom studies. Ella is asleep – thank goodness! And I’m posting up a blog. It has been a loooooooooooong day and I am exhausted! Ella was up a lot last night, which always makes me cranky in the morning. It helps to have Amy along with me, especially today when the car broke down! I probably would have started crying because I was so frustrated, and hot, and annoyed, but she is always so happy and pleasant that it made it quite enjoyable actually – and that fruit punch was REALLY good! J

Well, tomorrow is “movie night” and my apartment. We are going to watch the Lord of the Rings series over the next couple weeks, then the Pirates of the Caribbean, then Harry Potter, and Grey’s Anatomy, and The Office, etc. We have quite the collection to go through. J I’m so glad that I have some friends to hang out with that don’t mind having Ella around!

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow isn’t as eventful as today. I can only handle one day like that a week! Haha! J

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Still more...

January 25, 2008

Well, its been a couple days since I’ve written, but nothing too exciting has been happening so I don’t feel too bad. The other day, Amy and I went and got new cell phones. She accidentally dropped hers in the ocean, and we needed another one for Tom to take to school. So we went and did that at the Tel Cell place in Philipsburg, then we went to the grocery store and I found these super yummy cookies that they had in Austria! They are called Prince cookies – they’re kind of like those Keebler Elf fudge cookies, only better. Mmmmmm….It was an all in all productive day, so that was nice.

Well, we had to say good bye to the jellybean car. It was sad, but necessary. The little red car just wasn’t going to make it with all the flooding it was going to drive through. I guess some of the other students have problems with their cars engines flooding…and we didn’t want that to happen, so we upgraded to a Nissan Pathfinder. It is kind of a clunker, but more durable than the jellybean. Also, the Nissan doesn’t need little floaties when it goes through the water, like the jellybean did J It definitely isn’t as cute, though – *sigh* Oh well, it is better and safer.

Well, we finally got the cable installed. When Tom and I went to pay our utility bill, I called the cable company and she said the tech guy was at our apartment RIGHT THEN! I told her to tell him to WAIT! So he did, and we got it installed…then it turned off for the rest of the day…because apparently that’s just what happens on the island. It’s pretty much our favorite J

Tonight was pretty fun – we went to this restaurant called Lolo’s on the French side. They have such nice roads on that side of the island!! I guess the French side really gets money from France, whereas the Dutch side is supposed to get money from Curacao…but they don’t. The food was okay, but it was fun being with Amy and Eli. They are from Louisiana, along with half the student body! I am vastly outnumbered by east coasters! J

Tomorrow is the “Welcome Breakfast” for all the spouses. I hope it is fun! I’m excited to meet a lot of the new girls! I’m a little disappointed that it has taken a month for the breakfast to get organized, though, because now it is like everyone already has their little group of friends and it is hard to break into that, especially since there are only a handful of new spouses.

Anyway, the island is still very new and interesting to me. A lot of times when I go into town I come home very irritated and cranky. It doesn’t help having Ella cry the whole time, too. So I’m pretty much okay just sitting at home, because at least I can keep Ella calm. Going out and about is quite the adventure, and sometimes I’m just not up to it. I have to go grocery shopping on Monday, though *deep breath*. Amy said she needed to go, too, though, so maybe we can go together. It is SO helpful having someone there with me! I really do appreciate it!

Well, that’s all for now!

January 26, 2008

Well, today was a super fun day! This morning was the “Welcome Breakfast” for the AUC Spouses Organization. Megan and Natalie picked me up around 9:15 and we went to this restaurant named Ric’s. It was pretty good food and fabulous company! It was nice meeting so many new girls! We were there for a couple hours and the girls took turns holding Ella. It was kind of nice because then I could eat in peace and not have to worry about her! There are so many nice girls here that all volunteer to baby-sit her! Yay for babysitters!

Anyway, after that we went home and got ready for the beach. We went to Mullet Bay and met up with Amy and Eli and Ashley and her kids. They are so fun to be with! We even got Ella in the water. She didn’t mind it so much until we got her arms wet…she didn’t like that very much. I got some super cute pictures though. Amy let me use her snorkel stuff so we went around all the rocks and stuff and saw lots of fish. I would get some snorkel stuff, but I don’t think I’d use it very much. I can’t snorkel unless there is someone to watch Ella, which is Tom usually, and I don’t want to go out by myself! But it was fun to go with Amy. Eli and Tom studied most of the time – BORING! I quiz Tom with his flash cards and have a very hard time pronouncing all the words – haha!

So after the beach, I was SUPER exhausted because Ella was up aaaaalllll night last night (I’m not sure what the deal was, but she was WIDE awake at 1:00…then 4:30…then 6:00…) and let me tell you, there is nothing on t.v. at any of those times J So I was super tired, so Tom took Ella out on a “Daddy/Daughter Date”. They went and watched the airplanes land over my Airport Beach, then they went to the grocery store, then went and got pizza at Pizza Dan’s. Meanwhile, I was sleeping very soundly…it was quite lovely; however, when I woke up and they weren’t back yet, I kind of had a little freak out. I just knew they were dead on the side of the road somewhere! It was one of those “I’m super paranoid” things. Yeah, pretty ridiculous, I know J But they came home a few minutes after I woke up, so I only freaked out for a little bit J

So now we’re watching Liar Liar and eating pizza It is pretty fabulous. Tomorrow is church and then we’re having dinner with Hilary and Justin at their house. It should be fun! Well, more updates later!

January 29, 2008

Today was “errand running day”, which always makes me a little apprehensive. I was supposed to pick up Amy at 9:00, but when she told me the bridge times were 9:00 and 9:30, I thought it best to wait a bit. So I picked her up at 9:30 and right as we were driving by the school on the road with all the speed bumps, there was a guy standing in the middle of the road by this truck. He was wearing: t-shirt, jacket, sunglasses, socks, shoes, and PANTS AROUND HIS ANKLES!!! He was completely naked from the waist down and shaking his you-know-what around! Amy and I were like, “Um…did you just see that?” Ha! What a bunch of crazies!! Yeah, so that started our little adventure day off to quite the interesting start.

After that little “exposition episode”, we drove to the Cost-U-Less and picked up the majority of our groceries, then we went to the Grande Marche and got the rest of our groceries. After that we went to the Ace Hardware in Colebay, which is the closest store to an American store on the whole island! Upstairs is kind of like a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which is faaaaaaaabulous. The only problem was trying to get the shopping cart with Ella in the car seat UP to the second floor. They didn’t have a normal elevator like in the States. We had to go in the back storage room and take the freight elevator upstairs! Haha! It was super funny! I took a picture of it because it was so random! It was just this big open-air man lift. Priceless.

Anyway, then we went to this beauty supply store, which was faaaaabulous! They had all sorts of beauty products: hair stuff, personal hygiene stuff, jewelry, nail polish, etc. Amy had a hay-day, except they didn’t have the one thing she was looking for: processing liquid L Sad story!

After that we had to run home and drop off my groceries. Then we went to her place and dropped of her groceries. Then we went over to Sheryl’s house to make burritos for the big “Spouses Organization Burrito Sale” tomorrow morning. It was pretty fun with all the girls. They are all so nice!

Ella was pretty good today. Amy helped take care of her so she didn’t fuss while I was driving, then I held her most of the time at the grocery store. She only got fussy when she was hungry or tired. She did, however, have a bit of an explosion on the way out of town very first thing. We had to change her and it was preeettttyyy messy. Silly babies and their explosions. It’s a good thing I had an extra onsie that is for sure! Once we got to Sheryl’s, she fell right to sleep and slept the whole time I was there! She woke up right before we left there to go pick up Tom, but she has been an angel all day pretty much! Oh! She also rolled over from her back to her stomach today!! I missed it while I was putting the cold groceries away, but Amy said she did it twice! Silly girl won’t show her mommy!! J Now I’ll really have to watch her.

When we got home, I had to finish putting away all the groceries and stuff and make a bunch of food. We are having a BBQ with Amy and Eli tonight at their place. I made pasta salad, steak shish kabobs and brownies. Mmmmm. I think I burnt the brownies though. I kind of forgot about them. Oops J

Aaaaaanyway! That was my exciting day J Amy said she would go with me again to do our grocery shopping next week. It definitely helps having the help and makes it much more enjoyable having someone to talk with! Ella isn’t a very good conversationalist yet J

On and on...

January 19, 2008

Man, when I was in Austria I was very dedicated to writing in my journal – I never missed a day. That is harder to do with a baby who always wants to be held, an apartment that always needs to be swept, and days where nothing exciting really happens. J Thursday I went to McDonalds for Ashley’s son’s birthday. It was fun to be around so many mom’s and kids! I’m the only one with such a young baby, but there were lots of kids. It was very fun – they are a very nice group of girls! It is hard to remember everyone’s name, but they are very understanding. Later that day I went grocery shopping, which is an adventure in itself. It took me three hours to go to Cost U Less and Grand Marche to try to find pepperoni’s – no success. Then I went to the pharmacy (three of them) to try and find my prescription. I finally found it, and it was only $3.90!! It’s $30 bucks in the States! Woohoo for cheap prescriptions!!! J

Prices here are kind of annoying, especially on the Dutch side (which we live on). On the French side, they take dollars or Euro’s. It is about $1.75 to one Euro; however, on the Dutch side they use Gilders. I don’t even know the ratio of gilders to dollars, maybe 2.5:1? They also use kilograms. So it is super annoying trying to figure out how much apples cost, when they are gilders to the dollar, and kilos! Jill said that you just divide it by four, and you’re close. I swear…everyone takes the dollar and they convert it for you, too – why don’t they JUST use the dollar? I don’t think I’ve even SEEN a gilder? Crazy Caribbeanese….

Friday, I didn’t really do anything. Ella slept all day, so that was nice.

Saturday we all went to the beach for a couple hours. In the morning it was overcast for the first time since we’ve been here. It also rained pretty hard, so all the roads were flooded. I definitely don’t understand that – if the roads flood every time it rains, why don’t they FIX the roads??? It rains a lot here, you would think they would want to fix it?? Apparently not, though. Oh well. So, we went to Mullet Beach, which is a very nice beach, and we didn’t see ANY topless women this time! Weird…J

After the beach, I was invited to a “Girls Night Out” for this girl, Michelle’s, birthday. It was very fun. Tom watched Ella so that was nice J We went to this Mexican restaurant – The Tijuana Yacht Club. It was suuuuuuper yummy! It was very fun being with those girls! I’m glad that I’m making friends, otherwise this would be a very lonely 20 months….Tom studies all the time, so its kind of just me and Ella. Oh well J We are living in a tropical paradise, so I can’t really complain.

Aaaanyway, tomorrow they are supposed to be hooking our cable up – cross your fingers!!

January 21, 2008

Well, a little taste of the Caribbean for you: last night we went over to Derick and Megan’s for a little game of Mexican Train, which we now are calling the St. Maarten Train, but I’ll explain that later. As we were driving out of our little complex, we passed a car that had stopped in the middle of the road. There was a lady and the security guard standing by it, when all of a sudden we noticed there were FLAMES under the hood! Yes, flames. Well, that poor little car was toast. This morning, it was still there and the hood was partially melted and all black. Poor little Hyundai. Anyway, as we continued our drive to Derick and Megan’s, which is only about two miles, the road continued to get deeper and deeper in water on some parts. We were quite afraid our little jellybean wasn’t going to make it! At one point, almost the whole bumper was under water! It is pretty scary at night, too, driving through that golf course even when the roads AREN’T flooded. You would think that happens all the time, so maybe they would want to fix it so it doesn’t flood? But apparently, convenience is not a top priority to the islanders, nor is safety for that matter. Also, the black population has a tremendous advantage over the white population here: they definitely gang up on you. If you are black, they treat you with better customer service, better prices, etc. If you are white, you have no such luck. You’re pretty much on your own no matter what. It’s kinda funny…sometimes. Anyway, every thing is an adventure here. We are going to try and ask our car rental guy if maybe we can get a jeep – I’m pretty sure jellybeans dissolve in water. J I’ll post a picture of the flooded roads and our car for your enjoyment.

Wildlife: Well, there isn’t much wildlife on the island, but what little there is is quite interesting. We’ve seen an array of dogs, (I can finally understand why Daniel hated dogs so much, they are SUPER nasty here!!!) a plethora of cats, (two ladies in our complex have little “cat refuges” *rolling eyes* so that doesn’t help) lots of lizards, a big herd of goat up on Goat Hill (which is the steepest hill I’ve ever driven on! It’s pretty scary, and on the way down it is just as steep except they’ve put a bunch of speed bumps – what is that all about??? There are lots of birds and fishes; there is a rogue monkey somewhere on the island (people keep seeing it…but we think there is only one?) There are crabs that mysteriously crawl into people’s air vents and under their beds (thankfully not ours, yet…) and last, but certainly not least, pigs. Oh yes, pigs. They hang out behind the dumpster by the 1-2-3-4 and More store. There are about 5 of them, and if they’re not rummaging through the dumpster, they are laying in the shade of a tree in the next-door lot. Kiiiinda nasty.

Anyway, the adventures continue to grow, and I continue to grow more and more thankful for things in the States: customer service, road signs, people using the dollar and pounds (not kilos), knowing who I tip and how much (you have to tip the bag boys here??), etc. I should keep a big list…naw, I would run out of paper – even on the computer! Haha!

Oh, I never explained why we call it St. Maarten Train now – well, the numbers don’t have to coincide, you can put them any direction you want, and all the little dots are the potholes! I said to make it REALLY like the St. Maarten Train, we would have to throw a bucket of water on the table, since the roads are all flooded J It was pretty funny…until we had to drive home on it…*siiiiiigh*

January 21, 2008

Well, it is hard to have a good attitude all the time…today was one of those days that I didn’t feel like, “taking it in stride…” so I was pretty cranky when I picked up Tom from school.

This morning the cable guy was supposed to come install our cable, but lo and behold – our little chippie cell phone wouldn’t stay turned on…so I missed their phone call confirming the installation time. So I waited around all morning…then around 12:30 decided they weren’t coming. So I tried to go grocery shopping, I only needed a few things – bread, cheese, etc. and was on my way to the Grande Marche when I got stuck in traffic and it took me an hour to go one mile. So I decided that I didn’t want to try to make the next 3 miles to get to the Grand Marche and flipped around to go to the Food Express by our apartment. Some stupid idiot was parked – yes, PARKED, not just stopped – in front of the parking lot entrance of the Food Express. So I had to pull around a couple times until the stupid idiot moved. Stupid drivers. Meanwhile, Ella is having a FIT and has been screaming since I decided to turn around from being stuck in traffic. Ugh. So I finally park the car and get my groceries. The lady did let me go first in line, though, because she thought Ella was so cute J So that’s good. Aaaaanyway, then I had to drive down the stupid bumpy road that is all flooded now because of the rain we’ve been getting.

After I picked up Tom, I told him the chippie phone wasn’t working. Oh yeah, and the propane tank ran out of gas last night in the middle of making dinner. Our stove/oven is hooked up to it…so we had to finish cooking BBQ Chicken and mashed potatoes in a toaster oven! Yeah…it was fabulous. Aaaaanyway, we called our landlady and she said you could get propane from the Texaco in Cole Bay. Well, we drove all the way up there (getting stuck in traffic again because of that stupid bridge…) and they didn’t have any. Then we went to the Shell station and the propane guy gets off at 5:00. Then we went to the OTHER Texaco, and they didn’t have any. THEN we went to the Shell station closest to our place, and they, of course, had some. So that’s good. Soooo now our propane is hooked up so we can actually cook food – yay! J We don’t have a microwave, so it gets tricky without a stove…or oven.

Our oven/stove is super scary bytheway. You have to light the oven to turn it on…yeah, kiiiiinda scary. And the stove has this stupid glass cover thing that likes to fall down while you’re cooking – so we have to prop it open with the diaper bag and hang it over the edge of the bar…kind of hard to explain, but it makes sense to me J

So yeah, Tom took a Molecular Cell Biology (MCB) quiz this morning and thinks he did really well on it! I hope he did!! He has been studying a lot, so I’m sure it went fine. It is around 5% of their grade, not too much…but enough. They have an anatomy quiz next Monday that he is studying for now.

We went and got “Dan’s Pizza” tonight by the school – it is this little one room window hooked onto this Coffee Shop place – that is SUPER yummy! It is European style, Dan is from France. Mmmm….super yummy – he makes the “Student Special” with honey in its sauce, it sounds weird, but is really good.

Anyway, hopefully the cable guy comes tomorrow while I’m here. We also didn’t get a new cell phone yet because we didn’t get there before they closed ‘cause we were stuck in traffic for an hour. I swear – this island isn’t that big! How can you be in traffic for HOURS and not go ANYWHERE?! Grrr….oh well.
So yeah, wish me luck for tomorrow!!

Still Continued...

January 13, 2008

Well, this place is certainly interesting. There are good days and bad days. It's funny how when you're married, your good and bad days are opposite of each other. I think God does that on purpose so that you can keep each other motivated. :) Lately, I've been having good days, while Tom is pretty homesick and not too fond of the island...but yesterday (Sunday) was definitely a bad day for me! Ella had gotten up twice in the night (which she never does!) and it was hot and our little dirt road flooded, and Ella was fussy, and I was just in a general bad mood. I pretty much did NOT want to be in the Caribbean.

Church was really good, though, so that kind of helped. It is a little branch in a very nice church building (nice for the island). There were about 40 people there, mostly black except for the students, who were all white. The branch president and his wife gave talks on their conversion stories - it was really good. Then they put us in nursery *grrrroooooaaaannnn* There are only two families kids in nursery (both students) and the moms said they would rotate with us, so that was nice. Hopefully when the new Del Sol internship couples come down they will put them in nursery instead!

After church we took a nap, then went to Sunset Beach to watch the airplanes land and take off. That is the airport/beach where the planes land about 40 feet from the sand! It is fun when they take off because the jet blast can knock people over and everything! Kind of fun :)
Well, I've met some of the other moms and member moms and I'm excited that I will have some friends! This girl, Megan, lives pretty close to us and she has two kids, so we'll probably hang out with them a lot. We hung out with her and her husband, Derick, and it was very pleasant.

January 14, 2008

My poor child...still adjusting to the time change....

She wakes up SUPER early, like around 5:00 or 6:00 and then is awake until 9:00 when she wants to go back to today has been a looooong day of trying to get her back on schedule. Right now, it is 9:35 and she has been going to sleep around 8:00, but we are keeping her up until 10:00 tonight to try to get her to sleep in a little later. It has been a loooooooooong hour and a half. I'm finding that she likes the movie Chicago, or at least the music. She stops crying when the songs are playing, then starts up again when they are talking :) It is kind of funny. Her naps were pretty on schedule today, so that was nice....but man oh man...right now it is killer. She is so tired. As soon as she stops crying, she falls asleep - no matter how we are holding her! Poor thing! I think we're gonna let her go to sleep right steps right? :)
Other than that, today has been pretty uneventful. Our landlady finally came over and showed us how to work the oven (you have to light it with a lighter at the bottom - kinda scary). We also told her that we want a "road pass" to use the nice road, instead of the bumpy semi-paved road :) Hopefully she can get us one! Tomorrow I am going grocery shopping (which is an all day event) and going to try to set up the cable - yay for Food Network! Woot! :)
I'll write more when there are more interesting things to report! Haha!

January 15, 2008

So, there are some super scary people and situations here - and one of them lives upstairs!! This morning the couple upstairs got in a HUGE fight, complete with screaming and physical contact. It's not like in the States, either, where you can call the police or anything - you just have to wait till they stop. It was pretty creepy. So I turned on some music real loud and locked the doors. It's bad, too, because these walls aren't that thin...and you could definitely hear them going at it. Gross - I hope that doesn't happen all the time....

On a lighter note - Ella slept through the night finally! YAAAAAAY!!!! She is so cute :)

Not much happened yesterday - just trying to get Ella on her sleep schedule. We went grocery shopping, kind of. When you grocery shop, you have to go to two different stores: the Cost-U-Less (which is like Costco) and the Grand Marche (normal grocery store). It is kind of annoying and definitely time consuming. We were gone for over an hour - stuck in traffic, couldn't find mozzarella cheese, etc. Kiiiind of a pain.

Well, Ella can aaaaaalllllmmmmoooossssttttt roll over! She is so close - and gets so frustrated with it! Poor thing :) So incapacitated....Before I had Ella, I always told myself that I wouldn't just sit and talk about my baby all the time, but now that I have her....I find myself doing it all the time! I think its because I'm not really doing anything else during the day - so I don't have anything else to talk about anyway...kind of sad, I guess. So I apologize to anyone who gets sick of hearing about her, but she really is the cutest little thing ever :) hehe.


January 10, 2008

Well, today started out like any other day here – Tom went to school at 8:00, came back around 11:30 and had lunch together. About 11:00a.m. though, the power and water went out. The water came back on after about an hour, but the power didn’t turn back on until almost 6:00 in the evening!!!! Yeah, that was fabulous. Poor Ella and I were so hot in our apartment that we did a quick “rinse” in the shower just to cool us off! Then she slept really well after that. She has been having a hard time sleeping lately. I think we are putting her to sleep too early? Last night, she woke up at 3:45 and I had to nurse her back to sleep. That was annoying!

This evening we went out to dinner to a place called “Sunset Beach Bar” or something like that. The Cluff’s said they had pretty good burgers, and they were pretty good. Their fries were faaaaabulous, but we were a little apprehensive about the condiments. We’re pretty sure they had been sitting out all day, so if we both get sick tomorrow – we’ll know why! The restaurant was pretty Americanized and was even showing college basketball games. Too bad it wasn’t a BYU game or anything J

Well, that’s about all. Tomorrow, Tom and I are running errands all day. Friday is the “White Coat” Ceremony and I’m going to the beach with the Spouses Club. Saturday is a big “Welcome BBQ” put on by the school, so that will be fun! Looking forward to another big day – hopefully the power stays on! The lady upstairs said the power goes off during “high season” because of all the tourists. Our fingers are crossed that it doesn’t happen again! Or at least not for that long!

January 11, 2008

Today was a big day for Ella and me. We went to the beach around 11:00 to meet up with the other girls in the Spouses Organization. It took us a while to find them (and a lot of walking, which is a pain carrying the baby carrier and two bags!), but at last we did! There were a couple girls there: Ashley (who is getting married in April), Wendy (fourth semester who is sick of living here), Camille (who is a first semester like me, cute girl from Louisiana). Later two more girls came: Megan (second semester, cute girl), and Kelly (fourth semester). They were all very nice and thought Ella was just the cutest little thing!

We stayed at the beach for a couple hours then went home, took a quick shower, then picked up Tom. Tonight is the White Coat ceremony so we had to get ready for that. We got there around 5:30 and it started at 6:00. The ceremony was very nice, they had a couple speakers, and also did the Honors Society people for fifth semester. I told Tom that he better make Honors when he’s a fifth semester!! J I sat next to Camille and Amy (another first semester from Louisiana – she got married when they were both 18!). Their husbands are both very nice.

After the White Coat Ceremony we went over to Bamboo Bernies for a catered dinner. It kinda sucked though because each student gets two drink vouchers and that includes anything for your spouse. So we had Sprite’s (which was mostly ice) and then had to buy some bottled water. *rolling eyes* I swear, these Caribbeanese people! It was nice, though, we met a lot of other spouses there. Everyone is really friendly and outgoing. It makes it easier being here when there are a lot of other people to hang out with! Most of the other girls live really close to the school, and we’re not too far so it is nice to know there are people to hang out with.

January 12, 2008

Well, they set up the internet this morning…but now it doesn’t work. Faaaabulous – we love the island J We ran errands this morning, bought sheets, tried to set up the cable, but have to have our Landlord sign some stuff. Oh well. Hopefully things go okay!

Well, we went to the beach bbq thingie and it was just ooookay. There was only one other couple with kids there and the mom, Ashley, is kinda weird…sooo it was kind of like Tom and I took our baby to a drinking beach party – not so much fun. We had hot dogs and chips, and when they ran out of soda and water we decided that was our queue to go home! People weren’t nearly as friendly at the beach as they were at Bamboo Bernies. Oh well, that’s okay. I was disappointed Jill and Ben didn’t go! L I guess the other spouses say that Jill and Hilary don’t really go to anything that is “school related” that they just do stuff together. It’s too bad…but Tom and I are still going to go to stuff! Just because other people are drinking, doesn’t mean it still can’t be fun. We have to make friends with everyone because the other LDS girls are only here for a few more semesters! Oh well…

Previous Posts...

Okay, here are all my previous posts that are currently on my myspace. It seems like a lot, but its over a months worth - so bare with me :)

January 7, 2008

Well, we arrived safely in St. Maarten on December 30th. Ella traveled very well and slept most of the way. The other times she was awake, she was happy and content. I’m glad she didn’t scream the whole way like the kids around us. The flight from Salt Lake to Newark was completely full, so we had to carry Ella the whole flight (a little over 3 ½ hours). The flight from Newark to St. Maarten, though, had an empty seat in between us, so I leaned up against the window, with the baby, and Tom laid his head on my lap and slept. He was so tired, I was glad I could give him a little rest. When we got to St. Maarten, we had to go through customs, which was super annoying, but whatever. Then we got our luggage and Tom went with Ben Cluff to our apartment with a load of our luggage. My parents didn’t have such an easy time getting here, though. They went to LAX and found out that Angela had to have her passport or they wouldn’t let her on a plane. So Angela had to go home, then she flew to Salt Lake to get her passport, then back to LAX and THEN to St. Maarten. She arrived the next day, but was still super obnoxious. My parents got here safe and sound, though, and actually had all their luggage get here too! I guess there was a super Nazi lady in LAX that made my dad check one of his bags at the last second, so they didn’t think it would make it – but it did! We had so many bags of our stuff, including my keyboard and a suitcase with my desktop computer. We were quite the caravan. It took several trips to our apartment to get everything there

My first impression of our apartment was, “Wow…what have we gotten ourselves into??” It was pretty scary from the outside: the building is white with pink borders that the paint is all running down the walls. Quite lovely. The inside, though, is pretty nice. The floors are all tile, though, which makes the sand REALLY annoying. We had to go buy some rugs to keep the sand off the tile. I have already had to sweep the floor twice and got a beach full of sand on each sweeping! The apartment has a washer and dryer which is really nice, but no dishwasher…unfortunately. I’d rather have the clothes washer/dryer than a dishwasher, though. That is for sure. The bathroom is probably the scariest part of the apartment. The toilet is a little finicky and the whole bathroom smells pretty bad. I can’t tell if it is just baby diaper smell, or bathroom smell? Who knows…J There is only a shower, but it is really big, so we put the baby in one of those little “baby sitter” thingies in the shower, and she seems to like it – which is nice because now that Tom is in class, I have the baby by myself in the morning and it is hard to take a shower and hold her at the same time!

The furniture in our apartment is kind of funky, everything is very “European” because our landlady is French. The couch is white leather and all the tables are glass. There isn’t a light in the main room, either, just a bunch of lamps – which is kind of obnoxious. Also, there is only one light in the bedroom and it is right above the closet. Weird. There is a balcony though off the main room with a beautiful view of the only golf course on the island…lots of grass to look at. There is also a big lake/river thingie along the border that we can watch water skiers along. It is very beautiful here.

Our car is very fabulous. It is definitely a little jelly-bean car. Bright red. Automatic (which is nice), with faaaaabulous air conditioning! We have to drive a semi-paved road to get in and out of our apartment complex though, so it is kind of scary. I hope I don’t get a flat tire when I’m by myself at night or something! We have to drive by the golf course, which is REALLY scary because there are a TON of abandoned buildings (big old houses I think? Or maybe an old hotel complex sort of…like a giant resort thingie) that were destroyed in the last big hurricane. I guess the hurricane happened about 13 years ago and no one fixed up the houses or anything, so a whole bunch of homeless people live in it and attack (rob) from people walking through or around the golf course at night. They say that women and children don’t have anything to worry about, but that doesn’t make me feel much better knowing that Tom might get a flat tire or something! Kiiiinda creepy.

Anyway, Tom likes his classes. Right now he is taking Histology, Anatomy, Anatomy Lab, Molecular Cell Biology, and I think that is it? His Anatomy class and lab are super easy for him. He says that BYU’s anatomy classes were so much harder. I told him that means he better get Honors in those classes and he still has to study! What is a good wife for, right?? J I hope it doesn’t get tooooo hard; I mean, it can get hard – its supposed to be, right? – but I hope it doesn’t stress him out too much. Hopefully it is manageable. I guess a lot of people failed his MCB class last semester, but they don’t sound like the most intelligent bunch so that is probably why.

So yeah, a lot of things are Americanized here – they speak English (on the Dutch side anyway) and use the dollar. There are a TOOOON of black people here, though! There are way more than I thought there would be. There are more white people on the French side, but they are snooty. You know how the French can be. We are definitely the minority race here. It is kind of different living in an environment where I’m the minority. It will be good for me though – teach me to appreciate America J Haha! The stores here are pretty normal if you go to the nice ones. There are quite a few questionable restaurants, grocery stores, etc. that we are trying to steer clear from. It is hard to get prices for things too because they are so different than in the States. So far the meat is okay but the produce is not as good. I thought there would be lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and stuff, but not so much. This islands ONLY resource is tourism pretty much, definitely NOT agriculture, which is a shame.

Well, that’s about all for now. Tomorrow morning I am going grocery shopping with Jill and her baby. It will be nice to hang out with someone. Jill is very nice and has been super helpful with us moving down here and everything.

My family was here up until yesterday. We went to the beach, toured the island, and Kathryn and my mom went scuba diving! We didn’t go because the baby is too young to go on the boat. It would have been too hard anyway, trying to hold/nurse a baby on a bumpy boat! Yeah right! It was nice having them here, though. It made the transition a little easier. It didn’t make us feel so isolated and far away, ya know? It was weird watching them leave at the airport though. It was probably a good thing the baby was crying otherwise I would have been a wreck! Ella was there to distract me for sure J Haha! I hope they got back okay, I haven’t talked to them since they left. Hopefully Angela’s trip back was more uneventful than her trip here! I really hope they come out in March – they are thinking about doing Spring Break here. I hope they do. Kathryn wants to go on another cruise, so they would only be here for a day…but I’m trying to talk them into staying for a whole week. Fingers are crossed. I also really hope that Tom’s family can come out for Christmas. I know Tom will be really disappointed if they don’t make it and so will I! They need to see how big Ella has gotten and stuff like that J.

Well, that is enough for one day. Hopefully I can keep up on this and won’t have to fill in a whole weeks worth of stuff in one night! Maybe I can keep this on a consistent nightly basis – we’ll see.

January 8, 2008

Day three on our own of our Caribbean adventure! Only 19 ½ more months to go! Haha! I’m really not counting down, though. I kind of like it here. Once you get used to being hot and sweaty all the time (and having little or no control of my hair!) and lowering your standards a bit of cleanliness and overall appearance, it isn’t so bad.

This morning I went grocery shopping with Jill. It was nice! We went to the Cost-U-Less store where I got most of our stuff because it is so much cheaper! Then we went to the Grand Marche that is on the way to Cole Bay. It was a biiiig nice and clean grocery store that was very much Americanized. They had a huge selection of meats, produce, and all sorts of stuff. They had a lot of baby supplies, too, which is nice to know. Everywhere pretty much takes credit card, but you have to carry around some cash because you have to tip everyone – the bag boy (he isn’t employed by the store), the guy who does your gas, etc. Kind of obnoxious carrying around a bunch of one’s. Oh well. Se la vie J I have a feeling that is going to be our little motto here: Se La Vie.

It was fun hanging out with Jill, she is very nice. She introduced me to another member girl named Hilary. Jill has a daughter named Holdyn that is eighteen months and Hilary has three kids – girl, boy, girl. I think the oldest is about six? I can’t even imagine having three kids here! Wow. Jill is expecting another baby in June and is pretty nervous because the hospitals here are a bit sketchy. She is having a midwife, too, not a real doctor. I am so paranoid, I would probably go home to have the baby! I would go home about a month before I was due and just have it there. Wow…that would be scary! Haha! I’d rather do that than chance having it here though – scarier! Jill showed me the church and it is a really nice building! I pretty much am assuming I will be the “music girl” in the branch. I think it was the bishops wife (?) Jill said wants piano lessons…so I’ll probably do that, which will be fun.

Anyway, tonight will be the third night in a row I have cooked a home made meal! I am so proud of myself! The first night we had pasta and garlic bread, the second night we had BBQ grilled chicken and burned broccoli and tonight we are having beans on buns – one of Tom’s favorite meals. It is kind of fun cooking as long as Ella isn’t crying the whole time. I am trying really hard to take care of the baby as best as I can. It is hard though. I am used to working a normal job or going to school and it is trying my patience to have to wait on someone hand-and-foot! But that is what a baby is, so I am doing my best. I also know that Tom needs to study good and hard to get really high grades so I don’t want to give the baby to him when he is home – it is hard not to, though, when I am so tired and frustrated with her. She really isn’t that bad, I am just a wuss when it comes to being a mom! Haha! J Hopefully it will become more natural and I’ll be more patient with it.

The internet and cable still aren’t set up and the internet won’t be set up till Saturday – soooo sad. It was supposed to be setup yesterday, but we missed the phone calls. Sad. I don’t know when we’ll get cable, or a t.v. for that matter! So in the evenings we watch The Office or other movies on Tom’s computer. Thank goodness for computers!! There also isn’t a library on the island, which is too bad, because I would looooooove to read a lot while I’m here. I’ll probably try to read every book in the medical library that isn’t a medical dictionary or anything like that. There is one book shelf, and some of the books are in Arabic, which is too bad.

Well, that’s about all for today! The weather was pretty pleasant today, sunny this morning and afternoon, but now it is raining really hard. It is nice because it cools things down a bit. “It’s so damn hot!”

New Blog!

Well, I realized that not everyone can read my myspace blog, so decided to start one of these instead. Hope you enjoy! :)