Thursday, May 29, 2008

Silly daughter...

Here is a video of Ella crawling down our hallway :) How cute is that!?

video

Anyway, I just thought I would give a quick bio update on Ella. Let's start from the top.

She has a little hair. It is sort of a blondish brown, but in the sunlight it looks bright red. So do her eyebrows. Her hair looks like feathers and I want to cut it so at least it is even, but Tom likes it. It is real long on the top of her head, but short around the front, back, and sides. Tom likes how you can comb it forward and it makes a little spike down the front of her forehead :)

Her eyes are hazel. They look really green sometimes, and really gray other times. They look brown and blue, too. I thought babies eyes were supposed to be determined by now, but apparently not.

She has two teeth coming in. Her bottom front ones. They are just through the skin and definately hurt when she chews on you! She has a bad habit of grabbing your shoulder and trying to take a big bite! She also pinches with her little fingers. I don't think she means to, but man does it hurt! She also likes to pull hair, ear rings, necklaces, etc.

She crawls all over the place right now. She hates sitting still and does NOT like her carseat, unless she is tired - then she always falls asleep! She pulls herself up on things to standing position and likes to walk along the couch and coffee table. She can even pull herself up on the chairs and pushes it along so she can walk! She will be walking before we know it!

She doesn't like to be hot. She is MUCH happier when it is cool. She absolutely HATES when the sun is in her eyes. I try to make sure her carseat cover is blocking the sun, but sometimes it is difficult and she whines and fusses till it is gone. She is like her dad in both those senses.

Favorites: her favorite food is anything sweet. She likes cheerios and dry cereal that we feed her during church. She also likes rice crispy treats and knows that dad will give them to her more readily than Mom. She also LOVES otter pops, but doesn't quite understand the concept of "no more" and gets quite upset when you take the empty wrapper from her. She loves bananas now and applesauce. She also likes the "lasagna in meat sauce" from Gerbers. Sometimes when she is in a good mood she likes the "chicken noodle dinners" but not if she is sleepy. She also really likes peaches and pears.

Her favorite toy changes quite a bit. She has this little music station thingie that she really likes. It makes different instrument sounds when you push and pull different buttons. She also likes her little rattle doll and squishy doll. She likes her swing, too, but only for a few minutes. Then she cries to get out...but then quickly tries to climb back in. Silly girl :)

She loves music. I try practicing the piano while she is taking her nap, but it always wakes her up and makes her all excited. Then I can't get her back to sleep. So I've stopped trying to practice then. She likes the music to Chicago and Bette Midler. She does NOT like heavy rock or the guitar solos that accompany them. She also DOES NOT like Broadway music that is sung poorly on cruises where the girl hits the high notes WAY off! :) (true story! She woke up and cried every time the girl hit the note wrong! haha!) She loves when you sing to her and it often calms her down better than anything else.

She does not like bedtime and is still not sleeping through the night. She has been better the past two nights, though - maybe we are turning over a new leaf?? We are excited to put her in her own room in our new apartment (we move tomorrow! woohoo!) so we can just let her cry herself back to sleep. She is in a bad habit because I pick her up every time she fusses in the night. I don't want her waking up Tom so he is tired for classes the next day. But all this is about to change...she is in for a rude awakening :) hehe

She also doesn't like her diaper changed. She doesn't like messy diapers, though, either. It is kind of a Catch-22. She cries if they're poopie...she cries while you're changing them. Silly girl.

She likes the pool and is finally getting used to the beach. She likes to eat the sand, though, so we have to watch her. She has a little floatie that she really likes, too. We have also been VERY careful and she hasn't gotten sunburned ONCE! Yaaay! (knock on wood!)

Anyway, that should be good for now. Sorry I don't have any new pictures. I'll try to upload some more vidoes and stuff :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pro's about living in the Caribbean...

Well, after complaining for a little bit to one of my friends, I decided to write a couple of the good things about living here. Hopefully this will help me feel better? :)

1. The beach. You definately can't beat the color of the water or the clarity of it. The sands are gorgeous white. The water a striking turqouise. The sky a vibrant blue. Definately one of a kind.

2. Bubble Tea. Probably the best slushees you will ever eat in your entire life. They come in a variety of flavors: honeydew melon, mango, passion fruit, coconut, etc. Mmm...and for only $2.50 for a large - you can't beat that! It is cheaper than Jamba Juice by almost half!!

3. Cheap ribs. You can get "all you can eat" ribs at several different restaurants for only $12.95! They really do mean "all you can eat", too! They'll even give you some to take home! They are super yummy. Our favorite place, so far, has been Mark's place. Mmmm...rack after rack of glorious ribs.

4. Sunsets. The sunsets are just beautiful here. Because of the tradewinds, we have clouds in the sky pretty much every day - big, white, fluffy ones. When the sun sets over the water, the whole sky lights on fire with pinks, oranges, yellows. It is pretty amazing.

5. Kid-friendly. As much as we can't stand the locals here, they do have an amazing fascination with white babies. They looooooooove them. I could leave Ella in the middle of the store, and someone would grab her and search for me...then lecture me about watching my child! They always help me at the store when she is fussing or anything. It is nice that with everything else you have to worry about here - you don't have to worry about anything happening to your baby.

6. No tax. No taxes on food or anything else...but there is an "exit" tax, which is super lame.

7. Low season. Now that the tourists are gone, for the most part, and the lagoon is practically empty - the bridge only goes up three times a day for a few minutes each! So much better than high season where it goes up 5-8 times a day, sometimes for an hour each!!

8. Gas assistants. Yep. One dollar tip and they fill your gas for you. It's a beautiful thing, let me tell you!

9. The weather. Sometimes it gets old being hot all the time, but when you are at the beach or the pool...it is just lovely. Really warm with a nice, cool breeze (except in the dead of summer...which is coming up)

10. The Spouses Organization. I dont know what I would do without all my girls to play with! I love spending time with each of them and finding out all about them! Everyone is so nice and friendly and helpful. Two thumbs WAAAAAAAAAY up for the S.O.!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Picture Updates!

Here are some pictures of our latest adventures :)


Gee, Dad...those flames look pretty big :) Hehehe...the burgers turned out just fine.

Sleeping after a long day at the pool....


Sometimes eating cheerio's is a tiring activity

Looking hot and sassy for my birthday dinner! :)


Ella is learning how to share

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, today is my birthday...the big 2-3! Wow...that feels so old!! :) How am I celebrating my birthday on this tropical island? Well...I'm having one of my girlfriends, Natalie, babysit Ella and Tom and I are going out to dinner. Tomorrow afternoon we are having a pool party at Camille's complex (Tradewinds). It should be great! I'm excited! :)

I also bought my birthday present from Tom the other day. He wasn't going to have time, so I just bought it myself - no worries, though! I bought some faaaaaaabulous new sunglasses! They are Gucci...but they were 50% off! You can't beat that!! So now I have some sophisticated new specs! :) I'm excited. I have to be careful with them, though...I've never owned a pair of sunglasses that were more expensive than $15. Tom gave me the big "you have to always take care of them" speech after I got them :) It was cute.

Anyway, I'll update this more after the weekend and let everyone know how it went! I'll even try to take pictures! :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pictures!

Well, I thought that I didn't have very many pictures up, so here are a bunch in no particular order! Most are of Ella because she is super fun to take pictures of :)

Cute new outfit! We love the hat! :)

Silly baby sleeps so funny :)

Isn't Dad just so handsome? And such a sweet little baby!

Ella is starting to like the beach more and more!

Man, you don't get sunsets like this every day! Wow!!


Ella at church in the nursery room. Right now it is just her and Holdyn! Yes, I'm in charge of the nursery.
Dad and Ella taking a break in the West Indies Mall. It is air conditioned and woowee was it a hot day!
Look at these three peas in a pod! Everett and Spence are Ellas new friends!
Ella loooooooooooves the pool and looooooooooves her floatie!





Sleepy Time for Sweet Pies! Ella likes to take naps with her dad :)



Bath time for babies! Woo woo! Get some clothes on that kid before she pees on the bed!





Lunch time! What a mess!




She sure loves her biter biscuits, I'm not sure how much is actually getting in her mouth, though!


Time to clean up!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Church: The Musical?

May 4, 2008

Fast and Testimony Meeting: The Broadway Musical? Yep, that’s right. Today was fast and testimony meeting. The meeting started out normal enough, but about the second or third testimony, things started to take an interesting turn…a musical turn, if you will…and I’m not talking about a trill! One of the sisters decided to sing “Count Your Many Blessings” and not just one verse – all four of them!! The first verse was okay, seeing as it was quite unique, but by the fourth verse we were ready for at least a new tune! And a new tune is what we got! She sat down and was followed by a man, who decided to sing a different religious song in Creole. We’re not real sure what the song was, or where the tune came from, and we’re not real sure he knew either? It was a few minutes long and totally indistinguishable as a language! Well, a few more testimonies went by, but that was simply the intermission! The grand finale was a big, black woman who decided to sing a Christian song. She got a few lines into it and realized she didn’t know the words or the melody. She stopped and said, “Well, I don’t know that one…” then she opened the hymn book and tried one of ours! A few more lines into it and, “Well, I don’t know that one, but it is always stuck in my head!” What?! How can you have a song that you don’t know stuck in your head? Yeah…weird. It was pretty fabulous though J Needless to say we went twenty minutes over the time, but that’s okay, it was less time I had to spend in nursery –by myself with Ella and Holdyn. It was pretty fabulous. Anyway, just a brief note about how interesting church can be :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

April has come and gone...










May 2, 2008

Yeah, I know – I’m bad and am only writing once a month. I think it makes things go by faster. Anyway, all of April was pretty much the same on a day to day basis. The first two weeks, Tom studied his brains out for the fourth block and finals. He did really well on his tests, too! Yay for Tom! He was pretty worried about some of them: not knowing what to study for and stuff like that, but when all was said and done he did really well! There were quite a few students that will not be returning for the next semester, though – oops, too much partying??

I got a new haircut, bytheway. It didn't turn out quite like I planned...I didn't want it this short, but there was a little bit of a language barrier. I said I wanted it to my shoulders with a few layers...not this short. Oh well. I tried to cut Tom's hair a couple weeks ago and it turned out too short, so now we have matching too short haircuts! haha!




Tom’s family came down last week. It was quite the feat getting them here, though. They had stand by passes from Jet Blue and there were 6 of them, so it was tricky getting them all down here. Tom’s mom, Joseph, and Sam all came on Thursday, and his Dad and Dana came on Saturday. Seth came down on Tuesday. They all stayed at our place. It was a little crowded, but not too bad. We had two people on the couch, two on a queen air mattress, one on a single air mattress, and one on the couch cushions just laid on the floor! Haha! It was fun having a full house – it reminded me of being at home. Of course, the bathroom was a little bit of an issue. One toilet for eight people can be a little tricky, but all in all it worked out just fine. We went to the beach a lot, mostly to the beach right on the airport. Tom’s family loves watching the planes land, especially the big ones! It is funny to watch everyone when the planes take off, too, because you can get right up against this chain link fence that is only about 60 feet from the engine of the airplane and the gusts of wind can knock people over and blows sand, people, clothing, umbrellas, etc. everywhere! It is kind of funny. So we mostly hung out at that beach. We also took a couple trips up to Marigot. We went up to the Fort Luis which was pretty neat, and to Sarafina’s (this FABULOUS French bakery with the most amazing lime ice cream…mmm). We also shopped around a little bit. I have to say, Tom’s family definitely does NOT have the shopping stamina that my family does! Haha!

Anyway, we also went to Philipsburg and cruised around Front Street and the little shops down there. The best place to get all your tourist stuff is definitely Rima’s, though, so we got a lot of stuff there. We ate at Mark’s Place and had ribs (mmmm) and Ric’s place for burgers and Mexican food. We also went to Bubble Tea, which is pretty much the best slushee place ever! All in all, it was a pretty fun week! I was pretty sad to see them all go. I offered for Cheri to just stay and live with us, but she said she couldn’t – too bad!! L I also told them that they could take Ella…but they didn’t think it was a good idea, unfortunately. I told them they could have her until she sleeps through the night and/or is potty trained J They just laughed…*sigh*

Oh, I forgot to mention that on our way to Philipsburg, we got a flat tire right by the Grand Marche at the Dutch Cul De Sac. It pretty much sucked. The back right tire was pretty much destroyed. Tom tried to fix it, but we were on a slope, so we couldn’t jack the car up. Nissan also makes really retarded car jacks that don’t really work for their cars, so Tom had to run to Cost-U-Less and buy a new one! Good thing we had a spare tire, though. We need to go up to Cole Bay to get the spare repaired, though. Who knows when we’ll get another one!? It was kind of a big joke, though, because we’ve lived here for 4 months driving on the same roads every day and have never gotten a flat tire, then as soon as Tom’s family gets here…we get one! I swear, they have a history of flat tires that is beyond anyone I have ever met! It’s a good thing Tom knows how to change a tire! Haha! J

We also went up to the island of Pinel, right off the northern coast of St. Maarten. We snorkeled around and ate lunch on the beach. It was kind of fun. It felt more like a vacation than just a normal beach we go to all the time. One of the days, we went up to Orient Beach so everyone could see and laugh at the nudies! It was pretty funny J All of them went Parasailing. I didn’t want to, though – I did it a couple Christmas’s ago and once was enough. I’m scared of heights! It was a nice day at the beach, though – not too bright and sunny so we didn’t have to worry too much about getting sunburned. Speaking of which, Ella still has yet to be burned! Ha! I’m such a good mom J We have to use three different sunscreens on here: tear free 50+ for her face, 50+ for her body, and 50+ spray for the top of her head so her poor, bald head doesn’t get burned! She is so cute in her little swimsuits and floatie toy J

Yes, Ella is getting more mobile every day. She crawls all over the floor and into the trash cans and stuff. Why is it that babies always play with the things you don’t want them to play with? They aren’t interested in their toys, they’re just interested in the trash cans, or electrical outlets, or DVD cabinets, etc. Weirdos. She is so funny, she has such a personality! She is picky with her food, too. She does NOT like green beans or “garden vegetable” or any meats so far. She likes the sweet stuff: sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, bananas, etc. She also just loves those teething biscuits and they get everywhere! I have to strip her down to her diaper before giving her one; otherwise it is all over her cute outfit! Haha!

Anyway, all of our friends are slowly making their way back to the island after being in the States for the break. Tom and I are pretty jealous that most students got to go home to all the wonders of the United States: In n Out, Arbys, Applebees, etc. Yay for friends being home though! Our friends Amy and Eli are back, too, which is nice! Amy is 10 weeks pregnant, too! Yay for babies!! I’m excited for her! I just hope her morning sickness subsides – that is the worst! Also, we met a new couple a few weeks ago. They have a cute set of twin boys that are just over a year old. We have a lot in common with them and like hanging out with them a lot! They have inspired us to try and move from our current apartment into a nicer one. We are tired of being scared all the time to go outside past 6:30p.m.

It was bad, too, when Tom’s family was here because our neighbors decided to start beating each other up at 2:30 in the morning. They were VERY noisy, too, i.e.: woman screams, man yells, things bang, more screaming, more yelling, more banging…for several hours. It scared Tom’s family pretty good, but we are kind of used to it. We are also sick of the water/power/cable/internet going out all the time! The places that we are looking to move into have generators so at least the water/power doesn’t go out for several HOURS at a time without anyone knowing when it will turn back on. So we’re looking around at a couple different complexes. I think we’ve found one that we like at the Aqua Marina.

Well, that’s about it for now! We have church tomorrow so we have to get up early!