Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Adventures in Baby Registery

I have to admit that I am not really organized or a very good at planning ahead.  I never have been, but I'm pretty sure it has gotten worse over the years.  But, when you are having a baby 1,000's of miles away from family and friends (not to mention cilvilation with Targets and Walmarts and all that), and add to that that it takes 4-8 weeks to get have to do at least a little bit of planning ahead.  So, this has been my adventure the last week trying to figure out what we need for this baby without actually going to a store and looking at things.  I'm pretty sure not having had a baby in 5 years is also sort of playing against me in this.  I have very little idea what I might need!

We will be here a year after baby #4 is born so I am trying to be minimalistic.  We have been given me a hand-me-down infant carseat, walker, and bouncer....sweet!  And, I have arranged to buy a used pack-n-play bassinet and booster seat/high chair from some friends of ours that will be leaving in October...also amazing.  With some basics taken care of I am not too concerned.

One huge thing that will be on the registry is cloth diapers.  I have not done this with my other kids, but think it is the best option for us here.  Disposable diapers are expensive and very poor qualitry here.  Not to mention, because I think I've already harped on it quite a few times, the huge garbage issue here as well.  As I have been looking into the cloth diapers I am a bit nervous.  Did you know there aren't tips on how to use these things in Africa?!  (Well at least I haven't found them.)  So, I am a bit concerend that I will spend large quantities of money (those suckers are expensive!) on something that will fall apart in the African water and heat.  Thankfully my friend has pioneered it for me and given me all her advice.  I love it when friends do that for you.

So, as I am registering I came across this contraption and am pretty mortified....

What the heck?!  Gross.  (You remember my nose issue?)  I will not be doing that.  You definitely will not see that on my registery.

*Edited to add:

The first picture isn't that great, so just to clear up exactly what the contraption does (and what I will NOT be doing), here is another picture.

Kind regards,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My 1st OB Adventure in Africa

Baby #4

Yesterday I had my first OB visit here in Africa.  I had been dreading it and therefore procrastinating it.  I really do not like to go to the doctor ever, but lauguage and cultural complications were making me dread it even more then usual.  I decided I would procrastinate until my second trimester and then make myeslf go.  Thankfully a friend offered to go with me and her French is much better then mine!  That helped ease my dread a little.  I can function pretty well in the local language but most medical terms are in French (and those I am definitely not familiar with) so I was very glad to have her there.  Between her French, my local language, and the tiny bit of English that the doctor knew we faired pretty well.  I feel much better about follow-up visits.  The doctor asked me all the normal questions (they don't do paperwork here because the litteracy rate is so low, so the doctor asks all the questions and records them).  Then, she led us to the ultrasound room.  As I was following her I was thinking she is really, really tall.  Of course part of that may be that I am only 5'2" and another part might be that African women have a thing for high heels (which I do not really understand, I would definitely die trying to walk around these horrible rocky roads with high heels).  She did an ultrasound and we heard the heart beat.  She *thinks* it is a boy, but wasn't able to get a really good look this time, so we won't know for sure until next ultrasound.  She did all the measurements and everything looks good.  She said I'm in my 5th month.  We asked for pictures and she sends me home with two very similar pictures of the head.  So, now I have two pictures (one shown above) of my babies head.  It's not quite the cute prfofile pics I have with my other kids, but maybe we can work on trying to explain that and ask for a new one next time?  We will see.  Oh, and she gave me a script for all the blood work I have to get done.  I am dreading all that even more.  I do not like needles.  Did I mention I am a total baby?!  No, but you figured it out, right? ;)

Kind regards,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Food Cravings

This preganacy I have mostly had food aversions, but recently I started having some cravings.

They have included:

Shrimp.  Which I can not get here.  (Photo Credits.)

Lobster.  Which I also can not get here.  (Photo Credits.)

Crab legs.  Suprise; I can't get those either!  (Photo Credits.)

And, last but not least....a Rubio's Fish Taco.  (Pretty much the best thing you could ever imagine.  But, sadly only with locations in 5 states including one in my hometown which I sadly missed when moving to the east coast.)  Obviously, I can't ge those here either.  (Photo Credit.)

Are you seeing the pattern here?!  All of the things (including the previously posted Chick-fil-A and dill pickle cravings) I can't get here are the things I am craving.  A bit frustrating.  Maybe it means I won't gain much weight?  There has to be some upside to this!  But, we did find out recently that we will be visiting two other countries in the next few months that are coastal countries!  This means I will get some seafood at some point.  That is pretty exciting!

So, (even if your not pregnant) what have you been craving lately?!

Kind regards,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beggars: The Silly & The Serious

Seeing beggars is an everyday part of our life here.  It's one of the things that took a lot of getting used to.  Well, maybe it is better to say it is one of the things we will never get used to.

We typically do not give beggars money (for several reasons, one of which I will explain later), but try to keep some food in the truck to hand out to them.

This morning, while we were out running errands, Mr. Sojourner gave a handicap beggar money and afterwards this conversation insued between him and Little:

Little: Daddy, why did you give that man money?
Mr.: Because he only had one arm.
Little: Will he buy another arm with the money?

It is amazing how litteral of a thinker Little is (or any kid at her age for that matter).  Leave it to Little to lighten up a serious issue. :)

Handicap beggar.  Picture credits.

"Tomato Can Boys."  Picture Credits.

While looking up some pictures to share I came across this really great (in the informative sense) article about Tomato Can Boys and I thought it does a good job of giving the truth, seriousness, and sadness of it.  If you get a chance please check it out.  The article shares the reason behind why we don't give these boys money, but instead give them food they can eat right away like bread, bananas, etc.

Kind regards,

Friday, March 18, 2011

International Cooking

I stumbled across this website with some great international recipes.  I have found quite a few that I can't wait to try!  We love trying new recipes around here.

Just in case you are interested I looked up some of my favorite West African recipes:
Poulet Yassa
Rice & Peanut Sauce (very important: make sure you use natural peanut butter not regualr!)

What is your favorite international or ethnic recipe?

Kind regards,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Could Eat My Weight in Stawberries

I love this picture.  Picture Credits.

Last year I had not one strawberry.  Ok, that is a little dramatic.  I did buy a few while we were in the States in mid December.  But, that was barely in the year.  And really I had none from June 2009 until mid December 2010 so that is the truth.  Strawberry season in super short here and is over in the blink of an eye.  Litterally last year it was maybe a month (it was not a good rainy season and therefore not good crops), I don't even think it was that long and I missed me chance!  This year that was not going to happen!

I LOVE strawberries.  Well, I love fruit period, but strawberries are my favorite; have been ever since I was little.  I'd pick fruit hands down over anything else offered to me.  Still will.  So, needless to say, this lack of strawberries has been rough.

So far this year to make sure my lack of stawberries would not do me in again I have: bought a deep freeze, purchased 18 kilos of strawberries (paid a little over $100), and spent 6 hours in the 90 something degree kitchen washing, treating, sorting, cutting, preparing, and storing them.  Would I do it all over again?  Yes, in a heart beat.  I will get to enjoy stawberry smoothies, or strawberry shortcake, or some other strawberry creation sporaticlly throughout the year!  I am siked about that (and so are the other Sojourners)!  All until next strawberry season when we will do it all over again.

What is your favorite strawberry recipe?

Kind regards,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nothing says, "Welcome Home!" Like...

10 Hours Without Power.
1 Puking Kid.
1 Lost Luggage.

But, I'm so glad he's home!  8 days seemed like a month.

Kind Regards,

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Little Sojourner (while cleaning her ears): "That's nasty. You shouldn't eat that"
Me: "Kinda like eating your boogers."
Little Sojourner: "Yeah, I don't do that anymore."
Me: "Since when?"
Little Sojourner: "Since 9:30."

Little & Me, October 2008

Good to know...

If only it were for real.  One can hope, right? 

Pretty much the thing that grosses me out most in the world is boogers and noses and yet my kids are pickers.  Ewwwwww!  Seeing anything to do with noses, hearning noises invlolving noses, even thinking about noses makes me gag.  Seriously.  It's an issue.  Did I mention that I live in a culture where nose picking is culturally appropriate (as long as you do it with your proper hand; the left of course)?  Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Do you have any remedies for nose picking kids?

Kind regards,

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm Ready

7 Taxi Rides.
5 School Days.
2 Weekends.
24 Meals.
8 Bedtimes.
8 Nights Sleeping Alone.
1 Scare.
13 Visitors To Our Gate.
2 Days of Internet Fiasco.
8 Days Of 100 & Something Degree Weather.

I.  Am.  Ready.  I'm ready for Mr. Sojourner to get back from his trip.  I am ready to have my best friend to talk to again.  I am ready for the Little Sojourners to have Daddy home again.  I am ready to be driven around by someone whom I love and speaks English again.  I am ready to have "the man of the house" home again.

Me & Mr. Sojourner, July 2004

Kind regards,