Showing posts from October, 2010


I just came back from an OB appointment, one where I “made wee-wee” on the stick, had my BP checked without the use of a stethoscope, and had an ultrasound which determined that “baby is growing and the gender hasn’t changed.” As a nurse practitioner, I always want to champion preventative care, but this is feeling more than a little like a waste of time!!!!
I was feeling sorry for myself, having to chase Isaac around the waiting room for 45 minutes and then manage him in the exam room during the ultrasound, and I was drowning my self-pity in my weekly McFlurry (a most justified reward after such a morning, I’ve decided) when Chad called.

He had just spent over 2 hours standing in lines at 2 different banks in Lilongwe after the ATM took our money back before he could get it! Of course, the first bank could do nothing and sent him to the central bank…which could do nothing either. They recommend “letting our US bank deal with it.” Like they’re going to believe us that the ATM stole our …

A few of my favorite things

The best things about being in South Africa for a breather:

1. Fruit and yogurt!!! My fridge is packed with nectarines, peaches, apples, grapes, and Isaac devours a bowl of yogurt and granola every morning like it’s the best thing he’s ever eaten! We can get some things in Lilongwe, but not as easily or cheaply as here. I love it! (Lest you get the wrong idea about me, I’m loving the chocolate that’s readily available too!)
2. Using debit cards. No longer do I have to fret over making sure I have enough cash to check-out of the grocery store without an eye-roll of the cashier for having to take items back out of my cart! I can just run the plastic and it pays for whatever I wanted to buy…dangerous, but oh so lovely!
3. McDonalds McFlurrys. I am not much of a fast-food junkie, and we rarely went in the US. But I can’t tell you how amazing it is to run through a drive-through after our weekly doctors’ appointment, buy lunch for ourselves and the kids, and get a McFlurry (…

Foreign birth

I never thought much about how having a baby in a different country might be. People usually ask about the safety factor, which I feel is a non-issue here in South Africa. The hospital is exactly like one you would find in any city in the US, if not fancier. So the surprises have come in the little details. Like no internal exams during any prenatal appointment—not until active labor! Not that I’m complaining, exactly. I just liked knowing how things were progressing towards labor there those last weeks. They also won’t check for Group B strep until labor starts, which means they don’t get the results for 3 days after birth—great for knowing what’s wrong if a baby ‘crashes’, but not so good for preventing it from happening! And then for the hospital, we are required to bring our own chux pads (waterproof “linen saver” pads for the bed), diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, rubbing alcohol (required for umbilical cord care, which US hospitals don’t even do any more). We even have to purch…

The Big 5

We’ve survived 5 days on our “own” here in Joburg now, though with all of us milling around it’s hardly been lonely! Isaac is doing great—sleeping has even improved a bit. There are Pack-N-Plays available here, but he can climb over the sides, so the trundle is pulled out between two twin beds, and it gives a sense of being contained on 3 sides, at least! He is also more clingy than usual, not wanting to let me out of his sight—but as long as he has a visual, he’s quite happy to play and even entertain himself enough that I’m on book #2 already. He’s giving more hugs and snuggles than ever, which I certainly am not complaining about. And speaking more words even—I don’t know if it’s hearing only English for the first time in 18 months or if it’s the absence of his chatty brother and sister that has finally given him a chance!
Today we walked the mile to the coffee shop next door to the Wimpy hamburger place, where I thoroughly enjoyed a mocha milkshake and Isaac got to experience a fas…

Greetings from sunny Joburg

Isaac and I made the trip down with minimal adventure yesterday and we’re doing well. The trip started out with our travel agent mentioning that Isaac (as a baby-in-the-lap) had to be “attached” to a “fake person” who had a real itinerary very different from my own, but that she just manually changed the dates on his ticket to make it look like he was traveling with me…but that it should be no problem. Sounded like a problem to me, but sure enough! No problem. Of course, they did have a problem with me being pregnant. Despite my officially stamped letter from a doctor clearing me for travel, made me wait 40 minutes before finally agreeing to let me fly, after a stern warning that they would “leave me behind” if it was up to them and making me put into writing that I would not hold them accountable if anything happened in the air.

During all this I had Isaac in the stroller so that I could buckle and contain him…a brilliant move on my part until it came to the 4 flights of stairs and no…

Graduation photo

This is the same photo as on our prayer letter, but in case any of you don't get it or couldn't open it, this is the group photo of all 20 students and their spouses on graduation day.

And life races on

few I knew it had been a few days since I last wrote...but 3 weeks? Where has the time gone??? I can not believe I leave for Joburg in 9 days. And call me slow, but it just dawned on me that I'll be gone for 2 whole months! I was thinking about the 3 weeks before Chad and the older kids come. Then the 3 weeks that we'll all be down there. Then the 3 weeks when it will be just me and the new one. And 3 weeks doesn't sound like all that long. But I'll be back December 10th, the day before Isaac's 2nd birthday, just 2 weeks before Christmas!!! I've got some serious planning and packing to do!

Meanwhile, things have been good. Despite my silence, my 3 mornings at the clinic have been going very well and don't feel at all overwhelming. It's a perfect amount of time. I'm also helping in Anya's classroom as a 'reading monitor' 2 of those mornings since the clinic doesn't open until 8. Ethan's teacher laughs when trying to describe what k…