Friday, April 22, 2011

... of true housewifery

Well, a midwife practices midwifery. So a housewife would practice housewifery, right? The red, auto correct line begs to differ. But, regardless, as the days go by and my post halfway around the world trip funk wanes, I find the enormous gap separating me and Donna Reed closing in.

Abram is a little skeptical. But I'm out to prove it to him and Quinn. Today, I am on my third load of laundry and I have at least three more to go. Now, I will not emphasize the fact that we have been back for more than a week and I haven't done laundry until now, which is why I am up to my ears in it at this point. But I was sick, people. I've just recently started being able to eat again. And, boy am I eating.

Last night I made dinner AND dessert. From scratch. A cake. From scratch. ME! I was inspired by this extremely appetizing bowl of dates that someone gave Quinn when we were in the Middle East.

We've taken it to every gathering we've gone to in the past week and a half and still could not get rid of them. I pulled out my Betty Crocker Gold Medal Flour cookbook a few days ago and opened right to a recipe for a chocolate chip-date cake. So along with dinner last night (one of our favorites - Chinese Chicken Salad), I made this cake.

It was supposed to cool for at least two hours. But I pulled it out and started to feed Abram SOLIDS (!) before Quinn and I sat down to eat, and I looked up and Quinn was cutting into it. You can't keep a man from his date cake for too long. It turned out really well and I think I am going to make another one for some friends' birthdays this Sunday. Hope they like dates! Abram sat in our laps and watched us eat.

Now that he is eating fairly well from a spoon, he seems to be more interested when we are eating. He even grabbed Quinn's bowl of Chinese Chicken Salad when Quinn wasn't looking and almost pulled it onto himself. We are maybe a few weeks from a high chair. He can sit up but, still slouches a bit and needs some support. But we are close.

We are also still having a bit of an issue at night, mainly because he can roll onto his tummy, but not to his back. This is so strange, because most of the stuff I've read says that most babies will roll to their backs first and it takes a little longer for them to roll onto their stomachs. Well, Abram has been tummy rolling for almost a month now and still cannot get the hang of rolling back. So he wakes himself up at night because he's frustrated. I'm hoping that will happen soon, too. I'm tired. Here is some tummy time with Obie investigating:

And we usually end most days before Daddy comes home in the tree swing. It's a very nice, relaxing 45 minutes or so for both of us. Although the mosquitoes are starting to come out and I've already gotten a few bites. Let's hope Abram has Quinn's blood and not my mosquito attracting kind.

Otherwise, he may not enjoy the outside like this much longer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

...of never traveling again.

Alright. That's a bit of an overstatement, but we are definitely going to be taking as much of a break as possible. We are a bit worn out and our poor five month old is feeling the effects.

We took Abram to Idaho at three months (four plane rides), I took him to north Texas and Oklahoma at four months (16 hours in the car), and we just took him to the Arabian Peninsula at almost five months (four plane rides totaling about 36 hours in the air). Luckily he did fairly well on the overseas flights. We were blessed with an extra seat on the way there and bulk head seats where they attached a bassinet to the wall for him on the way back. So he slept most of the time on those flights. I did not. I hate that I have never been able to sleep on planes. As tired as I may be and as much as I know I need to sleep, I can never ever get comfortable. Quinn essentially takes many hours of little naps and gets a little more rested, but not much better. All in all, the plane rides were the easy part of this last trip. Which is absolutely not how I anticipated it would go.

I got sick the second day that were were there. The friends that were were visiting took us to have lunch with some of their friends and I was sniffling the whole time and really tired. I thought I had allergies and they said that lots of people get allergies when they come to the middle east because of the dust. But by the time we got home and I was achy and feverish and about to collapse, we knew it was something else. I spent about a day in bed being taken care of by my wonderful husband and friends. Then the fever passed and the mucus came and my voice left. Here is a video of our friends' daughter, Siena (our god daughter), playing peekaboo with "Baby Aimem". My voice had started to return by this point, but you can hear kinda what it sounded like:

She is about the most adorable two and half year old I've ever known. She loves to help with things and whenever you ask her to do something or go get something, she always responds with: "Oh... yes!" Love it. Her brother Augie (Augustine) is almost a year and his adorable and uncontrollable mobility makes me excited and nervous for what we have to look forward to with Abram.

Anyway, just as I started to get better and was left only with a lot of mucus and a bad cough, Quinn got what I had. He went through the same series of symptoms, eventually loosing his voice and ending with a cough. We both still have coughs. As does Abram, who also got what we have. But his cough is so much more sad sounding because he can't spit anything out, so it just rattles around in there. It was so bad at night with the air conditioner on, that I let him sleep in between my legs and I slept sitting up so that he would be elevated and I could help him go back to sleep after a coughing fit.

Then our friend Steve got "the disease". Too bad the only prescription wasn't more cowbell. Sorry. Bad (but oh so very good) SNL reference. Unfortunately we all just had to ride it out. And then just when we thought our friend Katie had been the only one to escape it, she and I got food poisoning from a restaurant we ate at when the guys were out of town for the day. She was throwing up all morning, I was... doing... other, unpleasant, food poisoning things... all day. We got over it in about 24 hours, but it was so not fun.

All in all, although we may have struggled with not feeling well over the course of two weeks, we did get to do a lot and we ultimately had a really good time getting to see and spend time with some of our best friends. Quinn has a CD of the good pictures from the trip, but I haven't unpacked yet (and, yet I am already blogging...) and I don't know where it is. So here are some pictures from my iphone.

A camel that we could have ridden. We passed up the opportunity, but kind of regretted it later.

The henna I finally got. Katie and I went on two separate trips trying to find a place to get henna. I find it a little funny (and awesome) that if you get henna in the states, it will probably be done by a Muslim or Hindi. But the girl who did mine in the Middle East was a Christian girl from Nepal. We weren't able to communicate too much, but in her limited English we were able to talk about Jesus, church, and the fact that she thought I was 17. She actually called another girl in to tell her that I was married and had a baby. The other girl responded by saying: "No! Really! But your face is so small!" Katie says the word for young and small are the same in Arabic. So this made me feel better.

So anyway. It was a great trip over all. Our friends are going to start a business over there once they finish language school and we are thinking about joining them. It's something that we are definitely praying about and seeing what God wants us to do, but after visiting it seems a lot less scary and uncertain. The people are so nice and hospitable and gracious over there. They kind of put Americans to shame. I am working on my tea and coffee making skills, along with my house cleaning skills so that I can be better about inviting people over and honing my hospitality skills. In that vein, I better go and get some housework done before Abram wakes up from his nap. He is so off schedule I don't know how long I will have. We have all been up since 4 this morning, but we were able to play with the baby, make a good breakfast, read the Word, and Quinn even shaved his beard (at my request). It's so awesome to see his face again!! But he looks so young without it, I think he wants to grow it back soon... so we'll see :)

Oh! Also, while we were gone, my wonderful dad came and did some work around our house.

We are so excited to finally have: a privacy fence, new toilets, sinks, and counters in both bathrooms, a new garbage disposal, a baby swing in the back yard, and an organized garage!! I love the garage. That was a surprise Keith Shockley bonus. I wish I had a picture of what it looked like before. It was a disaster and you could barely walk through it. This is the after picture. We can actually get around and find stuff now! So awesome. Thanks, Dad!

Here is a final video of Abram with a teething toy. He got two teeth while we were gone! The two center bottoms. It now hurts a lot more when he chews on our fingers, so I don't think we'll let him do that any more. But I think more teeth might be coming, which is why he was rubbing his gums with the toy. I just thought it was too funny not to share.