Posts Tagged ‘Eli’

I am not lost

Habari ya siku mingi!  Do you remember me posting in the past of the Kenyan saying, “You’ve been lost” when you haven’t visited someone for a long time?

Well, I know that I haven’t visited my blog much in the last few weeks, but rest assured, I am not lost from it.

Life has been chaotic.

Moving three kids under 5 years half way across the world, quite literally, took a lot out of this momma & poor Ian who had his back go out just as he sat down on the plane for our awesome 16 HOUR flight from Dubai to San Fran.   Can you imagine anything more torturous?  How bout the fact that the airline seated us separately, so Ian had both kids while I was seated alone with the baby.  Not ideal for either of us.

Saying a difficult goodbye to my dear Kenyan friends whom I have seen day, after day, after day was and still is hard.  While the work was hard, I still do miss that knock on our door at 9pm, the girls coming to beg some sweets from Ian, seeing Ruben love on my flower garden, having Patrick give me a hearty wave to say Habari Asubuhi, and all of the rest of the sweet ways the staff and residents loved on our family.

Moving back home to a crazy, rushed and chaotic world is taxing on the system and the soul.  Poor Ian had to soothe himself with some rice and beans right away.  Eli says Asante Sana to the checker at New Seasons and wonders why she doesn’t appreciate that he’s thanked her for the sticker she gave him, Lucy tries to navigate coming  into what pretty much is a 2nd culture for her…..we left for Kenya when she was just TWO years old!  Poor thing can’t figure why we aren’t paying the police, putting trash in pits in the yard or waiting for the water to heat before it comes out of the tap.

And then there is sweet baby Ameena.  My wonderful Kenyan gift.  A daily reminder of our amazing midlife adventure.

I’ll post soon.  I have so many thoughts swirling in my mind.  So many things I want to share.

I’m processing.

Recuperating.

Recharging.

Mourning.

Rejoicing.

Breathing.

Praying that I’ll have the faith and wisdom  to listen to what God has in store for our family, and that I’ll be obedient in my answer.

Self Portrait

I had a post on facebook a while back about Eli’s self portrait drawing done at school.  It’s a pretty accurate drawing, except for the skin color.  When I asked him why he made himself black, he corrected me saying, “Mom!  I’m not black, I’m dark brown!”  If only he had seen his class picture that I had just received finally from the school.  A sea of light, medium, dark brown AND black……and a smidge of quite white.  Him.  Love that boy.

like the official class photo we received

Awww

A moment of true love.

Lucy was invited to attend school all week, all day with Eli as this is the last week before a 3 week  break between terms.  No mention of me paying the insane private school fees the school charges…..so I jumped on it.

Eli has been REALLY genuinely excited to have Lucy with him at school.  He has been prepping on how to be a good brother to her at school.  It’s been almost a year since she has attended Imani, due to scheduling conflicts and tuition costs, so it was good to have a refresher course on what he might do to make her visit a little more enjoyable (for the sake of the whole family).

Don’t mind my crazy messy house, this is of course a picture from the 1st day when we were dealing with a new routine and trying to rush out the door!

All in all, I think the week of school has been good for Lucy, and more importantly, good for MOM!  I have had some much needed time to myself during the day which has been sorely lacking during our stay here in Africa.  I have even had the opportunity to chat with some of you at home in the states over Skype, which I have needed to fill my emotional reserves.  Come to  find out, it is a much different experience to live and work at the same location, especially when  the work serves people 24/7.   I thank all of you who do this kind of work day in and day out, for years on end!  It is something quite unique.

Anyhow, pray for our family as we adjust to a 3 week break from school for Eli…which means a change in our daily routine at home and in the Centre.  There are many things related to the Centre that draw my attention away from the kids daily and I  specifically hope that these weeks are a time of enjoyment for Eli and Lucy together rather than a time of bickering or chaos.   I am entering the last month and a  half of this pregnancy and we will ALL be thankful for some smooth sailing in our house!

Baby Love

I love babies.  Mine and other peoples.  Ian’s brother and his wife had their 3rd child, a baby girl, born this weekend.  In honor of that, here is a picture their baby girl, Aliyah (you might need to click on it to see it larger, I copied it from his facebook page), and a few of my other favorite baby pics.

Here are some of my favorite other baby pictures:

Lucy with her baby carried Kenyan style. I can't wait to try this t!echnique myself

Eli at about 7 months

Lucy at 4-5 months old

I’ve been demoted

Eli’s newest deal is to threaten me with things like,

“You won’t be my mom any more.”  ”

I won’t love you, if you don’t…” and so on. 

I don’t generally respond to his threats except to shrug my shoulders and say something like, “That’s too bad”.

Tonight, he again said that I was no longer his mom.  I said, “Ok.”  He then informed me that Megan was his new mom.  Megan is our Volunteer Coordinator at Karibu Centre, also from Portland, Oregon.

I responded with, “Great, then you can go wake Megan up at 6:30 everry morning.”

“No” replied Eli, “I’ll still wake you up, you’re the househelp.”

Of course I love that  I’ve just been demoted by a 4 year old.   My only question is, if I’m currently the mom, then where in the world is MY househelp that is supposedly getting up currently with the kids at 6:30 am every day???  Cause as far as I know, and I’ve been here since May, I haven’t had househelp that hang out with my kids at 6:30 am so I can sleep….

DeJa Vu

Today Ian and I had a conversation that I am almost positive we had before Eli was born.

It has to do with the baby’s sleeping arrangements.

Before Eli was born, I had THE most difficult time justifying why we needed a cradle (borrowed) for him.  Ian was empathic that we could just use a drawer from the dresser, or even a tub.  He’s really a practical guy, and most of the time I appreciate this about him, but not today.

Today, we had that conversation all over again….pretty much 5 years later to the day.

It went a little something like this:

Ian-“Why can’t the baby sleep in bed with you?”

Me-“Because I don’t sleep with a baby in bed with me.  I have nightmares that I’m going to squish it, or that it will get caught in the mosquito net”  (Yes, we have the added bonus of having to consider real functional netting at night for me and the baby so we don’t get The Malaria).

Ian-somewhat jokingly, but not quite enough, “And why would you want to deprive the baby of that nurturing?”

Anne- “Because I don’t sleep with a baby on me all night and I don’t think you all want me that *itchy from not sleeping”

Ian-“It’s just 2 months.”

Anne-“3”

Ian-“Where are you going to put the cradle?”

Anne-“There (pointing at the end of our bedroom where my desk currently is, but won’t be) or maybe in the guest room.

We journey to the  guest room.

Ian- “And where will it go in here?”

Mind you, I am a spatial planner and I have been planning this arrangement of new baby furniture since the 2nd ultrasound confirming this baby’s viability (so for 5 months now).

Anyhow….the conversation continued…with a lot of back and forth and Ian ending with:  “So why can’t we just prop up this bed and then the baby lies on one side and you use the other side as a changing area?”

To which I replied, “Hey, if I have to have a baby in Africa, don’t go ruining the small amount of pleasure I might get from having a cradle made, and buying a used changing table.”

Ian-“Don’t I get a say?”

Me-“Not really, cause I’m the one getting up to feed it and change it in the middle of the night.”

Ian-“But I can’t breast feed it.”

Me-“That’s my point.”

So, I think this conversation will die like the one did before Eli was born….and when Ian comes back from his 4 year amnesia of what it is like to go without sustained night sleep for months on end because of a fussing baby.

In that spirit, I’m going to take this picture to the local carpenter in the market to see if he can make this, or something close in approximation:
Allegro Cradle

I’ll keep you updated on the “arrangement”.

My little watchdogs

Eli, who is  4 years old (5 in May) is a very perceptive boy.  He takes note of a lot that goes on around him, and of what is said.

He is apparently very aware of my gestational diabetes, because while eating some candy yesterday, he informed me, “This is very bad for you huh mom?”  To which I sadly nodded yes.  To which he added, “And my ice cream yesterday, when you took a bite, that was REALLY bad for you.”  To which I further nodded in affirmation.  And then he cheerfully added, “But once the baby is here you can have it all!”  To which I joyfully agreed.

Lucy, also, is very attentive to what is happening around her.  The girl can’t help but be obsessed with babies and baby care as we are running a residential program for vulnerable pregnant women with services lasting through the babies first 4 months.  At any given moment, Lucy is able to go to the women’s dormitory or classroom and have her pick of beautiful babies to look at and touch.  She herself carries her un-named Corolle baby with her EVERYWHERE.  Along with all of the necessary baby paraphernalia.  Extra changes of clothes, bottles, toys, pacis, diapers (swiped from my one pack of newborn disposables).  She is very aware of OUR baby though, and reminds me throughout the day to be saving things for it, for when it comes.  Hair barettes, pairs of socks, used diapers, left-over cereal, outgrown clothing, colored pictures, dropped malaria pills, you name it.  She is a very thoughtful, and planful little girl.  I appreciate that about her. 

Last night, when the baby was in an awkward position and giving me a cramp, and I complained of it, Lucy exclaimed, “Well, then you better go to the doctor and tell her to take her out so you can feel better!”  Good idea Lucy.  I like your style.  But then again, this is the little girl who wants me  to keep my shirt up all of the time so her little sister can see out of my tummy.   Like my shirt is the window shade preventing this little girl from “seeing the world”.  Oh  my.

Playing "baby" together. I love these kids!