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addy girl and crazy internet

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our internet is out. kind of. no personal blog or facebook or email. yet i can get to random blogs here and there. so here is my attempt to post a short friday addy post from my phone on prepaid data. it’s crawling.

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me: whatcha doing?
addy: making a grocery list.
me: what’s on your list?
addy: hot chocolate, ceai, tea, a cucumber and paper eyeballs.
me: wow.

hello mercy, mama’s tired and needs to go to bed…

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dear mercy,

you woke me up at 6am this morning. random because normally you are the night owl and your big sister is the early bird. but this morning at 6am you started fussing and calling and we wanted your big sister to stay asleep. your dada went in and brought you out and you were still a little fussy. as soon as you saw me, you lunged for me and once i was holding you, you were perfectly quiet and content. you are your mama’s girl. but now your mama is a little tired.

you’ve been a little warm all day. i think it has to do with that tooth you are trying to get. it will be your third tooth and your first top tooth. slow down a little. stop walking around the living room, using the furniture and walls to help you along your way. could you be my baby for a little bit longer? what if the Lord wants you to be our last baby? slow down just a tad. ♥

thanks for all the kisses and snuggles you give me. they really help cheer me up when i am homesick. thanks for all your giggles and laughs. thanks for “talking” to me all day long. yesterday while your big sister was napping and dada and mama were studying language, you sat between us in your high chair and played for over thirty minutes. thanks for being such an easy and laid back baby. you sure are fun to have around.

we love you a lot. we are thankful the Lord trusted you to us!

Stayin’ green (and cheap) in Moldova…

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I made baby wipes. Kind of. I basically made baby wipes. Okay fine I made baby wipe solution. It’s not as impressive as it might sound. Lots of mamas and papas are out there that make their own baby wipes because I found a lot of different opinions and recipes. Still I can’t help but feel a little bit content that I am saving money and wasting even less paper. And trees. 🙂

But in all honesty, it started with Mercy’s bum. The kid’s got a stinking sensitive bum. Cloth diapers washed in All Free and Clear seemed to do the trick (the cheapest sensitive detergent I could find in the states). Then we switched to disposables for two months and low and behold I found out that Luvs or Pampers were okay but Kirkland, Target, Walmart and even Huggies were not. I’m telling you, this kid’s bum cheeks are made of some pretty expensive squishy-ness. When we got here, we purchased some Pufies (hello rash), borrowed some Huggies (hello more rash) and bought some Pampers (clear bum cheeks). Pampers cost more here than they do in the states. Ugh. We got a washing machine up and running, bought laundry detergent labeled “sensitive” and washed the first load of cloth diapers. Twenty-four hours later…the rash. Poor kid’s cheeks. Google, a conversation with Teresa and a bar of actual sensitive washing soap later, we figured out that Mercy’s diapers would have to be washed in homemade laundry detergent. {Recipe found here, version #8 due to the fact that these are the only ingredients we can find!}

Then I went to buy my first package of baby wipes. I got them home, opened them and almost gagged. They smelled like my grandma’s bathroom mixed with an entire bottle of cheap perfume. I’m not joking. I tried a couple on her and she had bumps and hives instantly. Instantly. So back to the store we went to price sensitive baby wipes. Holy cow. So I googled how to make your own baby wipes and came up with a plan. A plan that included the purchase of paper towels. So off to the store we went again. I am glad to say we only bought one roll (when we saw the price) because when we got home, we discovered that paper towels are about as thick as tissue paper. Or thinner. Plus they aren’t that much cheaper than baby wipes. Hmmmm.

I found myself thinking about reusable baby wipes. I have seen them on cloth diaper websites. I have even read that simply water is enough at times to clean a baby’s bum. But here’s the catch…it’s cold around here and water ain’t cheap. 🙂 My kids are only getting a bath once a week right now (please don’t judge!) and Mercy’s little bum can use all the good yet not grandma perfume smells she can get. So I googled some more and decided I could make a baby wipe solution and put it in a spray bottle.

Start with a 2 cups of water….add 2T baby shampoo. Some blogs swear by “Baby Magic” which just happened to be the baby shampoo I brought with me from the states. Other blogs said any kind of baby shampoo or even melted soap shavings would work. We will probably try sensitive soap shavings next. Just pick something you like the smell of because this is what your “baby wipes” are going to smell like. Add 2T baby oil or olive oil…you could look into other oils but I found a bottle of sensitive baby oil on sale (probably because it didn’t have any perfume in it!). You don’t have to add the oil but from what I read, this just helps baby’s bum not to dry out. Finally, I added one last ingredient that is completely optional…1T white vinegar. This is simply added as an anti-fungal (for yeast infection). Mercy gets yeast infections when you look cross eyed at her. Let me tell you, this is the best prevention I have ever used! {Side note, don’t use this solution if baby has a raw rash on bum cheeks…ouch!} {Double side note…I learned that vinegar comes in real and synthetic here. Hence the drastic price difference. I don’t remember seeing synthetic vinegar in the states but maybe I just missed it!}

Measurements are somewhat relative. I would know. I used my “measuring” pitcher. Moldovans either have a thing against measuring cups or they have a secret to measurements that I have not learned yet. I did a little bit of guessing since my measuring pitcher really only works if you are measuring flour. Only flour. I stirred it gently and poured it into this huge purple spray bottle.

Then I tested it out in multiple ways. First I carried it into the girls where I discovered the sprayer was not screwed on correctly and some of it dumped out on the girls’ floor. Never fear, I used the mop and it works great as a mopping solution. The I actually used it to change a poopy diaper. I should mention that I made reusable baby wipes. I found one of Christian‘s old t-shirts (you’re welcome, honey!) and cut it into baby wipe sized pieces. I either spray a little on Mercy’s bum or I spray the baby wipe. It works great and she smells great.

And that was my solution to sensitive baby wipes. Now if I could only tackle the rest of my issues and predicaments. Oh and make Yogurtland-worthy frozen yogurt. Yup, gotta go google that one!

addy + happiness

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this kid brightens up my day. that’s all there is about it. ♥

this morning, i was studying romanian and addy was coloring while singing to me:20120224-091038.jpg

she let me video record it, which is kind of rare…

we got distracted and colored together and belted this version out at the top of our lungs. even mercy joined in. it was pure happiness. then i remembered about my romanian homework.

happy friday, addy grace. thanks for being my baby big girl princess. ♥

post script. mercy yells halfway through the video because she wants a marker. addy says, “goodbye muno” (yo gabba gabba) at the end. check out the picture she is coloring…we worked very hard to copy the word “farm.”

mercy thrursday + iphone movies

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i have been meaning to do something with all the little videos on my phone. since it’s thursday (mercy’s day of birth, don’t forget) i decided i would upload a few favorites of her!

grammie and pops are coming in may! we are practicing now how to say their names.

our very first care package came from grandma and grandpa. addy was very excited but poor mercy had the worst cold to the point that she couldn’t nurse or use her pacifier. i finally gave her benadryl, so here is the cutest drugged baby ever. 🙂

for being a little thing, mercy really likes big people food. this is chicken and veggie soup mashed up a little…watch her look for more after every bite.

mercy was eating paper and i took it away. then i recorded her tantrum.

mercy was getting ready for bed and started blowing “bubbles” on the coffee table. every time she would do it, addy would ask, “who toot-ed?!”

sarah has been trying to teach mercy how to say “dohdoh” (her nickname) since mercy was born. the day sarah left for california, mercy said “dohdoh” for the first time! now mercy thinks talking about dohdoh is hysterical, which it probably true. ♥

i have more but this should be enough to hold you over if you are mercy’s grandparent and not too much to bore you if you are someone else! 🙂

christians + lent?

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Lent starts today. It goes 40 days (plus Sundays) until Easter. I was reading a little about it and found this article on You Version. I don’t know about you, but I found myself challenged when I read the italicized part. (I italicized it by the way.) I rarely interact with a Christian that doesn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter…the “fun” holidays. I have, however, talked with numerous believers and heard this many times before, “…Lent is a Catholic holiday. I’m not going to be so legalistic.” This year, we observed Advent and it was a really cool experience. I ‘m not sure what it will look like, but I also plan on observing Lent while learning more about it. For that matter, I kind of want to learn a little more about Epiphany and Pentecost. I kind of like the idea of following the church calendar instead of the solar calendar. 🙂

What is Lent?

For some Christians, Lent has always been a part of their spiritual life, but for others it is unfamiliar. Lent is a season leading up to Easter, a time when Christians have historically prepared their hearts for Easter with reflection, repentance, and prayer. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and proceeds for forty days, excluding Sundays, and culminating with Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Since Sundays are weekly celebrations of the resurrection of Jesus, the six Sundays in Lent are not counted as part of the forty-day season, which focuses on introspection, self examination, and repentance. Many Christians choose to celebrate a fast throughout the season of Lent, but the focus is not on depriving themselves of something as much as it is on devoting themselves to God and his purposes in the world.

Lent is an important season of the church year. The church year is an excellent way to help focus our attention on God with the way we organize our time. Rather than following the solar calendar’s more familiar structure, organized by the rhythms of nature, the church calendar is organized around God and his activity in the world. The church calendar follows six seasons of varying length: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Each of these seasons have different focuses: Advent focuses on the anticipation of God’s coming into the world, both in the incarnation and in Christ’s return. Christmas focuses on the birth of Christ. Epiphany focuses on the light of God’s presence shining in the world. Lent focuses on human sin and God’s gracious solution. Easter focuses on resurrection life. Pentecost focuses on the ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit in the world. The annual rhythm of these seasons can have a powerful effect on personal and communal spiritual growth.

a photo tour of sorts!

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I know this post is long, long over due. In all honestly, though…we just finished putting our apartment together. For the most part, we have everything we need. We would like to get a bookcase at some point and eventually a television for our Wii but those are the non-necessities. We are also hopefully getting a printer this coming week! But enough about that…here’s the good stuff…a few too many pictures of our new home:

original living room

original master bedroom

original kitchen sink

our balcony

our stairwell door

our mailbox

our front door

our new kitchen sink + our washing machine

fridge, microwave and more

stove + spices on the windowsill

super cute + super stinky bathroom

newly "remodeled" living room (aka language study area)

table and chairs (we got to choose the fabric!)

super amazing mattress

craftiness will happen here

the girls' room

mercy adoniyah ♥

addy grace ♥

school and art center

my laundry "dryer." it's pretty cost efficient.

a frozen nighttime view of our "neighborhood"

a "community" playground of sorts and the amount of snow when we got here

the amount of new snow we got last week

and just a handful of pictures from this past month…

baby girl bath time

big girl bath time

one of the three pictures i took our first few weeks here...

celebrating dada's birthday

"walking" from her crib to a box!

an american-type coffee shop and sarah's last full day here...

these two bring so much joy into my day. i can't imagine my life without them. ♥

oh happy day. we unpacked our art supplies!

notice the purple bruise. we have concrete walls, fyi...

she is in love with real food. not pureed. real.

she still thinks the snow is new and exciting. she's crazy.

I think it is starting to feel like home yet I know that it will also take time. I keep reminding myself of what my mom told Addy: our home is wherever Dada and Mama and Addy and Mercy are together. ♥

i like me some whisky glazed with chicken.

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google translate just doesn’t cut it. read labels that have been translated by a computer and you will see what i mean. i bought a baking dish today so that i can actually use my oven. on the back of the flier was a recipe. i think we are going to be quite fond of it around here. because, seriously, who doesn’t like a little whisky once it has been glazed with chicken? 🙂

the ingredients include 2/3 glass of chicken soup and 1/3 glass of whisky. i am pretty sure whisky is somewhat similar to whiskey. the directions include phrases such as cut onion into thin semi-rings and even to mill garlic. you also need to fry them until softness. brilliant. but don’t forget to put the chicken above or to make glazing or it might not turn out well. last but not least, after it, from time to time by greasing the chicken with the remaining glazing, bake it for 30-40 minutes. and obviously, obviously…serve with soaked blueberry. it’s the key component to making successful whisky glazed with chicken.

addy + friday

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she’s a mix of tom boy meets girly girl, my oldest. she loves to run with the boys, shoot guns and play dead. but she’s also cinderella and don’t you dare tell her that she isn’t. she loves shoes. her dohdoh did that to her. she wants so badly to wear these shoes outside so we compromised and she wears them in the house.

five years, eight months and thirty days ♥

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i met this handsome and yes sexy man exactly five years ago at 6:45pm. i walked into calvary chapel (then thousand oaks, now skyline) and he was the young adults’ leader. i thought he “wasn’t my type” but am i ever glad that i was wrong.

we didn’t waste any time because those of you that can do the math also know that we’ve been married four and a half years already. we knew within a month that we would get married. it was just very peaceful like that.

we’ve done a lot these past five years…including parenting six different kids, giving birth to two kids, quitting our “careers” and moving to another continent. i wouldn’t want to be doing these crazy things with any other person in the entire world.

oh and this little person? well i met her exactly eight months ago today at 6:22pm. she along with her big sister have also rocked my world. 🙂 i love being a mama to this peanut. she’s still small but she seems to be making up for it with a fire-y and very, very determined personality. she adores her big sister. i mean, love. she won’t be contained. she eats everything in sight except the food on her tray. she thinks she can walk. she is a joy in my life.

i also started a journey that moved my family and i to another country exactly one month ago today. my heart still aches when i think about my family and friends. my oldest still dreams of spending tomorrow with her cousins.

whew.

enough milestones for today. this is mercy’s song. i don’t know why but seriously sometimes it is the only thing that will make her smile. i don’t really care for the second verse but sarah, ever to the rescue found this awesome cover version.

enjoy.

happy friday, addy grace

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yes my addy grace was born on a friday. she was due on a sunday, i was in labor an entire wednesday and thursday but she didn’t actually make her appearance until a friday (almost two weeks after she was due). but that’s a different story. ♥

my oldest cracks me up daily. this morning, she awoke promptly at 7am. she called from her room, “mama i am up…come and see me!” excuse me, what? i walked in there and she smiled grandly at me. “mama, i am sooooo hungry.” “good,” i replied. “i am making you oatmeal.” “actually, mama…i’d like a chocolate bar for breakfast!” actually? chocolate bar? whose kid are you? 🙂

she’s a social butterfly and a social eater. she doesn’t care a bit that the other kids are talking in romanian or russian. if they don’t understand what she is trying to tell them, she just demonstrates for them. she’s a little fire-y and quite a bit spunky! she gives me a run for my money when it comes to food. yet yesterday when teresa watched her for two whole hours she consumed an apple, a kiwi, two servings of shepherd’s pie, a rice cake and more. she ate three bites of her dinner for me tonight.

she’s taking this move like a champ. it isn’t always easy. her hardest adjustment was definitely dohdoh going home. it’s been hard watching her little heart ache. a few night ago we could not get her to fall asleep no matter what we did (think 10pm) so we finally let her call sarah on my phone via skype. my heart broke as i watched her lay there and chat with her doh, kiss the phone over and over and at one point just lay her cheek up against sarah’s face. i am reminded of a good friend in montana telling me, “we extend much grace during times like these.”

today she “helped” me in the kitchen. she actually was quite a bit of help. we made a batch of baby food for mercy, truly from scratch. this stuff is so organic and green, we didn’t even use electricity to make it. it has nothing to do with me realizing i don’t own any sort of blender or food processor five minutes into our project. 🙂 we boiled apples and carrots on the gas stove, strained them a little and then mashed them with a wooden spoon and the bottom of a coffee mug. i know, brilliance! she was very proud of our outcome:like i mentioned yesterday, these thursday and friday photos will most likely be on my sister blog also. i might get lazy and just link them. or maybe i will repost!

mercy + thursday

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mercy was born on a thursday. addy was born on a friday. i am going to try and post a little something + picture of mercy on thursdays and the same for addy on fridays. we will see how it goes. oh and for the record, pictures of our new home coming soon!

mercy is going to be eight months old. she is busy, busy, busy plus she eats anything and everything she can get her hands on. i’m not talking about food…she enjoys paper, tape, leaves, dirt, caps, lids, pennies…anything you drop on the floor she will eat. we are becoming very clean. she has become a pretty fast crawler but right now she loves standing and walking around the coffee table. she is still 100% mama’s girl. she loves her big sister. she has helped me a lot through the feelings of being homesick and missing my family. she always has a huge, sweet smile for me. ♥

we’ve started wearing shoes. they are too big (yes her foot is still smaller than a size 2) but i’m hoping they help her not fall on the slippery floors when she stands up. maybe the rubber soles will help! this picture is actually on the photo blog that sarah and i are doing together.