Monday, November 29, 2010

GAP performance

Eliza and Fenton's playgroup had an end of year performance of dancing and singing. It was fun to see my little kids up there with all of their friends. Eliza did great singing and Fenton was ok until he saw David and I in the audience then he was super sad.

GAP was such a blessing in my life and for the kids to have friends and learn new things. I am going to miss it when we are back in the states.

















Gran Etange




Last weekend we went to a national forest here in Grenada called Gran Etange (not sure on the spelling). It has a little museum and a little trail to walk around and see the island from about 1900 ft. There are supposed to be monkeys there too so we had told the kids all day that we were going to see monkeys.
It rained all day so no monkeys, the trail was super muddy and the view was somewhat covered by the clouds, so it was kind of a bummer.
It was still nice to get out of the house together as a family.




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

her mother's daughter

Eliza is definitely my daughter,
One of her photo books had a page that was ripped out and I told her that I couldn't fix it.
She then said "can't you just put some duct tape on it"....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

around town

the church in Grenada, notice that it has a great view.
the road in down town St. George. They are narrow, very hilly, and often one way.
St. George's market


The public library

The public hospital that David waited at when we got his stitches. It wasn't the first place with the sign, but off to the left behind the building under the cement pillars.






Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The kids playstructure

There is really only one park that we have found on the island and that is at the kids school. They call it the play structure because it really shouldn't be defined as a park. It is small but the kids still can have a little slide and some swings so they don't complain.
The picture of the beach is about 100 yards from the playstructure so this is where we like to go because we have good parking and it is beautiful. The waves were really big today so I took a picture. Generally they are much smaller, more like the waves of a lake so the kids can really enjoy the water.






8 stitches later

David played soccer on Saturday afternoon and I took the kids down when I thought he would be finished. They continued to play for another 20 minutes and said "next goal wins". David went after a ball against another player (who was wearing cleats) and the guy kicked David and split his shin open. It was pretty deep and David was in a lot of pain. We took him to the general hospital and we waited for about an hour and knew it would be quite some time before he was seen. The general hospital is quite primitive. The only way I can explain it is an unorganized warehouse of medical supplies. We called the campus on-call nurse and explained our situation. We took him to the campus and the nurse attended to him quickly and the doctor showed up about 20 minutes later and sewed up David. The wound was nearly 3 inches long and very deep. He got 1 internal stitch and 7 external. Though he has been in a lot of pain, he doesn't complain much and is trying to walk around, go to class, play with the kids, etc. He has never gotten stitches before so why not the 1st time be in Grenada? He will have a nice scar in about 2 weeks.




Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween

Grenada does not celebrate Halloween but the SO group from the university orginized a Fall festival for all of the children to participate in. They organized about 15 offices on campus to hand out canding for trick or treat'n and then they had 2 bouncy castles treats, bowling and face painting after the trick or treat'n was over.
It was so great. The kids loved it. Eliza kept commenting on how she loved trick or treat'n. It was a great little halloween on this island.
Eliza went as snow white and Fenton went as Dash Incredibles. It was perfect for Fenton because all he wants to do is run, and he runs fast.
.





Friday, October 22, 2010

shopping

If you know me well, shopping has never been a big favorite past time. I am a shopper that goes into a store and knows what I want and gets it and leaves. I don't love the browsing or the actual "shopping" and digging through things.
But lately, being deprived of this experience nearly 100%, I have missed it.
I miss shopping for clothes for my kids, walking around Costco just to see what they have, hunting for bargains, going for sales, and getting the excitement of getting a great deal and calling my sister to tell her about it. I miss being able to go somewhere for 20 minutes that is air conditioned just to waste some time. I also feel I am missing out on the excitement with a new baby coming to buy things for it, get a room ready, buy new books, blankets, and clothes for it, but I guess I will have to make up for some lost time when I am back in the States with my mom and my sisters.

petting zoo?

On Wednesday the local Veterinarian school opened up their pasture to the kids to come in and pet the animals. Fenton loves to look at horses in books and so I thought this would be a great idea. I learned quickly that my kids like animals at a safe distance and contained.
We went to the pasture and they just let us in to roam with the animals. Fenton was already in hysterics when we went through the gates. He was crying and holding on to me for dear life. Eliza was hiding behind my leg the whole time.
The animals there were horses, cows, donkeys and 2 very large bulls. These were big animals and any movement from the animals the kids would cling on even tighter. The animals were walking around freely so they would come right next to us, right behind us and follow us and frighten the kids. I was a little jumpy too, I have to admit.
We stayed only 30 minutes before I was carrying both of them with the faces buried in my chest. After about 10 minutes I thought that I should have brought my camera, but as the time passed I realized that there was no way I could have taken any pictures with my kids scared and my hands full. Needless to say my kids probably won't grow up to be vets.

Eliza is growing up

You would think in a place that you would only wear flip flops that learning to tie her shoe was not a priority, but that is not the case for Eliza. Our friends gave Eliza a pair of running shoes with laces and Eliza has been quite diligent the last 2 days to learn how to tie them herself and she has done a great job. I can't believe that she can tie her own shoes already. It isn't perfect, but she does a great job. She is growing up way too fast.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10

What a cool date... 10-10-10. I have been thinking about time passing and how we each measure time. It can be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years. Some have calendars, day books, schedules from school, tests, appointments or vacations that measure their time, or how much time has passed. I don't have a calendar, but I have noticed one way that I monitor time and it involves one of my favorite things to do, throw things away.
I bought toiletries and such in England for me to have here in Grenada because I knew it would be a bit cheaper that way. I bought diapers, laundry detergent, soap, tooth paste and other such items and it is exciting to me to throw box away and open another box. It is a measurement of time for me that we are using all of these items I bought and that means time is going and that means we are getting closer and closer to finishing with the second year of med school and with living in Grenada. It is a bit pathetic that my time is measured in laundry detergent, which I only have 5 boxes left, but it is how time is measured in my own bizarre way.

Eliza's 1st testimony

Today was the 1st time that Eliza bore her testimony in sacrament meeting. We have been practicing with her for a while. She showed interest in bearing her testimony a couple of months ago and so we taught her and we practised. She went right up there and said her testimony. I didn't help her or say anything and she was amazing. I almost started to cry. What a special little girl that we have. She truly is naive and beautiful. I feel so blessed to have her as my daughter.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Boy or Girl?????

I knew that having a child in a third world country would offer some complications. They do things a bit differently here. I have to bring my own chart to each of my appointments and if I get blood work or an ultrasound I have to do it at a different location then pick up the results and bring them back to my doctor. A bit different than at home.

I am about 20 weeks along now, (half way!!!!) and I got an ultra sound. I found the ultra sound technician downtown Grenada. Finding the place is always half of the battle here. I asked several people where it was and I got 3 different directions. I have a pretty good sense of direction and I learned quickly on my mission to rely on the Holy Ghost to help me find things and places that I needed to find. So I went into this hoping to find the place. I found it quit easily.
With my past experiences with ultrasounds, they are usually at the same location as the Dr. and the technician will describe and explain what we are looking at explain the measurements and the sex of the baby.
While I was getting my ultrasound here, I waited patiently as she took measurements, took pictures and listened to the heart beat for her to explain everything and tell me what she could but she didn't say a word.
She started to wipe off my belly and she said "you can come back tomorrow to pick up the report to take to your Dr."
I then asked, "that's it? well how does everything look?"
She said that she can't say anything and that it is the Dr.'s job to read and assess the report. She was not at liberty to make any calls. I asked her if she at least knew the sex of the baby. She said that from her view she saw that it was a boy.
I was surprised because I had a Dr. appointment 2 weeks ago and the Dr. did an ultrasound and he said that he saw that it was a girl. I told the technician this so she decided to look again and she still supported her own assumption that it was a boy and said she was rarely wrong, but it was still early and it was really the Dr.'s call to make any real decisions.
So who do I believe? I guess I will have to wait a little longer. The final decision has yet to be determined.
FYI...... the ultrasound cost about $30 US.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mother's treats

I sometimes hide my treats or sneak a treat in just so I don't have to share with the kids. Is this something that all mother's do, or am I just selfish with my treats?

Our swimming pool

Monday's and Thursday's we are allowed to use the University Club's pool and it is something we always look forward to. The pool is great and the location awesome. Eliza is learning to swim really well and of course Fenton is right behind here. There are 2 pools, one for the little kids and one for the adults and it is the biggest one on the island. It has a large tree on one side so it can provide shade. It is right next to the beach so if they get bored swimming they can go play in on the beach. There are hammocks and kayaks to use. We order drinks and sip it next to the pool. It is quite an escape from the heat and humidity. Here are just a few pictures to make you jealous.







David is 30

David turned 30 last week and he celebrated all week. On Monday we had a special breakfast and dinner and opened a present. Then on Saturday we had a party for him and another student that had a birthday that week also. It was a pretty fun party. We had quite a few friends come and the kids just went wild. We had treats and balloons and then we played some games from "minute to win it". I wanted to make David's 30th special, even if he was studying all of the time. We are still waiting for a package for the rest of David's presents.
This is how David's spent a lot of the party,,,watching college football on the computer, exactly where he wanted to be.
Happy 30th David and I am glad that you have joined my generation!!!!

bouncing off walls

Fenton is full of energy and he is always running around or jumping off things, or just jumping. He has reached his terrible two's for sure. He is potty training and doing quite well. Diapers are super expensive so I wanted to potty train as soon as possible. I am hoping I survive till he reaches 3. Here is a quick video of him flipping. He sure is a dare devil.

video

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pirate Ship

The Saturday after David's exams we were able to go on a pirate ship to Flamingo bay. There were about 70 other students and their families on the boat. We had a great time. There were drinks and a few snacks and lots of chatting with others.
It was a true pirate ship from about the 1700's with sails and everything. They had a plank to walk, a rope swing and 4 cannons that they fired. When we got to the cove we jumped off the side and swam. It was a bit choppy that day and about 10 people got truly sick on the boat, but we did fine.
It was a fun way to spend our morning with David and the kids and an experience that we probably won't ever have again. Argh, avast ye matie!!













Airplane, takeoff landing

Fenton loves airplanes and David's school is right next to the runway so some days we go see the 737 take off and Fenton loves it. In the picture you can see the runway in the back, but you can see how happy Fenton is just to see the big plane.



video

Friday, September 10, 2010

Real life in Grenada

To begin, I would just like to say that this is neither supposed to be complaining nor bragging, but just a document of life in Grenada, for my benefit in the future, so I won't forget the little details of living here. It is also quite long, just a warning.
Grenada is hot and humid. It doesn't get much over 88 degrees but it doesn't drop much below 80 degrees, even at night. It is humid! I have lived in Charleston and it was hot and humid there too, even hotter than here, but at least you had the comfort of your own home with AC running 24/7. Here it is a luxury to have AC. We have it in only the two bedrooms which we find solace in at night and during naps. It is quite a refuge for me to know that though I may be sitting all day in my sticky sweaty body, I know that at night I get to take a shower and sleep in my air conditioned bedroom, as do my children. It does cost us a pretty penny to even run it at those limited times, but that is our choice of luxury on this island. But please do not forget how hot, humid and uncomforable it is.
Water. Water here is fine when you have it. The island turns of the water at various times during the day and I rely on the reserve tanks that we have. This is fine except when it comes to taking showers. The only water pressure that exists then is from gravity from wherever your water tank is, thus not causing enough pressure to even come out of the shower head. We have had nights where we can bearly get a trickly out of the shower head and let the tub run for 30 minutes just to get enough water in it to take a bath and get relief from the stickiness. We also have the luxury of hot water, but his also has a twist. The hot water consists of a switch outside of the shower and it heats the water at the head of the shower. I have been shocked a few times, not too bad. You have no choice of temperature, whatever the heat element is doing to the water is the temperature of water you get, sometimes too hot, sometimes not very hot. Then of course you need to turn off the heater before you turn off the water so you don't burn out the element, which is just messy and not convenient. I am not complaining because quite honestly cold showers are exactly what I am looking forward to after a hot sticky day.
Washing clothes. We luckily do have a washing machine but sadly no drier. The washing machine is hooked up to some wattage thing that keeps running to suck enough power out so the washing machine can work, until I turn it off. I only tell you this because I can't just put a load in in the morning and leave to go swimming for a few hours because even though the washing machine is finished, the power is still being sucked out, and power is a high commodity on the island. So when I put in a load I need to stay near for 30-45 minutes until the load is done so I can turn off the converter and hopefully save a little energy. No big deal, just something I need to be aware of. Then of course comes the drying. I have to hang each individual piece out on the line and then wait all day hoping that it doesn't rain so that I can have clean underwear to wear the next day. The commercials that claim drying by the sun leaves a nature feeling and smell of the sun are lieing. Clothes are not soft and fluffy and then just smell of the island, which I would never want to bottle and sell. Again not too bad, but I do miss a drier that I could just throw all of the clothes in, in a pile, not individually, and then it would be dry, fluffy and smell super clean in 50 minutes.
The bugs. There are ants and I hate them. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out how to combat them, but I am getting better. They come back every 10 days, but I do my best at killing them. I see their little scouts all over trying to find their next treasure to feast around. This has also caused me to try to be cleaner. I have tried to tidy up and keep surfaces clean and keep to eating only in the kitchen and dining room. I hate co-habitating with bugs.
Outside there are catipillars everywhere which I don't mind but the kids love. They pick them up and race them, squish them and step on them. There are really large catepillars (refer to previous blog) which are quite unique. There are butterflies everywhere. It is kind of cool to walk down our little road and see so many butterflies and the kids go wild. It is like our own little butterfly sanctuary. There are crazy looking spiders but nothing too bad. The concern I have the most is with the mosquitoes. They are pretty bad right now because of the rainy season. When we first got here the kids and I got eaten up. Our poor little legs had bites all over them but it has decreased dramatically since we have been here. We still get a few, but somehow our bodies do not react as badly too them. The concern I have is Dengue fever. It is found rampant here right now. I know af probably 10 people that have gotten it and it can be quite delapidating. It is a mosquito born virus that causes a temperature of 104-105. It usually knocks you out for 3-5 days, sometimes longer. Generally the body can fight it over time, but there have been a few fatal cases on the island, so I am super concerned. I wish I could let the kids play outside without worry, but I am worried and I lather up and the kids up with insect repellant and pray that it works.
The road up to our house is quite trecherous for about 20 feet, up a pretty steep hill with large crevices on both sides. I am quite the skilled driver to manuever up the hill every day. Again it is only 20 feet, but if done incorrectly could be quite damaging to our car. Which I am very thankful for that I have. I have a car! I love the freedom, I love that it has AC. I love the I don't have to have the kids in their seats if I am only going 300 yards to the beach, (although most times I do).
Grocery shopping. I can find my peanut butter, doritos, oreos, Lucky Charms and of course root beer. The hard part is that it doesn't always have what you need. I have only seen bananas 2 times, and of course have bought about 4 bunches. Milk is a commodity that generally only comes on Friday so I have to make sure to plan our milk supply. It hasn't been too bad lately. The meat is ok, if you look for the good meat. Bread is not always available and just to finish, it is expensive. Almost double what I would pay in the states for my grocery bill. At first it was difficult and really bothered me to buy certain items, but I get used to spending $5 for one bunch of grapes. It is quite difficult to find general things on the island, clothes, shoes, toes, kids stuff, so I generally get things online and have my parents send it. So shopping isn't enjoyable here nor can I do comparable shopping, if I find something I like, or even resembles something that I could like, I buy it because I am not going to find it anywhere else on the island, and there are no bargains.
My life. I have tried to get a good schedule here for me and the kids. Monday and Thursday is pool day and the University club and I love it. It has 2 pools, a tree by one so you can be in the shade, a bar and grill so you can order a drink or some fries, right next to the beach with hammocks, chairs and kayaks for our use and a beautiful view. It is quite the luxury spot. I will post some picture later. The kids love it and love it more when their friends show up.
Tuesday is playgroup at a tiny park. Wednesday and Friday are their preschool days and they love it. I love it. I get 4 hours in the morning to clean, do laundry, read, and even excercise. I have access to a gym on campus and it is a nice distraction for me to do the eliptical.
There is a group here called the significant others group, or SO which is for the wives, husbands, boyfriends, ect of students here and they plan activities so they are not bored. I have made some good friends through that and the kids have found their best friends and that has been fun to play with them. With this lifestyle, though my hair isn't done or I don't wear makeup, I do have quite a nice tan, as do my kids. I don't even work on my tan. We wear SPF 50 everyday but still I get some sun and I don't ever burn so it is quite a nice side effect. Fenton has bleach blonde hair, Eliza has bright blonde streaks and my hair is getting lighter, yet with some red in it.

I wear a swimsuit nearly every day. I don't do my hair except on Sunday and generally it is some sort of braid and if you know me and my humidity, I have the crown of fuzz around the crown of my head, which is always attractive. I don't wear makeup because I am in the water at some point during the day, but on Sunday's I wear makeup. I feel like it melts off my face within the first 30 minutes because the only room that has AC is the sacrement room. I am in the nursery for the 1st hour, then I teach gospel doctrine the 2nd hour, which is in the sacrement room, so that is nice. I have enjoyed teaching, not because I am a great teacher, but because I have had to really study the old testament stories to try to find the things to teach. I have learned a lot and have enjoyed this experience.
the TV. We didn't have tv when we first got here but we purchased one at a yard sale for $20 and we knew that we were taking our chances on if it would work for us. It was great, for about a week, then it died. We loved watching DVD's on it and playing the Wii for that one week. After about 2 weeks of the tv being in the shop, they decided that they couldn't fix it so we bought a new tv. Nothing fancy, 21 inch but it plays DVDs and the Wii. Sadly I blew the fuse to the Wii, again so that part is on order but we will enjoy that luxury once again.
When I came down here I was so excited to make smoothies every day with fresh mangoes in my new Magic bullet. Well it is NOT that magic. After about 4 weeks of use the motor blew and quite honestly I wasn't that impressed, but I was kind of disappointed.
This is real life in Grenada. A great place to visit and vacation and quite an experience for us.

Eliza

Eliza has been asking A LOT of questions lately but here are just 2 of my favorite.

Eliza "Mom, are we going to keep Fenton"
Me "what do you mean? when the baby comes?"
Eliza "yeah, when the baby comes are we going to keep Fenton".


Eliza "why hasn't Fenton turned into a girl yet?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My back yard

So living in a tropical island, our backyard is quite full of tropical fruits. It is quite entertaining to have so many fruit trees that I will never have again. We have 5 mango trees, a cherry tree, a green orange tree, lime tree, a guava tree and a noni tree. For those of you not familiar with noni it is a rare fruit that the juice is sold as a cure-all in the States. It is the weird looking white fruit.
Sadly I am not very good at keeping up with all of the fruit or using it properly, or even at all.
We made some guacamole with fresh lime which was nice. I always cut up the mangoes and freeze the fruit for smoothies later, but the rest I don't use. I tried the guava and it turns out that you can't eat the seeds and they feel like gravel, and the green oranges, I never know if they are ripe, and they are not very juicy.
So that is just a little of my backyard here in Grenada.



Friday, August 27, 2010

Fenton's 2nd birthday

Fenton turned 2 on Thursday and we had a little party with some of the families here. It was fun to see them run around and scream and eat lots and lots of starburst.
We have been calling Fenton 2 years old since he was about 18 months because he acts like one, runs like one and talks like one. Now he is officially 2 and we can't wait to see what this year brings.
He is such great kid. I love him so much. He just makes me smile. He is a snuggler and yet he knows how to tease. I am not sure how he learned that, or if it is just innate from being a brother, but he is great at it, and he knows he is doing it. He loves tunnels, trains, planes, cars, balls, and wrestling. He is becoming quite a little swimmer with his floaties. He has a great vocabulary, he loves to jump and run anywhere and he is full of energy. He is already in the why phase and sometimes he answers himself and says "cause". He has to do everything himself.
We love him so much and he is such a special boy. We are glad that we have seen him grow up this year and really become a little boy.





Please note that I am not an artist but I drew that Eeyore and the tails for pin-the-tail-on Eeyore and I was quite pleased. Also noticed my attempt at the Winne the Pooh cake (above)


The Biggest smile ever!!






See if you can count how many times he says "happy birthday"





video

Sunday, August 22, 2010

14 weeks

I wanted to announce that we will have a new Grenadian baby Hirschi in February.
I am 14 weeks and I have felt really good. I haven't been sick at all and I am hoping that it stays that way.
I am starting to get tired, but that could be due the fact that my kids get up at 5:30.
I am due February 18 and I am planning on having the baby here in Grenada.
We are excited to add a new little one to our family.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the kids

The kids are starting up at a preschool and it is their first day of school. Eliza is super excited.

Eliza hit herself on a gate we have in our front porch, she had a shiner for about a week. She looked so tough.
Fenton wears his sunglasses at night.....



The kids are sporting their new t-shirts David got for them that sponsor his Medschool.



Carnival

This last weekend was Carnival in Grenada. It is basically 3 days of partying. It is filled with a lot of drinking and a lot of inappropriate things for my family, so the only thing that we could participate in is was a parade.
We met up with a few other families on the island and we headed over to the parade. We were told that it started at 1:00, so we left about 12:45 to get there. We were surprised that when we got there that no one was around, the streets were closed and there were a few venders, but there was hardly anyone out. We slowly started to realize why. The parade really wasn't going to get going till 3:00. Now in America, being early to a parade is normal, but here, in Grenadian time, whenever everyone shows up is when the parade starts.
So we stayed in the shade for a few hours then started to head up to where we could catch our bus and waited there for about 20-30 more minutes. It was a hot day and the kids fell asleep right when the parade came. It was quite the site though. A lot of color, dancing and loud music. It was quite the cultural experience.













video

little critters

Here are just a few of the critters that are around here. This caterpillar is huge and so odd looking. The kids watched it for about 20 minutes.

Doesn't this spider just look mean? There were two of them on a bush in the back yard.
I was talking on the phone with my sister and the kids were outside playing. Eliza kept calling my name and so I got off the phone with my sister to open the door and let her in. She was standing there holding a 8 inch long lizard and I about flipped out. I kept yelling at her to drop the lizard, drop the lizard. I didn't know if it was alive or fake, but it was long. It was dead, so I don't know if that is any better, but Eliza didn't even blink an eye about holding it. She isn't afraid of anything. She picks up the little caterpillars all of the time, and Fenton loves playing "step on it" with the bugs. I don't think the bugs like it because they always lose.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Royal Mt. Carmel Falls

Last week was David's midterm and always after tests David has a little extra time to play with us. We went snorkeling Friday night and then Saturday we headed up to Mt. Carmel falls. It was about a 45 minute drive, and we luckily found the little sign on the side of the road that pointed us in the right direction. As we started on the little hike, the natives said that we needed to be prepared to get wet, a storm was coming in. We got about 25 feet into the trail and there was a covering of banana leaves and it started to down pour, so we took shelter underneath the trees for about 10 minutes. We got a little wet, but it did a pretty good job at keep us from getting drenched. I truly felt like I was in the jungle shelting my family with banana leaves and trees,, what a memory.
As you can imagine, the trail was quite muddy from the recent down pour but we literally trudged through the trail. It was only about a 15 minute walk and the kids did great. Eliza was wearing a little skirt and flip flops and she was walking in the mud right with us.
We got to the falls and had a little snack and let the kids play in the shallow water. It was such a unique place and beautiful atmosphere. What a fun day.