Tuesday, January 31, 2012


In our house, the worst offense a child can make to a parent is vomiting. Cleaning up vomit is disgusting, talking about vomit is disgusting as well. Blame Jill for this post.

So far in a combined total of almost nine years of children we've had a surprisingly small amount of vomit.

All of our kids were born with some reflux, Malachi had it pretty bad when his tiny body was born (that contributed to the 14 day stay in the NICU at birth), but I don't remember it being real bad at home. He was on meds though.

Simon and Coen were NOT on reflux meds. During the time I was able to nurse them it wasn't bad. But once the formula started it got worse. A very vivid memory was when John was holding Simon at a friend’s house. We were there on a short trip through Dallas on the way to Costa Rica and they were hosting a party for us so we could see all of our friends. I wasn't in the room, but I heard a commotion from the living room and was summoned (loudly) by my husband. when I arrived I saw him holding our baby away from his body and a bit of spit up on his shirt. I certainly didn't think this was enough spit up for the commotion I heard. Upon further inspection I noticed that the vomit (it has been upgraded due to volume) was all over John's back and the back of our friends couch. It looked like he'd lost his whole bottle. That day lives strongly in our memory.

With Coen we've had lots of vomit. He did have some reflux, just a bit, when I moved him to formula. When he cried after being put in bed he would get so worked up that he would lose his lunch, or breakfast, or dinner...you get it. We ended up starting to put him to sleep before putting him to bed. That ended at about two and a half months old. At three months old he had a cold so bad that it triggered some asthma. He had so much phlegm that he would gag on it, and not infrequently would vomit from the gagging. One time, we fed him his bottle successfully, waited about half an hour after the feeding and THEN put him in his car seat to go out. We got the whole family in the car and started driving. Right out of the drive way he starts coughing. John and I look at each other but we didn't stop driving. We then heard the oh too familiar noise. We asked Malachi if he was vomiting and sure enough he was. It was all over Coen, all over his car seat and the seat belt, and a bit on Malachi's car seat.

There was the time when Malachi came to our room in the middle of the night to tell us his bed was wet. I don't know what state of mind we were in, but we didn't ask questions, we just told him to go back to bed. He obeyed and a couple minutes later I got up to use the restroom. To not wake the sleeping baby in my room, I used the bathroom out in the hall. Near the bathroom I could smell that smell...you know the smell. I poked my head in his room and saw him curled up on a small corner of his bed where it didn't reach. How did didn't reach that corner, I don't know. It was all over his mattress, the bed frame, the floor, the stuffed Tiger, his pillows, and for some reason his mattress pad wasn't on his bed, so it went through the mattress as well.

There was the other time, quite recently, when Coen was in bed and he was crying, and he didn't stop, and the crying intensified. So I went in with the lights off to not bother Simon, who was still awake anyway. I put my hand on Coen, and into a goopy disgusting mess, and then smelled that familiar smell. That time it was all over Coen, the crib, and a few things in the crib.

I think that was the last time anyone vomited in the house. But of course, since I wrote about it and how disgusting it is, I'm sure it'll happen very soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Great #3

Ok, so if you know me (whether through the blog or personally) you probably know that I say things that I want to do, and then don't follow through. For instance...since saying that my blog is going to be devoted to great parts of my life, I've only done that for two out of four posts.

I think about my blog often, and though I don't feel guilty about not updating often, like I used to, I'm sad that I don't have the time to update it. I would love to talk about life, and how great it is. I would love to be able to share with people who are assigned to Costa Rica, or who are entering the Foreign Service the good, bad, and ugly of living abroad and being in the Foreign Service. And because I would love to be famous I'd love to be a, Kolbi, Jill, Donna, Naoma (or any of the other famous FS bloggers).

Well...anyways, all of that to say that because I did three hours of homework this morning while the nanny is here, I'll use the commercial time during Castle to tell you about my great #3: Costa Rica.

I love Costa Rica for so many reasons. Mostly I love Costa Rica because I love my life here. Sure, it's been hard some times. But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about why I love my life here.

I get to live in a place with a beautiful language. I took Spanish in Middle and High School because it seemed like the easiest choice, and everyone was doing it. After I spent three months here in Costa Rica (after high school everyone went to college - I went to Costa Rica) I didn't think there was a language as beautiful as Spanish. I still think it's beautiful. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I love it. I wish I had worked harder to learn more, but I'm pretty proud of how much I do speak, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn it.

The scenery is amazing. Once you're about 30 minutes out of the city center (especially if you head West on the new/old Autopista) you see green, and hills, and trees (we have real Christmas tree farms here because you can grow firs at the elevations we have in Costa Rica), so many different kinds of trees. The sky is a gorgeous blue dotted with white clouds, or clear of clouds , or maybe some scary looking dark grey clouds. I have so many pictures from above those clouds when I lived near the top of Irazu Volcano of the clouds. Living above cloud line three days a week was amazing, cold, but amazing. The beaches aren't as great as you would think unless you go to the Northern Pacific coast, but they're still beaches. Costa Rica has water for surfing, or if you'd like calm waters for the most novice swimmers. My favorite beach so far is Tamarindo, we've been there twice and it's great. You can also boat down a river, climb mountains, camp in a Rain Forrest, sit in a hot spring near a volcano...you can see so many things.

Pretty blue sky dotted with clouds (picture by John)

Jaco Beach - another favorite

Wildlife! the range of things to see here is amazing. I know we haven't seen it all, and that makes me sad. But we've seen a lot...monkeys, birds, reptiles, spiders, crocodiles and we even saw a deer.

this is Angelina Jolie. She and I became close friends. 

This is a big beaked bird (also known as B.B.B.).

 Beauty Services! If I had time I could be at the salon every week getting hair cuts, waxes, facials, manicures and pedicures. It's certainly not Asia cheap, but it's cheaper than the States. If I want - I can have someone come to my house for the services. An at home massage after a hard day of working, homework and kids is a great thing (and too infrequent if you ask me).

Nanny! I have a nanny for the first time ever. Remember when I said I did homework for three hours today? Simon and Coen were up playing and eating during all of that. My nanny made that possible. My nanny has an adult daughter who likes my kids...a lot. She even babysat overnight last weekend so John and I wouldn't have to worry about getting home early or waking up early. I love having a nanny who has a daughter who loves my kids and is willing to do that (side note: next time, we're just doing a live-in).

Schools. Malachi has a great school that we love. The teacher is really dedicated to the education of her students, and is eager to work with parents to make sure they get the best possible education. She has been great for Malachi, and she'll hold a dear spot in my heart for a long time. There are a few schools that are pretty good here.

There are other reasons why my life is so great, but they don't really have to do with Costa Rica itself. Nonetheless, for many reasons (I'm sure I'll remember others as soon as I post this blog) Costa Rica is my great #3.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reflections on 2011

Someone turned one, someone was born, someone turned six, two people turned 30. There was travel to Minnesota, North Virginia/D.C. (twice, by two different people, at two different times), Ecuador, and Hawaii. There was a complete overhaul of my husband's section during which time he did a job two pay grades above him (there was also an award given for the service he provided (a big one - rare for a first tour officer)). There were two different schools, and Kindergarten twice. There was a first love made and lost, and the realities of the Foreign Service life set in for our sweet son. Our next assignment was given and much rejoicing was had over one word: Manila. There was family in Costa Rica on both sides, sadly this year no friends came to visit. There was a relapse of Epilepsy and a new treatment found. There were beach trips, a volcano trip, and a group vacation to one of our favorite places - Tamarindo.

I have much more written on another computer I'm hoping this will tide you over until I finish it. Here are some pics to remember 2011 by (in no particular order).

Simon turns 1

High School Friends!

Grandma visits Costa Rica

Malachi zip lines!

On our not kid free babymoon

Welcome Coen!

John at the Equator

Celebrating Easter

Celebrating 10 years

Swimming with some not dangerous (yet still cool) sharks

Coen's first beach trip

I guess some pictures haven't gotten off the cards yet, we're missing Christmas and Malachi's birthday. There's a chance they'll make it on here one day...