Monday, December 26, 2011

Physical Therapy Update

I wrote this morning's post days ago, and last night finally set it to publish today.

Even before it went live we had a great experience with Coen. He woke me up at 5:40 a.m. (that's not the great part) and he was on his back talking. Since he was happy I let him be. When I looked at him again at 6:20 (still happy but it was time), he was on his stomach!! He had rolled over for the first time! I'm a little sad that neither of us got to see it, but I'm super happy that he's made it to this place! After we went downstairs for breakfast I put him on the floor so I could get his bottle made, and I got him to roll over - so satisfying! I can't wait for his physical therapy appointment on Friday afternoon!

My great #2

This is actually three greats. They're 6, almost 2 (going on 5), and 6 1/2 months. They're all amazing and I can't imagine my life without them.

Malachi is in Kindergarten right now, at a great school. He gets to ride the bus every day, and has a crush on the neighborhood girl that goes with him (she's 10). His most recent report card reports that he's doing very well. He's excelling in reading and writing and is improving in Math, Social Studies, and social skills. When you ask what his favorite class is, he'll tell you computers. He LOVES computers. His class had a mini concert last week before school ended for the semester and he was so cute! He was the only one who danced during "Feliz Navidad," and he was the clearest person to say his line when he and two others got up for a little speech (a very little speech). He's becoming more and more outgoing, and he's got so much energy! I think he wears people out after just a few minutes with his talking, running, jumping, running, climbing people, hanging on people, smiling, loving...well you get the picture. He loves people so much! He's very well liked by our friends as well.

Simon is growing! He gets very frustrated when he can't do something by himself (hence going on 5), so we're letting him try most things. It must be hard to have a brother who can do stuff that he can't. He must have gone through a growth spurt because he looks tall to me right now. He's adding words to his vocabulary daily. He still calls all liquids agua, but is willing to change if we tell him it's something else. He's defnitely bi-lingual, and I think he's figuring out who to respond to in English and Spanish, he's so smart. He started saying short sentences the other day. He now says "hi (insert name of person or toy)" and " (insert name of person or toy)." He still doesn't get Coen we think, because he still sits on Coen's head when we're not in the room.

Coen is really growing! His exercises are working to strengthen his legs, sitting and rolling. He now rolls from his stomach to his back, almost sits by himself, and almost rolls the other way. That darn arm just gets in the way. I think that with the moves that he does, he'll be doing all three soon, and even crawling early because of the other exercises that she had me start. He loves avocado, and unfortunately the variety of jarred food here isn't very good, and I haven't had much time to do some baby food making. I'm gonna have to start though. Maybe some squash or something else soft - ideas anyone? Coen is smiling and "talking" a lot. He uses the guh sound, muh, cuh, and nuh. I feel like that's early, but my kids have always been early talkers.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cinnamon rolls are rising and cooking in the oven, Christmas music is on, baby had his bottle and cereal and apple sauce, and kids are coming down.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Epiphanies Galore

Breaking from my not-progressing series on My Greats, I have to say that this must be a time of epiphanies. I had another one yesterday...a big one. A very painful one, that I'm not going to get into because it's just that personal.

I really hope that I can fix what needs to be fixed though so that relationships improve and life becomes even happier (because life, over all, is pretty happy).

RE: the other epiphanies I had: I seem to be getting a lot closer to Simon. Right now on vacation there are a lot of people here for him to play with (insert lots of cuteness with cousin here), but I've gotten a bit of time with him here the last few days. Yesterday we got a rare few minutes by ourselves and had a very good time playing together.

I also got to bond with my niece a little bit. While her parents were snorkeling I took her to the water and splashed around with her. She would laugh, and I would laugh, and we were having a grand time. If we lived closer to family I think I'd try to be closer to her since I don't get a little girl of my own. I'll just have to settle with R&R's, home leaves, and their trips to visit us. I often think of her when I pass girl clothing in the stores. I'm good at policing myself, but it can be hard!

We're all enjoying our vacation on Oahu a lot. So far we've: swam at the beach, done an ATV tour, swam at the beach, done a Segway tour, snorkled at Lanikai Beach, eaten at the highest rated restaurant in Hawaii, snorkled at Hanamua Bay, played games, celebrated 10 years together, watched the cousins bond, and enjoyed family time. And we still have six days left! Today John, his brother, and I are going to swim with some sharks. Actually...the alarm is going off in three minutes (4:40 a.m.), I should just start getting ready.

I hope everyone had a thankful and relaxing Veteran's Day.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I'm staying home with the kids today, and I've had a couple of epiphanies.

One - I don't know Simon as well as I'd like (this one has been happening slowly over a while). I certainly don't know him as well as I knew Malachi at this age. I've really enjoyed having a nanny, but it's been detrimental to my relationship with my kids. I think that on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays I'm going to try to be a mom full time and a student, friend, what ever second. Of course I'll still need to go to the salon, and the Dr. and what not, but for the most part I'd like to go back to my roots and be the mom to Simon and Coen that I was to Malachi.

Two - I've been very down on my life lately. I imagine it's getting annoying to be my facebook friend because my status updates have been pretty negative for quite a while. There are some reasons that I could list as to why I've been so down lately, but let's not get into those. Instead I want to start a new tradition. I want to use my blog as a platform to announce to the world what's good about my life. I have so much in my life that is great and instead of dwelling on the negative in my life I want to dwell on the positive. I want to call it My Great.

My first My Great in my life has to be my husband. I could write a very lengthy tribute to him, but I don't know how much he'd like that, so I'll just make a list of adjectives that I think describe him: humble (see previous comment), patient, smart, handsome, funny, affectionate, passionate, hot, giving, hard-working, and amazing.

I don't know that I could list all the positive adjectives in the world and still have enough to describe him. He is definitely My Great numero uno.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A First

John and I experienced a first today.

Simon and I went to the Embassy this afternoon to pick up John from work. We exited the Embassy Compound and we were sitting at a left turn light, about 15 cars back, and all of a sudden we felt a bump at the rear of the car; we got rear ended. We almost didn't notice because it was so light. Because of Costa Rican law we needed to stay at the scene. We called the Marine on Guard and he called the roving patrol to send them over. They got to us in about five minutes and took some information from us. About 15 minutes after they arrived they said that the insurance investigator would arrive in 25 minutes.

Poor Simon got so bored. We tried to keep him occupied but it was hard! We had to stay in the middle of the road, so we stayed in the car with our seat belts on. At the end of the investigation from the insurance, about 70 minutes after the accident happened, the transit cop showed up. His investigation was a lot shorter, and he let us pull over to the side of the road. John and Simon were able to get out - Simon still got bored but John did a great job taking care of him.

When the transit cop finished I got his report and was happy to learn that we owed nothing. We were then released to go. The cop brought over the guy who hit us and said that he works in car painting and thought it would get done faster through him instead of through an insurance shop. So he gave us his information and then apologized for hitting us.

The whole process was pretty painless, it just delayed us almost an hour and a half from getting home. P took good care of the kids, keeping Coen cool (he's had a fever), and feeding Malachi dinner.

In other aspects of life. I think John's the only one that's not sick right now. I think this marks the fourth week that we've had a cold in the house. Coen has a fever that's slowly going down. Simon's fever comes and goes, but it's never as high as 102. Malachi just can't kick his cough. John got the cold and then again. I missed it the first time but got it this time. I hope we're almost done.

Schools going well. I'm holding up an A in one class and I think an A- in the other. Hopefully I don't lose to many points in that one.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Update on Kiddos (including a surprise ending)

Simon and Coen had a pretty rough day yesterday. Coen's cough seemed to be getting better during the day, but by the evening he was doing not so well. Simon's cough seemed to be getting better except for the frequency. I called his Dr. yesterday morning to see what he suggested, he prescribed a cough suppressant and told me to call him back 3 hours after Simon took it. I got a taxi and went to the pharmacy. The suppressant worked for the cough and put him to sleep. Finally he would get some really good rest.

After about 3 hours on the medicine he woke up from his nap and was coughing just as bad as before he took the suppressant. After I talked to the Dr again he told me to give the suppressant right away and then again at bed time. The second dose of the med didn't seem to work nearly as well. It made him super sleepy but he was still coughing a lot. But after dinner (which consisted of one teeny tiny bite of grilled cheese made softly so as to not aggravate the throat) he was ready for bed. So, one more dose of the suppressant, plus the other three medicines he's getting for this, and he was off to sleep.

He slept through the night!! I was so happy for Simon that he got a good nights rest. Coen, however, did not sleep through the night. He was up at 2:00 (ish) at which time I walked him back to sleep. Then he was up at 3:30 at which time I fed him because he only ate 4 oz of diluted formula (per the dr's orders because formula can make already phlegmy situations worse) for dinner. He ate about 4 oz of diluted formula and then went back to bed. I was hoping that he'd sleep until about 7:00 so that I could sleep more. Nope! He woke up at 5:50 - bleh. I think I'll nap today.

Malachi came home from school yesterday and his first words after he got off the bus were, "my throat hurts." Awesome. So, today I kept him home. His throat hurts pretty bad, and he's coughing up phlegm, although his cough isn't nearly as bad as the others' yet. The main concern with him is seizures because being sick with a virus or bacteria, or really bad allergies even, can cause seizures. Hopefully his anti-seizure meds will keep the seizures away.

Want another Malachi story? Trust do.

Last night while he was devouring his softly made grilled cheese sandwich and daddy and I were trying to somewhat relax we hear, "tooth's out!!" That's right...our first baby lost his first baby tooth. Can I just say?...It's super tiny! So as I'm holding his super tiny tooth in my hand I say, "now what?" and we start talking about the tooth fairy. He reveals a secret though...he knows it's going to be us, that we'll just pretend to be the tooth fairy. I laughed so hard! He told us to get a coin out of the car for his tooth. When John was tucking him in last night they put the tooth in the bedroom.

When I went to bed I grabbed the coin that I had gotten from the car and went to Malachi's room. I couldn't find the tooth under the pillows, and for once Malachi was actually on one of the pillows. I didn't want to disturb him, so I almost just left the coin under the one he wasn't on. But then I remember hearing John saying something about making sure the tooth was safe, and I felt around on the night stand and sure enough that's where it was.

At about 5:50 this morning Malachi came squealing into the room that "she came!!" He was convinced John had done it, and John vehemently denied it and revealed it may have been me. He's so proud of his quinientos coin (which is 500 in Spanish and it's about a dollar, which is probably more than what he would've gotten in the States because he told me that the tooth fairy leaves one coin). He doesn't have much of a gap though because the adult tooth is already growing in, and I would guess is already half way in. I would have taken pictures but we can't find the camera right now, and we're very unhappy about that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sick Kids

Last week on Wednesday or Thursday Simon started coughing. It didn't get too bad, and I just thought it was his teething. He's been teething his canine and I teeth for quite some time now. I thought with the presence of the cold that meant that he was finally going to break through the gums. But the cold got worse and the teeth weren't breaking.

Then Coen started coughing. Over the weekend they both got pretty bad, so yesterday with the advice of the Embassy nurse (whom I love and is amazing - I'm going to miss her) I called the Pediatrician. He had us go to the office yesterday, late morning. While we were sitting in his office, he heard Simon cough (it had turned into a high squeaky cough) and looked very concerned. He listened to his chest and told me that while he can't call Simon an asthmatic, the cough sounded like an asthmatic cough.

He said that some people can have a bacteria in them that predisposes them to asthma and allergies. Since John had asthma as a child and now has allergies we could assume he has that bacteria and that the kids could get it. That explains Malachi's allergies. And that explains the boys' coughs. The Dr. said that the coughs probably started out as a regular cold and then got worse. He ordered some medicines to be delivered to the house. We got them in the afternoon and the kids started their three medicines.

Today they're a bit better, but I still feel like we have a long road ahead of us for recovery. The Dr. also said that what they have is very contagious and he expects the whole family will have it. Awesome. I just put Simon down for a nap at 8:30 this morning because he woke up at 5:30. I've been up since 4:00 because of Coen, and I'm super tired. We'll see how this day goes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Before I start, I just want to say that this is my 500th post on wife-mommy-woman. I think that's pretty awesome. Now back to our regularly unscheduled blog post...

A friend noticed that I've been a little silent and asked if I'm ok.

I'm doing pretty well, although I am pretty stressed out. If you're my facebook friend you may know that this semester I returned to school. You see, I never finished my bachelor's degree. About two years in I got pregnant with Malachi and decided not to finish. But for some reason, now that I have three kids (omg), I've decided it's time.

Really, there won't be an easier, or slower time in life, so I might as well get it done. And in order to get the degree I want (Business Administration in Management) at the pace I'm going (two classes a semester) John said it will take about 8 1/2 years because not all of my credits will transfer to that degree.

I'm determined to get that degree though - it's what I want. So maybe next year when we're in Manila and I have even more help in the house I'll take three classes a semester. I think I'll still work part-time, but I'd like a job that's even more part-time than my current one. Because even though I love working in the CLO, there's a lot of work to be done outside of my 16 hours/week in the office. I'd like a job that I could leave at the office, maybe I'll work in the consulate. Who wants to come take care of my three kids in D.C. next summer so I can take ConGen?

I realize I'm rambling.'s what's going on with me right now:

1 husband
3 kids
1 part time (16 hours, plus comp time for events) job
1 personal trainer 3 x a week to get rid of the mommy body and get back some semblance of the hot body I once had
2 University classes (American History 1301, Lifelong Learning for Adult Students) and I don't even have the books yet - I can't imagine what it'll be like when I do!
Hanging out with friends (when I have time!)
Salon services (it takes a lot to keep up a hot bod) when I have time!
And other random things you throw into the loop

Can I just say that without P (the nanny/maid) I would not be able to accomplish all of this.

So if I am a bit silent in the next 6-8 years, it's not because I don't enjoy blogging, it's because I'm really (insert expletive) busy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good weekend

Since Coen was born our weekends have been difficult. We fight the "crazies" (what we call it when Malachi and Simon have pent up energy and start going crazy, the action is usually followed by the request that they "tone down the crazy.") with trips to the mall to walk around, or to a playground.

Even when we do things like this we can have horrible days where the parents are counting down the minutes until bed time, and depending on children's attitudes that time might come sooner than normal.

But as you can probably tell from the title of this entry this was a good weekend.

Saturday John and the older boys went out in the morning to do some shopping and John and I went out to a dinner party that night with some friends. Sunday afternoon we had a going away party for a Vice Consul that actually has been on a year long TDY in Iraq for the last year. His time is done now, as is his time in Costa Rica, so now he's PCS'ing out.

This morning John and I realized that it was a pretty good weekend with the kids. I think it's because we're starting to get the hang of having three kids.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Throwing a Fit

Well folks, I’ve reached it. The place in my tour when I admit to John that I don’t want to leave next year.

I really like my life here a lot. I have great friends here and they’ve just arrived, so I’ll be the one leaving them. Malachi really likes his school here and comes home happy every day. I have an amazing nanny who I absoultely love, and I mean I really love her. It’s going to be so hard to leave her.

I have a great house, a great job, a great everything. I can’t imagine leaving – AND I DON’T WANT TO! But I have to. Almost 8 months to the day. Don't get me wrong I'll be happy to see people in TX, MN, and DC, and I'm excited for Manila - but can't I just come back here where everything is awesome and familiar? No? Damn.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Favorite Places

This weeks Roundup is being hosted by Brooke at The World That We Live In. Check it out on Friday.

John was hanging out with friends one day and they said that home to them was Alaska. When John was asked where home is, he didn't have an answer like theirs. To him, home is where his family is. When I went "home" in January I realized the exact same thing can be said. Even though I grew up in MN and love it (in the Spring and Summer...) and I spent my adult years in TX and love it, neither of them are home without my husband and children.

John and I have moved five times in almost ten years. It's what we do. It's one of the reasons we joined the Foreign Service. We're quite nomadic people. The longest we've lived in one place was an apartment in Dallas that we were in for three years - and it felt too long.

So I think that it's great that we're not too attached to one place. We both know with confidence that no matter where we are, it's home.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise, especially to people who know me, that my favorite places always involve my family. My favorite places also always change depending on my mood. Right now, because I'm not working, my favorite place is out. Out with the family. Yesterday we went out to lunch and then to a playground in a nearby suburb. The kids had a blast and I loved being out for a while.

Sometimes my favorite place is whatever restaurant my husband and I are having our date at. Sometimes it's the resort our family is at for vacation.

It may sound dorky...but my favorite place is where my husband and kids are.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I have to apologize to a few bloggers. Nomads by Nature and The Wandering Drays both submitted blog posts and they didn't make it into the Roundup last week.

Heather at The Wandering Drays didn't blog about kitchens, but rather a very long week (that's now almost over) that she was facing. Jason should be home very, very soon now.

Nomads by Nature didn't post about their kitchen either - but rather about the things that fill them. They did a great post about their process of consumable shipment shopping. There are some great tips in there, check it out!

I really do want to apologize to you guys - please forgive me. And everyone else, check out their entries - they're both very good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I had an epiphany this morning while I was feeding Coen: I have three kids, two of them are young and very needy and for a time in my life, I have to take care of two very young, needy kids. And even though I'm tired in the morning, when I have a crying toddler and a crying baby and a husband who's not available, I just have to take care of them. No more whining - just do it.

After I realized that there was a lightness added to my life. I feel released from my fears. I don't feel bad about letting one of them wait for a little bit while I take care of the other. The one that's waiting will be o.k. Crying no longer makes me cringe, I hear it and will take care of them as soon as I can.

I really have three great kids, and I was going to add some photos - but I can't get them to upload.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


First have to apologize that this is late. I've been having issues with blogger. I'm seriously considering moving to a new blog.

The theme for our roundup this week is kitchens of the Foreign Service. I'll start with mine. Here's an excerpt from a past Roundup post about housing:

Your kitchen will probably be completely closed off and not very large since kitchens are made for housing staff to be in (although depending on rank, you could have quite a sizable kitchen). Your kitchen will have granite counter tops and probably very few drawers, although you may have quite a few cupboards. Warning - you may not have a dishwasher. You will have a water filter installed in your sink, and probably one in your fridge as well (the water here is potable though, and it doesn't taste very bad). Some kitchens I've seen recently have built in stoves, and I've seen quite small ones, you should make sure the size of your oven before bringing baking dishes.

with dining room in the background. We have a swinging door to the
dining room, we wish it had a lock

The door in the background is to the laundry room. 

As far as my kitchen goes, the cupboards might look good in a picture, but some of them are a little crooked, and something about their finish lends to them always looking dirty (even the ones out of reach of the kids). I love having granite, but the color choice makes it really hard to see when and where the counters are dirty. I don't like that it's so closed off, but I do love the size. It's the biggest kitchen we've had since we were in our first house. I wish we had more drawers, but I love the cupboard space. The kitchen has enough space for both John and I to enjoy cooking together, and I LOVE that.

We enjoy our kitchen, but in Manila I'm hoping for more drawers and a pantry.

Kitchens: The Huge, The Average and the Tiny

Donna at Email from the Embassy didn't have time to write up an entry for the roundup, but she did send me a link to an entry that shows her kitchen after her UAB arrived. All I can say is: here I come Amman!

Becky at Small Bits said there wasn't much special about her kitchen except a cupboard that isn't quite kid friendly.

Chelsea at  A Fisher Out of Water shows off a sleek if not somewhat lacking in storage kitchen complete with a homemade rug and table for her daughter.

Sadie at Sadie Abroad surprised me this week with how small her kitchen is. Stepping into her kitchen you'll see some of her favorite things which have to be "stored" on the counter. She's also included quite a list of her favorite kitchen items with links to check them out yourself.

Carla at I Run, You Run compared her past kitchen in Arlington which was just as tiny as one of the kitchens John and I had in Texas to her current kitchen in Manila. While she's gained square footage she hasn't gained very many drawers so she still has to be creative.

James and Sarah Talalay recently blogged about the energy efficient qualities of their home in India, including quite a special drying rack for their dishes. You can find a picture of their kitchen in this entry where they give you a tour of their home. And in THIS entry, you can see how they make pizza in their kid sized oven.

And in other (food related) news:

Like nomads, but with more stuff, wish they had a garden but do go to the rinok to get their in season fruits and veggies.

and finally:

Worldwide Availability is not a big fan of Hello Kitty, but thinks Hello Kitty Town isn't that bad of a place to bring their little one.

Thanks everyone for your submissions and suggestions, and again I apologize for it being late. Next week is going to be hosted by Sadie, the week after that is still open, please go by the State Department Blog Roundup Calendar and sign up.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I was having issues with blogger today and couldn't get the roundup done. I'll try very hard to do it tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fun psychology quiz

 I found this past blog post, and thought it would be fun to see how my answers have changed. 

First the questions are listed then my answers to the questions, then the psychology behind it. Answer the questions before you read the psychology.

1. You are not alone. You are walking in the woods. Who is WALKING WITH YOU?

2. You are walking in the woods. You see an animal. What kind of animal?

3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal?

4. You walk deeper in the woods. You enter a clearing, and before you is your dream house, what does it look like?

5. Is your dream house surrounded by a fence?

6. You enter the house. You walk into the dining room and see the dining room table. What do you see on AND around it?

7. You exit the house and a cup is on the ground, what kind is it?

8. What do you do with the cup?

9. You walk to the edge of the property where you find yourself standing at the end of a body of water what kind of water is it?

10. How will you cross the water?

My answers August 2007

1. You are not alone. You are walking in the woods. Who is WALKING WITH YOU? God

2. You are walking in the woods. You see an animal. What kind of animal? mountain lion

3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal? we stare each other down, i eventually clap my hands loud and scare it away

4. You walk deeper in the woods. You enter a clearing, and before you is your dream house, what does it look like? big colonial style house

5. Is your dream house surrounded by a fence? nope

6. You enter the house. You walk into the dining room and see the dining room table. What do you see on AND around it? thanksgiving dinner - john, malachi, my family, his family, josh and bethany, chris and holly

7. You exit the house and a cup is on the ground, what kind is it? Green plastic Starbucks cup

8. What do you do with the cup? walk by it

9. You walk to the edge of the property where you find yourself standing at the end of a body of water what kind of water is it? lake

10. How will you cross the water? fishing or speed boat 

My answers July 2011:

1. You are not alone. You are walking in the woods. Who is WALKING WITH YOU? John

2. You are walking in the woods. You see an animal. What kind of animal? deer

3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal? stare at each other and it runs away

4. You walk deeper in the woods. You enter a clearing, and before you is your dream house, what does it look like? Big, colonial

5. Is your dream house surrounded by a fence? no

6. You enter the house. You walk into the dining room and see the dining room table. What do you see on AND around it? thanksgiving dinner, family

7. You exit the house and a cup is on the ground, what kind is it? fancy goblet

8. What do you do with the cup? pick it up

9. You walk to the edge of the property where you find yourself standing at the end of a body of water what kind of water is it? ocean

10. How will you cross the water? canoe



1. The person who you are walking in the woods with is the most important to you.

2. The size of the animal is representative of your perception of the size of your problems in your life.

3. The severity of the interaction you have with the animal is representative of how you deal with your problems.

4. The size of your dream home is representative of the size of your ambition to solve your problems.

5. A lack of a fence is indicative of an open personality. People are welcome at all times. The presence of a fence indicates a closed personality. You'd prefer people not drop by unannounced.

6. If your answer did NOT include food, flowers, or people, then you are generally unhappy.

7. The durability of the material with the cup is made of is representative of the perceived durability of your relationships.

8. What you did with the cup is representative of your attitude.

9. The size of the body of water is representative of the size of your sexual desire.

10. The way you cross the water is representative to how easy or hard you expect your life to be.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Roundup Assignment

I signed up to do the Round-up next Friday, the 15th. The optional topic is: Kitchens of the Foreign Service. Show us your good, bad, and ugly. How do your current kitchens compare to your previous kitchens (not just the FS ones)? I can't wait to see pictures. If anyone who is in Manila or was there at some recent time wants to share pictures, I'd love to see those!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Coen had the appointment for his MED clearance on Thursday. He's growing really well. In about two weeks he'd gained 1 lb. 4 oz. According to her measurements he'd shrunken 1/2 a centimeter, but I don't think that's right. He looks longer to me, not shorter. She said he looked really good. I have no doubt that he'll get his class 1 MED clearance.

After that appointment we went to his hearing test. In the States they do this test in the hospital and parents don't see it happening, and have nothing to do with it. You just find out that they passed. The Pediatrician here said that newborns have fluid in their ears and can have false negatives. So she prefers that parents take their child into the clinic at about three weeks old. I took Coen in, and the test was really fast. The person administering the test said that it usually takes about 20 minutes per ear and Coen took about 30 seconds per ear and passed on both sides. He said that Coen was the perfect patient.

On Friday Coen will be 1 month. I can't believe how quickly that went!

The rest of the family is doing well. Today we went to the mall, all five of us. It was raining quite hard when we were ready to go, and we didn't have the umbrellas with us. They were in the car...of course.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red, White and Blue

Check out the Weekly State Department Roundup at Nomads by Nature on Friday.

Last year for the 4th of July event I worked. In San Jose there's no CLO event for the 4th, but there's a big representational event that I helped at. The CLO Coordinator was in charge of decorations, so, about three weeks after I started my job, I was at the hotel the day of the event steaming large flags that had been hung. After setup was done we went to the room that was offered to us to change in, and did just that.

This is a fancy party, so I wore a fancy dress. I met people that I never would have met, hotel owners, corporation big wigs, small business owners, etc. I stood in heels for hours because there was nowhere to sit. John and I are friends with the Officer who put the party together, so we stayed until the very end, the very, very end. We even shared a cab home with him.

This year, I'm not going. The event is this weekend, and I'm going to stay home and chill with my boys. My husband needs to work it, but he's driving himself so he can leave early and join his family chilling at home.

I don't think I'm ready to stand for hours in heels yet anyway.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vacation/Home leave

The topic for the Weekly State Department Roundup is Vacation and/or home leave. You can see it at The Wandering Drays tomorrow. Home leave, for those who don't know, is the time between assignments that you're required to spend in the U.S.

I haven't had a home leave yet, this being our first assignment, but I've heard people spend thousands of dollars. I know that with our plans (hotel in Dallas, rental car, Target!, food!!!, etc.) we'll be spending thousands of dollars. We're already planning on putting a certain amount of money away a month starting in November or December so that we have a bit saved up before we go.

I have had one vacation to the States since we got here 14 months ago. Before I got the tickets for my trip in January to MN I was really homesick. Going to MN in the dead of winter was better than not going to the States. Everyone in Costa Rica thought I was pretty dumb to go to MN in the dead of winter.

But I got to go to the States! I ate delicious food (although the weather did prohibit me from venturing out more). I got to visit with lots of family and friends, and my dad even got to meet Simon for the first time on this trip.

The thought of vacation takes on a whole new meaning when you're in the Foreign Service. Before we were in the FS vacations meant leaving the U.S. Now, vacations often mean going to the U.S.

There are vacations not in the U.S. though. John and I have always said that having kids wouldn't mean we couldn't do the things we want. For instance, yesterday we took a daycation to one of the closest beaches to San Jose.  We packed up all the kids and whatever was necessary for them, towels, and beach toys and headed out. We only spent a couple of hours there, but it was a good time. Malachi really enjoys the beach, so I'm glad we got to do that.

We've also been to the beach with almost every visitor (Allison, why didn't we do the beach instead?!). We went to the jungle to see sea turtles lay eggs, and we stayed at a house near volcano Arenal for a night and relaxed on the porch in hammocks and rocking chairs with our friends. We've had a lot of opportunities for travel just inside this country. We had hoped to see more of Central America while living here, but we may not be able to. We are going to Panama City with the kids in November for our 10th anniversary. We're excited for the city because it's supposed to be a lot nicer than San Jose (San Jose is a non city though), and we're excited for the Panama Canal, and we think Malachi will really like that as well.

But our upcoming vacation that I'm really looking forward to? In September we're going on R&R to the U.S. Honestly we were going to take our R&R to the United Kingdom, but tickets are so expensive to MN that we can't pass up the opportunity for the free tickets to see family.

I can't wait for food! FOOD!!! It'll also be nice to get a break from the rain. Sure it'll be fall in MN and it might rain a bit, but at that time here, it'll be raining almost constantly. It can't be that bad in the States.

September seems not far away...and yet...too far.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So lucky

How'd I get so lucky? Coen eats every three hours during the day and only wakes up once or twice at night. He's awake more and more after feedings and even started making noises other than crying. After looking at pictures, it looks like his yellow tint has really gone down a lot.

It seems that the older kids are really starting to like him a lot. Simon even got to hold him today. 

Giving Coen a kiss.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A new normal?

I don't have much to blog about. Nothing spectacular has happened in the last few days. Malachi is getting much better, but is still coughing quite a bit since he doesn't yet know how to "cough it out." Coen's feedings are no less than three hours now - how did I get so lucky?! Simon's quite used to him now, I think. He says "hi" to him a lot and either waves or rubs Coen's head gently.

Life has been good these last couple of days. With nothing spectacular I wonder if it's just become...normal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Coen's busy day

We saw the Pediatrician yesterday in the a.m. and Coen's doing quite well! He's only lost 4 oz. in six days - probably because he's eating so much. He's grown a centimeter, and his head shrunk two - apparently their heads are swollen at the time of birth. She thought he looked a little yellow, so she ordered a blood test. It came back borderline, so we were instructed to get him in the sun in the morning and have him eat lots. We'll do another test today to make sure it's not climbing. Other than that he's "perfect." 

I can tell you from my perspective that he's a poop machine! He's also pretty amazing and we're falling more and more in love with him. 

In the afternoon we went to the Embassy to get our packages and mail and introduce Coen to some people. He was a huge hit, and even met the Ambassador, but while Mommy was getting her tetanus shot, he was getting hungry and Daddy remembered that we needed to get home and give Big Brother his mid-day medicine. So Coen had to ride home in the car hungry. Eventually he fell asleep, but before that, if the car wasn't moving you knew he was there in the back seat.

He was so tired from all the activity yesterday, but he was a champ through it all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life with Three

Right now, life with three is easier than expected. Of course Coen isn't doing much, but I truly expected it to be much harder right away.

The last few days have been filled with feedings and diapers for me, and cooking and taking care of the older two for John. Coen is eating tons still, and is spacing out his feedings. Our bosses (my supervisor is married to John's boss) came today to see him.

I'm recovering pretty well. I've been able to even help around the house a little bit. Getting sleep is the hardest thing, although with him spacing out his feedings I got a bit more last night and should get more tonight - I hope.

Malachi is sick. This is horrible for him, but I feel bad because I can't just cuddle up with him. It also means he has to stay away from Coen. That's sad because he loves Coen. Simon may also have the same cold, we're not sure if he's sick or just teething.

Life with three should get very exciting in a few months though.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Longest labor, Shortest delivery

Coen Christopher was born on June 8th at 7 lbs 12 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long at 7:30 p.m. He was welcomed into this world by a team of Dr's and nurses and his parents in Costa Rica - our first (and last) International birth.

I was induced with both Simon and Malachi. The whole labor times (including delivery) were 8 1/2 hours and 13 hours respectively. With this labor, the time was at least 21 hours. I now know why my body is so exhausted compared to the others. Also, the epidural kept wearing off, so I still had a pretty painful delivery. My Dr. was amazing though, he was the perfect coach. That's one of the greatest things about delivering here. The Dr. was my coach through delivery not the nurses. 

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but he came out in two sets of pushes. It wasn't the normal three pushes in one set, it was more like one really, really big push for set one and then two or three not quite as big but still big pushes for the second set. And then he was out and crying, and he was amazing. They had to take him to another room for the tests and shots, and that made me really sad. I was jealous that John got to go with. He passed with flying colors and didn't cry from the shots.

I've written this over the last two days, I just have to wrap it up. He's nursing lots and keeping me up at night. Right now I feel completely wrecked. Hopefully I can nap today, maybe more than once. His cry is growing and he's getting louder. John's been amazing - he always is.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mid-Night Hospital Run

I decided that John and I needed practice going to the hospital. Well, really I thought my water was leaking and I was having contractions. We called P here some time before mid-night and when she got here we went to the hospital. 

The nurse on call did a fetal monitor which also monitored the contractions. Turns out I am having regular contractions, every seven minutes I have a big one and in between I have small ones. She did an exam and said that I'm not leaking fluid, I'm only dilated to 1 and he's not in position. I am partially effaced though - so I have that going for me.

So we were sent home. I'm supposed to try to get some rest, and maybe I can do that. I'm going to try at least. When I get up in the morning we'll count to see how far apart they are. When they're about 3 1/2 minutes apart I can go back to the hospital.

Right now the contractions are noticeable and the big ones are a little painful, but it's still very manageable. I'd like to think that I will eventually fall asleep.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Finding and Losing his First Love

Inspired by the informational and personal piece from Naomi about moving a teenager abroad, I wanted to write about my child's recent experience of life and love in the Foreign Service. 

Living in the Foreign Service certainly provides challenges, and one of them is the "transition season." That time of year (Summer in the U.S.) when those leaving/coming to Post do those things. This is my first at Post transition season and it's been challenging for me. Luckily the Foreign Service is small and there's a chance I'll see my friends again. 

One of my biggest fears for my children is handling the emotional stress involved in losing their friends. For Simon, this isn't an issue. I don't know if he has friends yet - is he capable of that? But for Malachi, when almost all of his friends are leaving this summer, I'm terrified. Malachi's a very social and friend/family-centric person. I guess he takes after me that way. 

Malachi's usually a very well behaved boy and Wednesday two weeks, ago I got an email from his teacher, basically saying that he was having a hard time focusing and it was a distraction for the students, and a hardship for the teachers. 

This was very un-Malachi so I immediately suspected that the anti-seizure meds had finally started to really mess with his brain and I imagined us having a very hard time with education either until his meds were done or for the rest of his educational career due to anti-seizure medications, which we certainly weren't giving up. We told Malachi that this behavior wasn't acceptable and that we'd be talking to his teacher every day to see how he acted at school. If he was a "bad" student he'd have privileges taken away, if he was a "good" student he'd be rewarded. 

The next day, I received another email from his teacher saying that he'd hit two boys from his class - one of them being his BFF.

I was utterly mortified when I read this. I couldn't believe Malachi had acted in such a fashion. I had wondered if Malachi was getting stressed out about the impending arrival, but at home he'd only been acting excited and happy about it. John and I agreed to have John have a very serious discussion about his behavior at school that day. When John came out, I'm pretty sure he had a really big grin on his face. 

When Malachi told him the story of what happened, John felt he wasn't getting to the bottom of it - the root of the cause if you will. He wasn't going to lead Malachi to admit anything specific, but realized that if he didn't bring up the baby it might not be talked about. So John flat out asked if Malachi was upset about the baby. 

Malachi says, "well...I wish it was a girl like [Malachi's classmate, and daughter of FS family] because I like her." 

He then went on to admit that they're really good friends, "but not like she kisses me or anything." We suspected that the behavior issues at school the three days had to do with the fact that he was in fact dealing with his first love. The misbehavior at school could have been showing off, and the aggression to the boys could have been because they were potential threats.

The next night he whispered a secret into John's ear (that he whispered so loudly that I could hear). The secret was that he wanted to marry her because she's so pretty (she's a very pretty Latina girl, btw). John later asked him if he'd ever confessed his love to her. When he answered no, John encouraged him to do so because he'd regret it if he never did. 

His behavior was reasonable at school the next couple of weeks. The teachers said that all of the students were having problems because of all the upcoming changes (school ending, people leaving Post, etc.). 

The parents of his first love left Post on Sunday. We spent Saturday morning with them in a pool at a hotel where they were staying. The two families went up to their room so we (the Roys) could change. We hung out with them a bit, and right before we left Malachi handed his love a note of scribbles and whispered in her ear. I asked what it says and he wouldn't admit it, but she had a big smile on her face and said "it says I love [insert name]." He was embarrassed but got over it. When we left the room he hugged his love "the most" and her sister "the least." And he admitted as much to each of them. 

That was the last time he saw them, and I imagine the last time he'll see her again for a long time. I wonder if he'll remember this later in life. 

Every time John talks about it he gets a huge grin on his face and is so proud of his boy for his first love. At first, I was so sad that my baby is growing up. Now, I love that he has that emotion to express for someone, and my grin is just as big as my husbands. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 10th

June 10th was the last day of school, I thought (it's actually the 9th). I told the baby that he could come on June 10th, or any day after. Recently when the pregnancy got difficult I began telling him that I'm full term on the 3rd and that he could come anytime after that. Today I found out why the pregnancy got so difficult. Here's my status update from Facebook: 

37 week check up: 
Ultrasound: check 
arrhythmia gone: check 
head down: check
size of abdomen (in weeks): 37 weeks 5 days
size of femur (in weeks): 38 weeks 5 days
size of head (in weeks): 39 weeks 3 days
weight of baby: 7.6 lbs
original due date: 6/24/2011
due date due to size of baby: 6/11/2011 

This kid is humongous! Do you "see" the size of his head?! I have to push that out of me! I could go into labor any day. My hopes are that he waits until the pump and diapers arrive. I also hope they arrive before next Friday. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I get a little active, like...walking to a restaurant across the street from the Embassy...walking to the bathroom...standing up, I might have a contraction, or maybe even a few. Sometimes it feels like I'm having a contraction just sitting there.

Unfortunately these contractions are like the road to nowhere. I'm not in labor, and as far as I can tell, he's still high in my torso and head up or horizontal. His movement seemed infrequent today compared to previous days, but I suppose that's to be expected when he's getting so big.

The pregnancy is getting harder and harder. I feel bad for John who is taking on more and more at the house after working hard at work. This is one of those times that I'm so glad we have a nanny/maid.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

3 weeks 6 days

Until my due date. He's welcome to come any day after Friday (the 3rd). I have to do a few things yet like pack a hospital bag, and have P wash the NB and 0-3 mo. clothes. We have to arrange the two cribs in the nursery so we can get to the clothes.

The last two births at the Embassy (both within the last three weeks) have been very quick. Neither of them had time for an epidural, and one of them didn't even have the Dr. present because it was so quick (one almost didn't have a Dr present). Part of me thinks it would be nice to have it happen so quick, part of me is scared to deliver a full size baby with no drugs.

I filled in at work for my co-worker this last week and my body is exhausted. Thank God for a three day weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We interrupt...

the very important work project to give you this post.

I'm working on something really important at work, so of course I can't concentrate on it. I'll be honest, the project is scaring the crap out of me. I'm writing the speech for the Ambassador for our Hail & Farewell party (a yearly event welcoming newcomers and sending away departing employees with love). A lot of people think it's not a big deal, and they're probably right. She's going to take what I write, chew it up, and spit it out anyway, but good lord! Some people know I'm writing this, and I don't want it to just be adequate. I want it to be amazing. I want her to have to not chew it up and spit it out.

I don't know where this drive (to have a great product - not so much to do it quickly) came from. This is not how I was in High School, or the two years I spent in Bible college. I think John might be an influence though. It's a bit encouraging and scary for when I start school because I know that I'll want to hand in great quality work, but it will probably take me a long time to do it!

The good thing about this project is that the people I've been asking for help have been very helpful today. Thank you people!!

Baby update: Friday I'll be 34 weeks along which means I'm 3 weeks and 2 days from being full term - yikes! The bassinet is set up in our room, and the crib is ready in the nursury. The only necessary tasks we have left to do are buy diapers, wash his clothes, and pack the hospital bag. Wow...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I had an amazing Mother's Day. I was left alone until after 8:00 to read and watch T.V. in the room (this is actually normal for a Sunday, but it was still nice). As I was reading my book I heard the noise of the waffle maker and started preparing myself for a delicious breakfast.

The kids and the husb came to greet me and Malachi brought his gifts from school. I figured one was a frame, and I was right. I'll have to put a picture of the two of us in it. I might have to take a picture of the two of us. Then what I thought was a simple card turned out to be a poem that was tear inducing. He read it, and even though I know (having been an Elementary school student myself) that the teachers told him what to write, it still touched me enough to make me cry - and I had a hard time stopping. But I got myself under control enough to eat said delicious breakfast - and it was very delicious.

My in-laws were flying into town yesterday so we spent the rest of the morning preparing the house and our selves for their arrival, even the kids got showers! John and Malachi picked them up and brought them home, and we hung out for a few hours.

John, his dad, and Malachi went to a birthday party and the girls and Simon went grocery shopping for the week. We hung out at the house, and after the party the girls and Simon met the boys at a restaurant for dinner, which was closed. As was the next restaurant we tried, so...we went to the food court. Lame. It was supposed to be our treat to my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. So, we did buy for her, but we're going to make it up later.

After we got home the kids went to bed and the adults played a game. It's fun to play games with adults, it doesn't happen here, so we were missing that.

Really, a great day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Can I be frank? This pregnancy is getting on my nerves. I'm in a lot of pain lately. I keep telling myself that I get to meet him soon and it will all be worth it. But that's so hard to think of during the pain.

7 weeks and 2 days until my due date.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I haven't done a roundup post in a long time. But I'm feeling a bit out of the loop, so here we go.

This week's theme is holiday ceremonies. We just had what is called by the Catholics in Latin America (or maybe just Central America), Semana Santa (translated Holy Week). Costa Rica had two National Holidays on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Except for Easter Services on Easter (Pascua in Spanish) it's become a week to take vacations. We had to work on Monday and Tuesday (because we took Wednesday off, but normally we'd have to work Wednesday as well), but the traffic was so light...driving around was a joy, and a breeze...literally. With the traffic moving so quickly the windows were open and the breeze was coming through.

So this year we decided to adhere to local tradition and go on vacation. It dawned on us that it was the first time we've taken a vacation without guests since May or June, and it's the longest vacation we've taken since we got here.

We had a great time. There was beach time, and pool time, and food time, and sleep time...for three nights, and when you factor in travel time, about 3 1/2 days. We all had an amazing time. We left on Saturday to be home in time for the Easter bunny to visit and thought that we'd beat traffic because everyone would be going home on Sunday. HA! The InterAmerican Highway was horrible. But once we reached the Autopista (the main highway going East/West from San Jose to the East Coast), it was smooth sailing because they opened all lanes to go East bound. It was really freaky the first few times to find ourselves heading Eastbound in the Westbound lanes. Especially on bridges. But we adjusted and then enjoyed the freedoms (and breezes) that having two to four lanes brought verses one to two. My friend came home from a different beach on Sunday and said there was no traffic. Oh well...We had a great time Here on Easter.

Easter here was a normal American Easter. Egg hunting, brunch made by the hubby, and good times with our family. Oh, and lots of candy eating.

We might not be here for Semana Santa next year, but if we are, I feel we might not be traveling because it would be so close to our departure.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apple Jacks

Simon easts the green ones first. The rest of the family is less choosy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diving boards and fork usage

Malachi proved how awesome he is by wowing his swim coach today with his improvements. Not only did he jump in the pool without help, he actually jumped from the diving board (don't think crazy - I just mean the short one that's always there, does anyone know a different name for it?). And he swam a lot more than before, and he put his face in the water all the time. In fact....he probably put his face in the water too much.

He would get easily distracted and wouldn't obey the coach's orders - even the ones he understood. I'm considering putting him in an English course anyway. We'll see.

Simon is eating with a fork and a spoon now. In fact once he's set his mind to it, he's probably not going to take it from somebody else. He's also walking a ton. He's figured out it's faster. When he gets really excited he walks fast, and then realizes he can't do that quite yet. But I don't think we're far from a runner. It's amazing how mobile he is, and is always is. He doesn't like to stop. He's awesome too.

Monday, April 18, 2011


This is the last night of my 20's. I wanted to reflect on what I've accomplished...

Bought a house
Got Married
Sold said house
Moved to new State
Started college
Finished 2 years of college
Birthed child #1
Moved to new State
Birthed Child #2
Moved to new Country
Settled family in new Country
Carried Child #3 most of the way (birthed Child #3 will belong to my 30's)

My 20's have held so many great moments in my life. I expect that my 30's will be amazing, some things I'm looking forward to...

Birthing Child #3
My first trip to Disney World
Moving to Manila, The Philippines

And that's all in the first 15ish months! And those are the only things I know will happen, who knows what other things could be added to the list.

Thank you 20's for being good to me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Moment

I have a moment, so I'll blog a moments worth.

Malachi's 4th ever swim lesson went really well today. They decided to put him with the beginner beginners. This was a good move. He did really well compared to the rest of the class, and I think that was very encouraging for him. He even jumped into the pool (holding onto the coaches hands) with a lot less reluctance than before. He didn't cry once, and there was very little choking on water. This was a very, very good lesson for him. Hopefully his next lesson will be good. Unfortunately that's not until Thursday the 28th because of the holiday/vacation.

Seizures update: no seizures in a while. I'm reluctant to say that, because every time I say that he has a seizure. However, after some blood work the Dr. increased his dosage of Valpakine to 250 mg 3x/day. We started that on Wednesday night, but even before that he'd been seizure free (partial and tonic clonic). I don't know if I'm comfortable yet, but I'm getting there. The medicine seems to have a very good side effect: he sleeps! He hasn't slept more than 8 or 9 hours a night in a long, long time. Keppra is said to cause light sleeping in children, apparently Valpakine works the other way and is stronger than the Keppra because he's now sleeping about 11 hours a night!

Simon is teething molars. I got a call at work the other day from P who said that Simon had been crying a lot that day and he felt really hot. Turns out he had a temperature of 100.6. His fever was gone later that night, and he seemed to be in a bit of a better mood. I knew he'd been getting ready to cut a molar or two, or four, so I checked and sure enough, he cut his lower left molar. I could tell that the second one was very, very close. He cut that one that night or early the next morning.

Teething with Simon is a bit weird. He's usually fine until the actual day of cutting. That day and for a while afterwards - about four days with a normal tooth, who knows with a molar - he's got the crankiness, lack of appetite, snotty nose, etc. So that's what we've been dealing with this week. Today, it seemed to be the worst for him because he wouldn't take his afternoon nap, so by 5:30 he was stupid tired and stupider hungry because he'd eaten very little. After a very rough dinner time, daddy took him to play in his room, which seemed to make him pretty happy. Once bed time came, he was really mad again. It didn't take long for him to go to sleep though!

John got lettuce plants today at EPA (think: Lowes or Home Depot) and planted them in our gardens. We now have approximately 16 heads of lettuce growing in our garden. Our dill, spinach, and zucchini are going to overtake other plants soon if we don't give a ton away/use it all. In fact...

Today a photographer came over to do some maternity shots. She's a friend from work and has this as a side business. She took pictures of the kids and grandkids on John's side last November and we really liked what came out of that. In fact...Simon's not had one year photos, so we might want to get in on that since he's already over 14 months.

She showed me some of the shots on her camera, and I'm anxiously awaiting some samples from her. I'm trying very hard to not bug her...especially since it's only been 81/2 hours since she left. Speaking of leaving...she left with a gallon size ziplock stuffed full of spinach and a spicy pepper. This might become a tradition, anyone who leaves, leaves with food.

The pregnancy is getting difficult. It's becoming increasingly difficult to do anything. Thank god for my maternity belt, which I'll get good use out of tomorrow at our Easter Egg Hunt. This is a work event, and I've been voluntold for crafts. I hate doing crafts...of all the things I could do that's what I hate the most. However, I like doing crafts at this event because it's the first thing on the schedule. I'll be able to enjoy the rest of the time half working half hanging/out with the kids. Also, this is my first time going to the DCM's (Deputy Cheif of Mission) residence, so that should be fun for me.

John and I are looking forward to our family vacation for Semana Santa (Holy Week). We leave mid-week and get home in time to be visited by the Easter Bunny - yay! This will be Simon's first conscious Easter, it should be fun.

And now my moment is over. John has requested I pick a movie, and so I shall.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Check Up

Saw the Dr. today. Blood pressure: good. Measurements: good. Weight: good (we think. his online chart system was down, so he didn't know for sure). I told him that I've felt some contractions lately and that they're sporadic, only hurt a bit, and usually just on one side (the right side normally, although the other night and tonight the pain was on the bottom half). He asked if the baby's moving and I said...a lot. He did an exam and said that it's definitely Braxton Hicks contractions. I'm not dilated, so I'm not in labor. I see him again in a month.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm considering a hiatus from blogging. It's a bit of a time suck, and then I feel bad when I don't blog. John said "back blogging (blogging about something that happened a long time ago (more than a week in blog time))" doesn't work.

So...I'm considering a hiatus. Life is so busy - how do you do it ladies?! With only two kids and a part time job, I have a hard time keeping this up. I've applied for the CLO job and that would add two more days a week of work for me. And then I'll have three kids instead of two! I barely even facebook anymore! Although, I do facebook more than I blog.

Lack of content is not a problem for me, I could list more than a handful of topics right now. For those who read to keep up with the kids, I'm sorry. For those who read to learn about FS life or life in Costa Rica, I'm a bit less sorry, but I'm sorry to you too. I know that reading blogs is a great way to get a peek into life of somewhere you're going to live.

This hiatus is not guaranteed, but very, very likely. If you'd like to friend me on facebook and haven't you can find me as Sara Simmons Roy current city San Jose, Costa Rica. I'm not great at putting up pictures, but I do update my status (albeit less than I used to).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where Do I Start?

Well I'll tell you where I won't start. That major seizure event that I told you about, that's now 16 days in the past? I've written it all down in a very lengthy and detailed story of the event. I'm on the third page in Word, single spaced. I moved it from notepad because I was getting annoyed with notepad. However, we don't really have Word on this computer, so it's not registered, so I can't copy, paste, add, subtract, do anything with it. So for now the very detailed description is on hold. I'll just tell you, Malachi's fine. He started a new therapy that night that has taken full effect in his blood and we haven't seen any (and I mean any) seizure activity in about a week.

So I'll start with training in NOVA/D.C.. I love FSI, that's right Drng Adventure, I said it. I've loved it since John started there. For me it's a symbol of the beginning of a new life. John had so many good times there, and now so have I. The training was intense. It was very overwhelming, I know I just used a superlative in front of overwhelming, but I feel like I can and any other person that goes through that training would agree. Today I finally was able to put it into words - it was 40 hours of training, but it was more like 50 or 60 hours of training all crammed in. There's so much more to the job than I thought. I now have a great respect for CLO's, and will never look down on one - unless they suck (I've heard that happens).

Right now I'm a CLO Assistant (CLO/A), and my main responsibility is the newsletter, with that I also keep up the paper files, and make sure the welcome books and welcome packets are taken care of. I also make the flyers for our events, I also do the finances for CLO (yikes!), but that's not very involved. Other than that, I really don't do much. I'll take messages for the CLO, and I keep the office open on Wednesdays. But there's so much more to the job than that!

Our CLO plans our events, does all of the work for families and the area schools, is the CLO rep. on the Emergency Action Pannel (the people at the Embassy who are in charge during an emergency), helps the EFM's with employment inside and outside the mission, and more! She does so much in only 32 hours a week.

She's leaving this summer, and I've applied for the job. I feel like after training, I have so much to offer that position. I came home with almost four pages of ideas and reminders, most of them one liners, only about seven personal. I wasn't even able to touch that list at work last week to organize it, hopefully I can do that this week.

I made some good connections there too. One of the Co-CLO's from Buenos Aires and I hung out the last two nights doing a bunch of shopping and eating at Chipotle (both nights). I wanted to take her to Dogfish Head Alehouse, but the wait was already 45-60 minutes by the time we got there. I passed around a piece of paper at training one day and got everyone's contact information, and then put it together in Excel when I got to work on Wednesday. We now all have 23 connections we didn't have before.

I had so much fun being in the States, and being at job training. But I learned, as John did when he went to Thailand by himself last August, that home is where our family is. I couldn't wait to get home on Saturday morning. That's a whole other story...have you looked up MIA yet? You should.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I've been writing a blog entry for a week about Malachi's horrendous seizure event that happened on Friday the 18th.

I have lots to say about my training at FSI and Main State in VA and  D.C. respectively, and I think Drng Adventure and I feel very differently about FSI.

I have a great amount to say about my travel home as well. As a precurser to this, I think you should Google recent news about MIA (Miami International Airport).

However, it's going to take so long to put all of that together, I have no idea when it's going to be done, let alone published. I also haven't been good at keeping up with blogs. I may have read about five entries over the week. So I'm sorry if I've missed some big events. I'll try to catch up some time soon.

All this to say, I'll get to it, eventually.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm in the States for job training. I had quite an adventure getting here, and even got to walk into a presentation today with all my luggage - it was a bit embarrassing.

I might not get much of a chance to blog while I'm here, but if I have a particularly important story I'll let you know.

I am drafting an entry about what happened with Malachi's epilepsy on Friday night - what an adventure! But for therapeutic reasons, and so I have it documented, I'm trying to be as specific as possible, so it's taking a while to write.

The time change here is kind of messing with me, but I'm tired, so I'll try to sleep soon, I'm getting up nice and early in the morning to be at work on time! Fun times!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm going there...soon. And I'm going to be trained in all things CLO. While I'm there I'm going to stay in a swanky hotel downtown, shop at Target downtown, see friends from town, meet people coming to San Jose, and leave as early as I'm leaving Costa Rica...which is very, very early.

I'm quite excited to be going to the States again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Seizures & Medications

I'm going to be lazy, because I'm over six months pregnant, I worked today, then came home and made dinner and put Simon to bed. In a little bit Malachi's going to go to bed and John and I are going to hang out. I'd rather hang out with John than write a long blog,'re going to get pieces of things I've already written.

Written to our D.C. Neurologist on 3/11

Dr. Lastname,

You saw Malachi (last name) (DOB) as a patient in '09 & '10. We've since moved to Costa Rica on orders with the State Department. Malachi was seizure free for almost 18 months. We have a relationship with a Neurologist here, Dr. Firstname Lastname at CIMA, and had been doing check ups with him. Recently Malachi has started seizing again. He had a grand mal on Friday 2/4 and again on Wed 2/9. He was also having partials. An MRI was done on 2/12 and an EEG was done on 2/14 and both came out normal. The Dr. increased his Keppra dosage to 300 mg 2x/day. He continued having partial seizures but the grand mals seemed to have stopped.Because the partials continued the Dr. here upped the dossage to 400 mg 2x/day. Yesterday 3/10 Malachi had another seizure. This time it wasn't a grand mal but one where he blacked out, had his typical postictal period, and then went to sleep. The Dr. told us to keep the Keppra at 400 mg 2x/day and also add Trileptal 250 mg 2x/day at first and then to 300 mg 2x/day until he sees Malachi on 3/22. 

I was able to buy the Trileptal in suspension form here, but there's no Keppra in suspension form in all of San Jose. They only have tablets and it's a different dosage. Here's where this email comes in...

I'll be in the D.C./NOVA area (insert dates) by myself for work and I was wondering if you'd be willing to write a Rx for Malachi for Keppra in suspension form at 400 mg 2x/day so I could buy it while I'm in the States. We have enough to cover ourselves until then. 

If you need any more information, I'll be happy to provide it. I can also provide you with the email address and phone number for Dr. Lastname. 

Thank you,

Sara Lastname

We had a lot of drama with the MED unit (our normal nurse was at a conference in Singapore, we had a substitute) trying to find the Keppra. When our normal nurse got back on Saturday she called and left a message saying that she was back and she wanted to hear about Malachi. We found out on Saturday night that we were much lower on medicine than we thought, and in fact only had 7 1/2 days worth. I called our nurse on Sunday morning and told her our dilemma. She said it would be her top priority on Monday morning. 

On Monday she put in an overnight mail order of three months worth of the Keppra we needed. That wasn't going to get here fast enough though (new Rx's in this system take five to eight days to process, expediting it would mean four to five days, and then it has to be sent from D.C. to Costa Rica). She finally called the Costa Rica Neurologist who said you can find liquid form at this pharmacy, and this other pharmacy. Our nurse called and arranged to have it delivered to the Embassy where I was working yesterday (the Trileptal was delivered to our house last Thursday, I LOVE pharmacy deliveries). We now have enough Keppra to get us to the mail delivery, and beyond I'm sure. 

Since we started the Trileptal on Thursday, we haven't had any full seizures but are still seeing partials (he had 8 on Sunday alone (and all but one was before 8:30 a.m.)), the Neurologist said we need to give the Trileptal 7-10 days to become fully effective. He seems completely unconcerned about the partials though. I'm not noticing any side effects from this new medicine. 

Oh - and btw. Dr. Lastname from D.C. still hasn't gotten back to me. That would never happen here. I don't know that I'm very excited about Medical care in the States anymore.