Monday, January 31

Long Day

I'm am still not quit sure how long he was reading to himself before he realized she was wasn't listening. Long day for the little girl. 

Friday, January 28

Our Happy Girl

Here is a little compilation of Elsa as we were cleaning and organizing yesterday. 

Warning: this video will probably only be interesting to my family but I felt inclined to share because it really shows Elsa's joyful personality. This little girl is so wonderful to be around, it hard to explain one's personality in words and do it justice but this video gives a little glimpse. Though let me not fail to mention that she has learned to throw herself on the floor and cry when things don't go her way, an act which even surprised her pediatrician. What can I say...she is advanced. Yeah. I know. We're in trouble. 

Final note, please ignore my silly comments, and all the laundry. I just finished it Wednesday night and it is already building up. Story of my life. Oh the things I would do for a washer and dryer. Guess that is for another post.

Thursday, January 27


I must say, today has been a good day (so far).

Starting with fresh flowers picked for me by my sweet Nyah Amina as we walked to the truck before school.
Breakfast with fresh tomatoes given to us by George's mom, which taste like Indiana in the summer. The tomatoes perfectly accompanied my eggs for a delicious breakfast. 
I purged and organized Elsa's clothes, which seems to be an ongoing process at the rate she is growing and our lack of storage space. We have loads of girl clothes which I am holding onto for a possible third go around, depending on what is cooking in the oven. Elsa was a big help (actually she just pulled out all the clothes I would put in the drawers) but she discovered this pillow and wouldn't get off it all morning. We jammed to old school Lauryn Hill on Pandora and Elsa broke out some serious dance moves which I will try to post tomorrow.

We headed to the beach after school for a little mental health time for Momma and to attempt to get all of the snot out of Elsa's nose. A nice dip in the sea, the best remedy for a runny nose I have found thus far. Lets just say it pours out.

The girls are now fast asleep, yet another benefit of spending the afternoon at the beach.  

I am enjoying the silence and relaxing until dinner when Nyah will insist we have a family toast as we do before every meal we share, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

So cheers, here's to making this most of what life has to offer.

Wednesday, January 26

Rise & Shine

This morning we woke the same way we do every morning, to the call of one of our precious girls. Last night George asked me to set an alarm for him, he had to be to work early this morning, like extra early. I realized at that moment that we are so blessed. Blessed with the luxury of not waking to the cranking, winning, ear piercing cry of an alarm clock (to me, one of the worst sounds known to man), thanks to our girls and our innate responsibly to care for them. I have never been a morning person, its just not for me. 

We don't have an alarm clock in our room (we do but it fell behind the dresser and we haven't had a good enough reason to retreave it yet).  We rely on our internal clocks, our internal obligations to wake our slumbers. The occasional morning has come when for some miraculous reason, only by the grace of God, the girls remained asleep past six. The morning rush to make it out the door occurs, but a small smile remains knowing we all got a little more rest and recoup time, which is good for all parties involved.  

I remember as I was preparing to welcome Nyah into my life, every experienced parent's wise and oh so common advise was constantly, "Enjoy your sleep while you can".  I had no clue then that what they actually meant was, "Enjoy your life and your guiltless rest without the biggest responsiblitly bestowed on a person lingering in the back of your mind, the responsiblity to care soley for another individual who depends completely on you". 

How can one be grumpy to wake up to a happy, smiling, greedy child wanting nothing more than what you can give them weather a hug, kiss or other vises (in Elsa's case) to help them return to their dreams or assist them in rising to the shine of another day? There are no doubt the mornings when I wishes for just one more hours rest, one more minute, just another second but for me the sleep is never as good after the initial waking. The thoughts of my little rebels, so excited to see each other, filling the house with their energy and joy as another day begins sits in the back of my mind like Christmas morning, never allowing me fully enjoy the little bit of extra rest. I feel like I am missing out on the fun, on my responsibilities.  
So I set my phone alarm for George to the sound of a rooster's crow, obviously. Yet I never heard the rooster crow this morning, I guess he rose to another type of alarm, the sweetest sounding alarm of all.

Friday, January 21

Rough Week

Well, things haven't really been going our way lately. Nyah got her first shiner, battle wound of running in the house at her grandparent's house. Kitchen counter will get you every time. It looks a lot worse than it feels (I think) because she hasn't mentioned it since it happened and seems so annoyed when we discuss it. The topic typically comes up a lot, especially when other see her and are like, "What the heck happened to your child?" with a judgmental and horrified look on their face. The eye is healing nicely and so am I, ugh, I just felt horrible for her. 
I ruined yet another cell phone this week. I am a chronic cell phone destroyer. I can usually make one last a couple months but thats usually the extent of a phone's life in this house. Never fails, I always drop it into something stupid or think, maybe for just this one little second, the kids will not destroy it if I let them play with it. I guess the first step to recovery is admitting the problem. So this go around Elsa decided to give the phone a little dunk in the toilet. I am convinced all of my problems in life would be solved if they just made waterproof phones. I guess every super hero has its weakness and the cell phone's is agua. I got pushed into this century though and got one of those fancy phones with a touch screen. Yeah, I'm lost.
Nyah going in for the kill
I caught myself wearing mom shorts yesterday, you know, the shorts from Banana Republic that are to high in the waist and hit the thigh just a little too low and make the butt look like a huge flat pancake. Yup, that was me and the sad thing is is that I honestly didn't care. 

I now get it and fully realize how the mom short/jean phenomenon began, simply due to lack of caring and not to mention enough spare time in the morning when getting dressed to even look in the mirror. I am sure those early twenty something year old free and single girls sitting on the bench examining my flat bana as I walked by yesterday were no doubt making silent promises to themselves that they would never dress like a "mom" and wear those horrible shorts no matter how many kids they have, as I am sure I once did. All of my pride is gone. Wears my minivan? 
On a more positive note, Elsa just got her eighth tooth and hopefully will be taking a break from the growing teeth thing for a while. We also felt the little bambino kick for the first time last night. Definitely made it all more real because I am not showing in the least and I am actually starting to feel like a human being again.  But there is no denying that those flutters in the belly were that little life making his/her presence known. Pretty awesome no matter how many times I have felt it.

Oh, and sending tons of love to the best Grandma, Great Grandmother and Nan in the world, hope you have a wonderful birthday! We love you.

Tuesday, January 18

My Child is Crucian

Today, as I was getting Nyah out of the car from school she said something especially funny that caught my attention and made me start thinking. I am really love where I live. Not only am I in awe of my breathtaking surroundings, but I am also fascinated by the unique mixture of people who live here, the culture, and the dialect. So, I decided to make a list of my favorite Crucian (pronouced "Kru-shun") terms that my child has picked up on or that just make me smile when I hear them throughout the day. 

A "Kru-shun" (or Cruzan, like the rum but still pronounced the same way) is a native or inhabitant of St. Croix. Crucians have their own slang words, most of the time spoke in horribly broken English, but hey, it's their own.  I guess since Nyah lives here and goes to school here she will without a doubt pick up her surroundings and probably be able to speak Crucian with the best of them. When we travel to Indiana, a land with its own special type of slang and crazy pronunciations, some have told me Nyah has an accent but I can't hear it. George occasionally breaks into Crucian when speaking to friends but was made to speak proper English growing up so he usually keeps it pretty proper.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite Cruzan terms:

1. Mash up- to wreck, ruin, or tear up. This is the term Nyah used this today that made me just shake my head and laugh. I accidently dropped the flower she picked me earlier as I was getting her out of the truck, and she gasped, "Mommy, you mash up my flower!"

2. Limin'- which means to relax, hang out or go out. As in, "George and I rarely go limin'". I adore this word and think it sums up its action perfectly, definitely not an equivalent in the English language.

3. Chooked- which means to wound or puncture using a sharp object. As all the kids come kicking and  scream into the ER we often hear them say, "No Mommy, no Mommy, I don't wanna go, de dacta gone chook me!"   

Nyah got a doctor set for Christmas (yes, we are trying to brainwash and persuade her early) and she takes the fake needle and says, "Hold still Mommy, I'm gonna chook you".

4. Ba'na- another name for booty or backside of a man or woman as in, "Da man, she got a big ol' bana!"

5. Coo-Coo- I will let you figure it out but it is the only way Nyah pronounces going #2. Don't even try to call it something else around her because its coo-coo. 

Nyah used this term so matter of factly last night (in front of my mother in law) as we were playing with their dogs. She pointed to one of the dogs named Der (cool name, rhymes with care) who hasn't been "fixed". She of course had to laugh and repeatedly tell us as she was pointing to Der's manly parts and even bending down to get a better look as Der was wiggling on his back with legs sprawled that, "Eww, Der has coo-coo on his ba'na".

Finally, my favorites.

6. Good Mornin', Good Aftanoon, Good Night- everyone here greets each other with these words depending of the time of the day. If you don't begin a conversation or announce one of these greetings when entering a room full of people, like a packed waiting room or Post Office with the line winding out the door as it so often is, you are considered rude. And I love it because there is nothing better than giving a true "Mornin!" to someone first thing and having them respond with the same vigor back. 

There have been some men working at our condo for the past couple of weeks giving the place a new paint job and Nyah has made friends with a few and shouts, "Mornin!" to them as she gets in the truck before school like an old man. Its beautiful and it makes me so proud.

So those are some of my favorite Crucian terms that make me chuckle, especially when Nyah uses them in context, and I am sure Elsa will pick up on them soon. Hope you enjoyed. Now I am going to take my big ol' ba'na to bed. Good night.

Friday, January 14

Tree Hugger

So here's the thing about nursing a baby with another one in the oven. First of all, I never thought I would find myself in this predicament, but I guess you can never say never. Sweet little Elsa is still really attached, literally, and is showing no sings of weening anytime soon, and in all honesty, I must admit that I am a little attached too. I would love to wean her and am thinking of it but first I must figure out how. Definitely don't want to be nursing two babies, tandem nursing as all the crunchy websites call it, but once again, never say never. I will be here for Elsa as long as she needs me.

All of the research I have done describes nursing while pregnant as being perfectly safe, my La Leche Leage book, The Womanly Art of Beastfeeding, aka The Nursing Bible says it is okay, contrary to advise of the Nurse Practitioner at my OB's office who told me to, "Stop nursing now, you will contract the baby out". Seriously? Haven't contracted any babies out yet, nor felt my uterus contract and lets be honest, I am very familiar with what a contracting uterus feels like. Lots of legit, supportive research out there that says nursing while pregnant is fine, actually no biggie, so on we go. I haven't switched doctors yet, though I am tempted. Holistic they are not

Other than the wacky advise received, the only comment I have on nursing while pregnant is that it hurts and I am tired of waking up in the night to feed Elsa so she can fall back asleep. A full nights sleep would do my body good. And don't worry about the tree-hugging, hippy accusations, George has those covered. His cute nickname for me is tree-hugger, a name that gets me all worked up, which is probably why he uses it. Not sure why it offends me so, but it does but not as much as the other name he likes to tease me with; diva. Yes, diva. Total opposite ends of the spectrum and I constantly remind him that divas don't kill cockroaches with their bare hands. Seriously, the bugs must die.

The tree-hugger part actually doesn't come from nursing, he is 100% supportive, but from my threats to free the roosters from the cockfighting rink, my vegetarian tendencies, wanting to of save the pitbulls down the street with big chains around their neck, and other stuff like that. 

So for now, I will go with the tandem nickname and be a tree-hugging diva and take it as a compliment that I am a well rounded person and continue to nurse my baby until, well, I am not entirely sure, but I will keep you posted.

Sorry, no photos of this entry. All of the images that came to mind weren't pretty and my Dad and brother read this. I am sure I have already grossed them out enough for one day.

Tuesday, January 11

The Soul of Her Shoe

I can no longer hide my love and must share my affection for, wait for it... a shoe (of all things). Pedipeds, a soft soled shoe and our shoe of choice to cover the toes for our tiniest soul learning to walk this Earth. I am a firm believer that barefoot is best, especially when learning to put foot to Earth, but if the foot must be covered I am convinced this is the next best thing.
We once tried a different soft soled shoe but one orphan remains on the ground in some airport, never completing the journey home. None stay on the squirmy little piggies quite like these. Strong and durable, Elsa has just outgrown her first pair, handed down from her big sister and another pair given to us by a dear friend. Her great grandmother has given her another pair which she is putting the miles in, getting them nice and broken in.  I enjoy looking at her old pair of Pedipeds and think of all she has accomplished in them, first steps, traveling, climbing, exploring, running, chasing, discovering.
Though Elsa has left her mark, her foot print repeatedly press into soles of these old pairs, they are still going strong, just sitting here, waiting to be given to the next little mamma to strut her stuff in. Will they grace the feet of a new sister? Time will tell, nonetheless, these shoes no doubt have many more years of life in their souls.
Most important of all, Elsa loves these shoes, the first of I am sure many which will accompany her in life. She is proud of her shoes, and definitely knows they are hers.

Friday, January 7

One for Mexico

Here is a post of things that have warmed my heart, made me laugh lately. 

The girls and I were riding to town in the truck yesterday listening to one of Nyah's nursery rhyme CDs (yes, we still listen to CDs). Nyah is very fond of nursery rhymes, as I have mentioned before, but when we came to "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" she had some interesting lyrics that made me chuckle.

"Bah, bah, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, 
Three bags, four.
One for the Mexico and one for the farm
(something I couldn't understand)
Bah, bah, black sheep,
Have you any more?
Yes sir, yes sir, 
Three bags, four."

Relieved she hasn't forgotten about Mexico.

Lately she has skipped waiting for me to say, "I love you" and she just looks at me or hugs me and skips right to, "I love you too, Mommy". She reads my mind in a perfect way because I am always thinking how much I love her right when she says, "I love you too, Mommy". 

Nyah had our sweet neighbor KerryAnn stay for dinner last night, Nyah's first dinner guest. There were bouncing off the walls with excitement, strategically planning the seating arrangement, etc. KerryAnn wanted to tell me about this cool movie she just watched, Meet The Fockers, but of course repeatedly referred to the movie as, Meet The Fuckers. It was hilarious. She had no clue what she was saying and thankfully Nyah didn't catch on and repeat her, rare because KerryAnn can do no wrong in Nyah's eyes, her ultimate older friend idol.  It was difficult to hold the laughter in as this precious little girl repeatedly dropped the "F" bomb in our house.

On another note, I caught a tourist blatantly taking pictures of Elsa yesterday on the boardwalk, crouched with huge lensed camera National Geographic style. He was Danish and didn't know much English but the sheer joy on he and his wife's face watching the girls play made me realize they had no clue. They just used the ol' smile huge and nod method.

Things to do: devise plan how to politely tell tourist not to take pics of native children without parent's permission. Hmmm.

Thursday, January 6


We woke this morning to the sweet sound of Quelbe music in the distance as Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights did their early morning thing through Christiansted. Have a listen.

From what I understand, Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights pick random neighborhoods and start playing there early in the morning with their band set up in the back of a semi or something. They drive really slowly through the streets and people come out of their houses, not to curse them and call the police for a noise disturbance, but to actually dance behind the truck as the band makes their way down the street. Pretty awesome way to welcome the day if you ask me.

I haven't quite figured it all out. I can't fathom a band jamming through the streets of Indiana at the break of dawn and people loving it, so thankfully George is patient with me and does a lot of explaining. It's all is related to The Cruzan Christmas Festival, a mass time of celebration here which starts in December and continues past the New Year marked by pagents, culture, Calypso competitions, parades, tramps, J'ouvert, village, Carnival, food, etc. There is definitely a festive vibe in the air during this time of the year way beyond the Christmas, New Year's thing.
I couldn't get Elsa off the porch this morning, with a little bounce in her step, and Nyah was busy at work while we enjoyed the sweet music. So different from the Midwest in a such a lively way. And yes, I'm currently moving my hips to this locally grown music and its seven o'clock in the morning-what the ___? Hope everyone has a great day.

Wednesday, January 5

Conch Water

We bundled up Sunday and headed West to check out the Village, equivalent to the 4-H fair I would roam growing up and my father dominated as a child (minus the smell of manure and other agricultural treats). Just music, food, and jenky rides brought to St. Croix each year around Carnival. 

Nyah decided to stop her protest and break her hunger strike while we were there with of all foods in this world- conch water. I have tried everything to entice this girl's appetite, I even got serious and resorted to introducing her to the good life, the life of Nutella. I thought this was a sure new food obsession, but no, she simply took a few licks off her toast and went on with her business. 
George bought the conch water for himself, a kind of rare treat because I think we all know I have no clue how to make it, which Nyah happily consumed for him. Chewy conch and dumplings in a seafood fishy broth, interestingly tasty and delicious to Nyah. A true Cruzan she is, eating food with her Dad that even I haven't acquired a taste for. 
Nyah has made a habit of this, downing any food George has, no matter the rare or meaty contents.  I think she has figured out that Dad always eats flavorful food, not boring, raw veg like Momma. More power to my brave and adventurous girl.

Tuesday, January 4

Survive and Thrive

We managed to ring in the New Year without any ridiculous diet plans, bangs, kick offs, or serious life changing resolutions, besides the daily mission to try to be our best. Strictly in survival mode here. 

We spent the eve of the New Year at the beach with friends trying to save baby turtles who didn't make it past the rough breakers during their mad dash to sea the night before. 
The noble life of a sea turtle. Hatch and then immediately head towards the light of the moon and try to make it in the endless sea. Such brave little guys and girls. 
These baby turtles are the truly define survival mode. Not making a silly resolution to do what they need to do to succeed in life, strictly doing what they have to do, making my concerns insignificant in comparison. Growing to be a big old turtle their ultimate life's success.  Hopefully these precious babies were strong enough to make it past the breakers to begin their journey in life and one day return to the launching point, as old tortugas, where George gave them their second chance (because I wasn't about to get in that cold water). 
The Christmas winds are whipping here and we are really enjoying the slight drop in temperature, proving my point once again that the seasons do change in St. Croix. Nyah was the only brave soul to take her clothes off at the beach, well, she, George, and all the tourists. 
And I keep coming back to the baby turtles, hoping they are out in there surviving, thriving, instincts in motion. No doubt every mothers' wish for her baby venturing from the nest.

Happy New Year! Much love.
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