Friday, April 29

Life's Adventures

Our life has turned busy, hustle and bustle all around as our lives are being downsized and packed away into a few big brown boxes. Moving? Maybe, who knows? Sure wish I knew. Moving out of our condo, yes, probably. Maybe. We are preparing as if we are leaving our wonderful island life so everything is packed and we wait. And wonder. And try to remain positive at our undetermined future. The unplanned and unknown can be scary. But what is certain is we have a two amazing girls and a little boy on the way who we are all beyond excited to meet. 

As I sit here enjoying the breeze and watch the waves break in the distance, as these annoying little mosquitoes bite me, a reminder that summer and the heat are approaching, I realize days like this might be few and far between. And afternoons like these.
So we will enjoy our moments here to the fullest until our plans are set. Adventure awaits, just not sure I am up for it this time. Remember when I wrote about finally arriving at this point in my life? Looks like life has other plans for us at times. 
What will this blog be without photos like this? Might have to change the title description but the adventure will remain because life is always an adventure, an adventure I am beyond thankful to be a part of. 

Wednesday, April 27


This is the girls' play area, also known as our living room. This is the place they, mostly Elsa, does her best discovering and development of her imagination. The level she does this is massive, bordering on destructive. This is the room before, early in the morning before their sweet little hearts have stirred.

 Here is the room about five minutes after Elsa has made her entrance.
She just can't help herself, she has to pull everything off the shelf, has to learn, has to explore. She often pauses to do a little of this. No real baby toys here, we don't purchase much in that department, but as you can see, Elsa is doing just fine with the lack of plastic toys some genius designated appropriate for a twelve to eighteen month old child. All you see has pretty much been given to us by our generous friends and family, and we all know kids enjoy boxes and brooms and rolls of toilet paper and garbage cans better than that crap anyway. 

Each day/night as we do yet another clean up, I attempt to put things back in their place and inevitably throw a ton of stuff away. Where do all the tiny pieces of plastic that settle on the bottom of the toy box come from? Its overwhelming. 

I recently tried to do away with the toy box or toy basket in our case to try to be more in tune with the Montessori philosophy of having a place for everything so the girls can put things back in their place after playing, resulting in a tidy play area to hopefully cut down on the chaos and clutter in the girls brain, but its almost impossible. For me at least. Never fails, we are in a rush and the toys have to go somewhere and inevitably they get shoved in the basket and the cycle continues until I do another mass toy clean out and pitch a ton of stuff.
But the girls are happy and I am learning a happy child ranks way higher on my list of important things in my life than a tidy house does. So play on Elsa, destroy play on. 

Tuesday, April 26

Easter Catch Up

Here are the highlights of our first Easter egg hunt with the girls, under the mango trees at their grandparents (of course). Sorry I am a little behind posting these. Better late than never.
In typical sibling fashion, Nyah found all the eggs and even when Elsa was en route to making a mega discovery, sister would speed ahead and claim the egg prize. Elsa definitely got it and even managed to place a few eggs in her basket. I think she will definitely be ready next year after her sister initiated her to the art of hunting Easter eggs.
But, we wouldn't have it any other way. Both enjoyed themselves and ended up sharing treats in the end. 
I keep wondering what kind of personality this little boy will have or should I say have to have to survive keep up with these two energetic, independent, strong willed, rambunctious girls. By the frequent and strong movements he makes throughout the day, reminding me of his presence, I am guessing he won't have much trouble and will fit right in. Bless his little soul.

Sunday, April 24

Hello Neighbor

Hiyah St. Thomas, so nice to see you, its been awhile. How are the kids? 

It is not often the skies are so clear on this island that our neighbors are so visible. Why? Various reason, African Sahara desert dust blowing our way, or volcanic ash from Montserrat, our neighbor to the South east, but never air pollution, but definitely the reason I occasionally have to dust the entire house an extra time during the week. 

I was absolutely amazed by the clarity of the world the other day, all was calm and settled. I just couldn't help but share.  
Wishing all a day this peaceful. Happy Easter. 

Thursday, April 21

She's (Done) Just Begun

Its official. She's a big girl. She is finished, one hundred percent, hasn't nursed in three days. Elsa has spent the past few months only indulging in a quick snack at night and not even hinting towards the desire to nurse during the day. 

I keep waiting for the night time call to feed but it just hasn't come, she's over it. She woke up last night but didn't assume her usual position of throwing herself down in the nook of the bend of my arm, she simply just needed a hug and to be put back to bed. She's growing in every way.

I have been waiting for this day, dreaming of this day for a while now. Mostly because the pregnancy has made it extra uncomfortable to nurse but also because I am terrified of having two babes begging for milk. Not sure I could handle the pressure to produce and satisfy two. But now that the anticipated moment has come, I have to admit, I kinda miss the time Elsa and I shared together. Miss her sweet looks, rubs, and relaxed time we shared where she was completely content. 

She just dropped me. No warning, no phone call. She just ended it, like that.

Here is a look at one of my all time favorite moment nursing my not so baby girl, besides, well, every moment. Our wedding day, the chaos, the hustle and bustle, and the moment she made me pause, relax and take a moment for her. 
So thankful my mom was able to capture this perfect moment between me and this amazing girl, only after she unzipped, unbuttoned, and released me from the dress.

I think this is also the moment the young waiter awkwardly walked buy and I reminded him that, "This is why its important to get married before you have kids." Other than being nervous at the sudden sight of a nursing woman, and avoiding even the slightest glance in my direction, I think I got a smile from him. 

For now I will enjoy my last few months of freedom from feeding and give the girls a rest, they will be needed in full force to serve their ultimate purpose again soon enough. In the meantime I am going to shower my growing and independent sixteen month old girl's soft and chubby cheeks with an overabundance of kisses while she is still the baby in the family. You are growing up beautifully baby girl, keep it up. 

Mango Bliss

First mango of the season. Devoured. All is good in her little world again.

Wednesday, April 20

Easters Comin'

Here is a peak at some of our Easter activities. Nyah is pumped, beyond excited to receive her Easter basket and participate in her first Easter egg hunt. George is getting psyched up for his first egg hiding experience. 
Our island beaches are already littered with tents. Camping on the beach is a popular Easter tradition among the locals here, a tradition I hope to participate in someday.
The most interesting thing I have learned in the process of preparing for Easter with Nyah is that she is madly in love with hard boiled eggs. Who would have known? She at two while we were coloring the eggs and was begging for more. She tried to save a special egg for her grandparents but just couldn't help herself the next day. 
Watercolor decorated card stock eggs.
 Tissue paper decorated card stock eggs.
Here's to Easter, traditions, and discovering a new healthy snack for our girl.

Tuesday, April 19

30 Weeks

Here we go, week thirty, which means ten more weeks until we get to meet our little man. Thirty weeks also means people are really starting to notice and can hardly help from commenting, especially here on this island where having babies is a big, special ting. 
Most of the comments range from, "Wow, you aren't very big for almost eight months" to, "Holy shit, are you having twins? How do you breath? Are you okay?" And only as Cruzan woman can, the most common comment, "You're fat!", my favorite, by the way, especially when it  comes from the mouth of a not so thin woman. I have learned to get over the fat comments though and realize this is not the mainland of the image obsessed, but the land of goodness and johnny cakes.

My favorite part of pregnancy is the connection people feel with you, men and woman alike. I have never experienced such kindness as when I am pregnant. All want to guess the sex by my appearance and the roundness of my belly or the way I am carrying. Most guess boy which is cool because with the girls, everyone without a doubt knew at first glance that I was carrying a girl. Some want to rub the belly which I welcome. Why? For one it feels good (I am weird, yes) and secondly, I think the baby deserves all the love he can get. Transfer all the good energy you can to the little guy. We thank you.
Mothers and grandmothers love to talk about their experiences, which I could chat about forever. In St. Croix, many of the older woman can still boast that they gave birth to a brood of six or ten and I bow to their expertise. The group of broad chested cops I walked by yesterday all wanted guess how many months I was and make jokes and laugh together. Seriously, you all care? How awesome. 

The most precious baby spectator I have discovered though is Nyah, who has taken an almost protective roll to her, "Baby brudr". She often discusses his birthday, "Is it today?" and has become an expert in feeling his movements. If she doesn't feel him move after about five-seconds of resting her short fingers on him, she concludes, "He is sleeping, shhh". The best feeling though, hands down, is when she engulfs herself around the bump that is him and rests her head in the most loving hug. 

Someone once told me that babies bring the love. It's so true, there is nothing more beautiful or universal.

Friday, April 15

Shaking the Tamarind Tree

Here's the deal, Nyah loves tamarinds. She's obsessed with them. She even talks about them before she falls asleep at night. Ny was first introduced tamarinds (what we call the fruit or seed (see above photo) which grows on the tamarind tree) at school and she immediately fell in love with the fleshy, pasty, sour and sometimes sweet (if you can find the right tree) fruit which surrounds the seeds of the tamarind. 
I have visited and even shook the tamarind tree at Ny's school before and you better believe not one last tamarind remains on the ground, the little kids devour the fruit. The perfect treat for kids, ideal for independent consumption. During playtime, they are free to eat as many tamarinds as their little hearts desire. They all know the routine, crack the shell, pull out the fruit and enjoy. 

We typically take a walk after dinner to get some of the energy out of our little rebels and never fails, at beginning of the walk, Nyah begs George to shake the tamarind tree. 

The girls collect tamarinds which they suck on and eat for the remainder of the walk, like an old farmer might chew on a weed. Notice Elsa in the corner of the screen taking off? I remember being a kid and loving the most sour candy. I don't know how I did it or how they do it but some things never change.
The view of Christiansted from the top of the hill on our nightly walk.
The abundant and sometimes odd fruit which St. Croix bears is one of Nyah's favorite things about the island, because we all know swimming isn't high on her list of favorite activites. Soon enough this sour fruit will be replaced by mangoes and genips which I know she is looking forward to. Oh how we love the many fruits this little island gives.

Thursday, April 14

Can't Help It, The Girl Can't Help It

I was finally able to catch Elsa doing one of her favorite activities (besides jumping). She often goes off alone and when I find her, this is what she is doing. Reading. 
Reading is something we do often, especially with Nyah. We read to Elsa, introducing her to the wonderful activity but by no means do we push her. Looking at books is something all her own and I couldn't be more proud. She just can't help herself, can't get enough and its awesome. I guess she is trying to figure out what all the hype is about. 

There is no secretly if Elsa has been in the room because books litter the floor. George and I have to do a mass book clean up a couple times a day so we have room to walk. Will she be our scholar? Probably, but if not she will no doubt have a madly successful career as a stunt devil.

Wednesday, April 13

Here's One for the Good Guys

No need to ring the alarm. Crisis adverted. My dinosaur camera is home, found all the way on the other side of the island. Steps were retraced and I was able to recall the last place I used my camera (can't believe I could actually remember). 

The girls and I had spent the better part of Sunday moseying the grounds of Estate Whim Plantation Museum, gawking at the local art, indulging in Starving Artist Day. If you have never been, its great. St. Croix is blessed with some amazing artist and jewelers. I was mostly into the fabrics this year. 
The girls really enjoyed the smoothies and entertainment. 
Guess who just had to dance?
Our little artist even got the chance to work her magic.
So on a chance, I called the folks at the museum to see if a kind soul had turned in a camera dropped by a fuzzy minded pregnant woman, and sure enough, they had it. George raced over to pick it up and it feels so nice to have her back. Lets see how many more years I can make this camera last.

I am so thankful for kind people who inevitably always renew my faith in humanity. I needed a little reminder after my rough run in with the rude, forward, down right mean crack head yesterday who was trying to beg money from me, the obviously pregnant momma, as I was attempting to buy food for my two children. Ha dude, nice people win...again.

Tuesday, April 12

Lost & Hopefully Found

I am an all out panic. I have lost yet another precious item, I know, I know. I suck. The victim this go around, my camera. My old, out dated camera. My friend. Maybe this is the world trying to persuade me to get a nice, of this decade camera so I can capture better shots to post on here. A camera which would allow me to control little minor things so many people who take pictures control regularly like shutter speed and aperture. I am not ready for an upgrade though, I just want my dinosaur back.

I will admit, I have issues and am prone to stupid mistakes, mostly involving my cell phone, but my camera? Why? I had some great shots on there, great memories. The pregnancy brain thing is really driving me crazy. Is it true? I believe so, my forgetfulness seems personified these past few months. Lost stethoscope, forgotten grocery items, daily hunt for keys, getting in the wrong car, and the list goes on.

I have put Nyah in Elsa's car seat and vice versa at the store and many other places more times than I care to admit. Seriously, its embarrassing. The look they give me when one is on the other's respected side of the car is priceless, not to mention one car seat is HUGE and the other is small. The sad part is, I will go through the full buckling process before I do a double take at one of them knowing something doesn't look right. Nyah gets such kick out of this. She just sits there watching me go through the whole process with a smile waiting for that moment when I realize, I have done it again. She then giggles for hours and reminds me repeatedly what I did. Crazy Mom. 

Our house isn't big, at all, so one has to be quite skillful to loose things in here at the rate I do. The thing that frightens me most is Elsa is really into throwing things away these days. We have found some odd things in the garbage. George just shakes his head. He is that guy who puts everything in the same place over and over and over again for years and years and rarely looses things. He's the guy who gets under my skin when I loose yet another item, because he doesn't. 

Sad still to have such a long time companion gone. The one who captured my early St. Croix days, my pregnancy with Nyah, her birth, Elsa's birth, our wedding, family, and now up to the last trimester of my pregnancy with the little guy. And George just figured out how to use the camera without help. Great, here we go again. 

Sunday, April 10

The Best Medicine

As I sit here at the kitchen table to upload these photos on this beautiful island morning, with the calming breeze blowing my bed head hairdo around, I am realizing that I need to be more like the girls in these photos. As things are changing in our lives these photos and our girls are the constant reminder that I still need to take the opportunity to lighten up, laugh a little and stop worrying myself to the point of exhaustion attempting to plan and predict the future. Relax and surrender, things will work out. They always do.  

I need to finish up my computer time. Nyah is out with George on a morning walk to take the garbage out (her chore) and to pick tamarinds. Elsa is deep into her morning slumber. I need to psych myself up because I have no doubt in my mind that my thoughtful little girl will pick a special tamarind just for me and bring it back and proudly hand it to me and watch to see if I eat it. They are an unbearably sour treat, perfect for kids, but more on tamarinds another day.

I guess when I need a reminder to chill the mind, I can always come back to this page because, honestly, this is life, and its good.

Friday, April 8

Parents & Chicks

She got to spend the dreary, rainy morning in town with her parents, sister busy at school. Two hands to hold, the two people who adore her most all to herself. 
She accompanied us to complete our passport renewal. Today, the day we renewed. Who would have thought, two strangers from worlds apart coming together and having to renew passports on the same day. We thought of ourselves then, ten years ago, applying within one day of each other. I, a young wide eyed girl (literally, you should see the photo) eager to head to New Zealand, freshly free from high school. He renewing as an island boy for easy travels between the islands.  St. Croix the rendezvous point. This busy little girl, the result of our love. 
Independent but still requiring an occasional helping hand to walk up steps and for the occasional swing with each of her hands in ours. But in true Elsa style, she takes the swing from her parents to the max and kicks her feet out mid swing and throws her head back. Attempting a back flip? Probably.
We met another mother on an outing in town with babies in tow. 
She gets it, she is also the mother of an indepenant baby. A baby who still needs the occasional assistance of helping hand after being separated from the group. Our precious chicks.

Wednesday, April 6


Sending a little mid week love your way.

Song: Beautiful
Artist: India Arie

Monday, April 4

It's a Go

We have the ultrasound pics of baby boy taped to one of our cabinet doors. A special place away from the photo and art work cluttered fridge door, the perfect location to display our latest creation. I glance at the fuzzy black and white images daily, letting my imagination run free. I often catch George pausing in passage to take yet another look at the little man in our life, who we are both so eager to meet. I look and think. He looks and thinks and the other day he finally said it. I admit, the thought has been hanging out in my mind too, floating around in there somewhere, not quite developed and definitely not worthy of verbalizing but when George came out with it the other day, I could do nothing but agree.

"Do you think that could be his umbilical cord?"

"Do you think it's disproportional to his body or is it just me?"

Mind you, neither of us have never seen an ultrasound of a boy, but dang.

So, though I don't really care, and in all relevance of important things in life, this sits pretty low, I have been allowing myself to think, what if he is really a she? It happens to families all the time, right? Mistaken ultrasounds. I have been psyching myself up just incase the little one decides to surprises on labor day. But today my friends, all side thoughts and hesitations in excitement were put to rest. My co worker did quick ultrasound to check for the manly goods and oh let me tell you, they were all there, beautifully there. No umbilical cord in the way. Its boy ladies and gentlemen, baby brother 100% confirmed.

It was so nice to see the little dude again. He looks perfect. The hesitation in my mind has been replaced by anticipation and excitement deep in the pit of my growing abdomen. Can't wait to get my hands on my baby and make a momma's boy of him (don't tell George).

Sunday, April 3


This week, I have just started to think that I should prepare for the new baby. I haven't done anything, seriously. Its real and I need to get with it. I don't want to fit the stereotype I have heard so often about how the last or in our case, third child, is allowed to do whatever and is all but neglected. 

I understand where this stereotype comes from. With practice makes perfect, or makes one more relaxed and confident and for us at least, by the time the third child arrives, I think (I hope) we will know what to expect, minus his little personality quirks. So what's the need for all the fuss and stress?

With Nyah, I was thrown numerous baby showers where I received beyond the amount of gifts one human deserves, from overly generous family and friends, picked from a mega baby store using a small hand held scanner. I had everything for her, wipe warmer, special pillows for nursing, special medical kits, special blankets, you name it. 

When Elsa came along, I had luckily saved everything from Nyah and was able to reused it. I obviously didn't ship the big stuff, like obnoxious swing, exersaucer, etc but that was fine. I didn't miss any of it and realized I didn't need any of it. The purpose of all the stuff seems to be just to make one small moment in the mothers life and small stage in the child's life easier and then to take up a lot of space. 

Elsa, from birth, has lived a contraption free life, minus a swaddling blanket. She has always been left to her imagination and allowed to lie, roll, sit, scoot, crawl and walk to her hearts delight without being confined to a piece of plastic. Our major investment with her were some mega padding puzzle like pieces for the hard tile floor which we are still using in the girls play area. We child proofed the house and set her free. She walked early and is extremely independent, has killer concentration for her age and enjoys playing alone, preferably looking at books. So this is the route we will take with the little guy, a plastic contraption free life. 

I have a carrier, swaddling blankets, co sleeper (in fact, haven't even put it away), the girls bedding is cobalt blue, everything is gender neutral so other than clothes, which my generous friends have totally hooked me up with, we might be set. I think. I hope. Bottles? Nope, breastfeed and try not to leave baby much. Cloth diapers? I just might go there this time, oh yeah, we got a washer and dryer. Booyah. Yup, it's the little things in life.

What I have been doing most of all to prepare little dudes arrival is reading. Lots. I totally engulfed myself with reading when I was pregnant with Ny. I wanted to know all there was to know about natural child birth and breastfeeding. None of the woman in my family knew much about these topics, in fact, I think my poor grandmother was knocked out for her "births". So since I really had no one to bestow this important womanly wisdom on me, I hit the books, naturally. My all time favorite book and the one I credit with teaching me the most was, Spiritual Midwifery, written by the badass midwife, Ina May Gaskin in 1976. 
If you are pregnant and have any interest in the beauty of child birth, you gotta read this book. 
A little crunchy and hippyish (some of the woman have harry arm pits) but it tells the birth stories of hundreds of women written by the mother herself, father, friend, or midwife who attended the birth. The numerous stories of how the mommas repeatedly had uncomplicated, untraumatic birthing experiences was so enlightening and get this, the majority of them did it on a farm. No hospital. They all did it, without drugs, without C sections. And they survived. The statistics are amazing, at times unbelievable. 

It's empowering and I credit this book with giving me the confidence to relax, trust my body and embrace the life changing labor and delivery experience I had with Nyah. The woman's stories in the book helped me realize that delivering a baby is normal and something I am perfectly capable of doing and in fact was born to do. It is a nice way to counter the horror stories so common in our culture today. 

Couldn't resist including a picture of the little beauty who changed my life in more ways than I can count.
So, I have picked up my treehugging tendencies again and ordered Ina's newest book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Love it, so far. Haven't finished it yet but enjoying more inspirational stories along with more technical info of how to get 'er done in the delivery room. 

And there you have it, the most important item I have purchased thus far in preparation for baby boys arrival. Also, now accepting, in advance all good vibes anyone wants to send this way for a quick and peaceful delivery of a healthy baby. By far the best gift we could receive as we prepare ourselves and our lives for the newest addition.

And how could I forget a photo of the precious Elsa Christiana who brings joy and light to our lives daily.

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