Monday, March 24, 2014

10 Weeks and Counting.....

I can't believe we only have 10 weeks left....

I can't believe I haven't blogged since October....

I can't believe Noelle just pooped on the floor....

What can I say, it's an unbelievable day.

10 weeks left? NO WAY!

Where do we go from here?!?

That is the big question, so let me fill you in. We leave Grenada on May 31st and head home to Texas for 2 months. We'll be living with our very gracious families...thank you in advance....while Josh studies even harder (can't believe that's possible) for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Basically that's the 1st test to be a doctor. There's like 3 or 4. I haven't gotten that far because right now our entire life depends on Step 1. 

Then sometime in July, preferably before his birthday, Josh will take the test and we can finally all relax...for like a week. 

Loving our island life! 

Then, around the week of July 21st, St. George's University tells us which hospital Josh will be spending his last 2 years of medical school at....and it will be in the good ol' US of A...100% positive. 

The choices: back in February we turned in our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for clinical centers. This was not a decision taken lightly. There is a lot to consider when moving a party of 5 anywhere, not to mention the whole reason we are doing this....Josh's choice of hospital. I know you are dying to know the choices....and they are.....drum roll please.....#1 Lutheran Hospital in Brooklyn, NY....#2 NY Methodist also in Brooklyn, NY...and #3 Arrowhead Medical Center in California (near LA). We actually had another choice because you choose states and not centers, so #4 is New Jersey. 

We are so excited about our choices and feel pretty good that we may get at least #1 or #2. We've never lived together on the east coast so this will be fun to explore. Plus, we plan to live like true New Yorkers and not get a car. I am super excited about that since the Beach Buggy has just worked out so well. (Currently, we are not moving faster than 40 kph in the Beach Buggy, no joke, KILOMETERS per hour...sigh.)

Boy o boy we are going to miss this. Lance Aux Epines Beach. 

Saying Goodbye

Nope, not yet. Can't do it....moving on....

NOT Saying Goodbye

Ok, so it's no secret that I've had my fair share of challenges in Grenada. (Spoken like a true teacher, eh?) Now I'm so used to living here, that the thought of going home seems overwhelming. I like our little life in our little tiny apartment with all our friends close by. 

I live on an island, I mean, HELLO? Isn't that the dream?? It must be based on what I see on Pinterest. (If you do not know what Pinterest is, don't, just don't go there. An evil website where I now have about 1500 projects to do in my spare time. Ha really...)

Sure there are days when I just want to go home, be in the land of Walmart and green limes and chicken, glorious glorious chicken, which I can buy day or night. But most of the time, I'm super happy here. Life is so slow and easy. Once you work the kinks out. 

And of course I can say that....I have only 10 weeks left. 

Walmart is really!!

I have a new pet peeve....people who bash the Walmart on Facebook. 

Yes! I have been one of those people! I hated the lines, the people, the checkers, the crowds...and I'm sure I'll be one of those people again someday. 

But now...STOP IT!! You have no idea how good you have it. You really do not. 

There has not been 1, nay 1, grocery shopping trip where I have been able to find all the items on my list. Chicken, I just want some freakin' chicken. The breasts...I want the breasts. A few weeks ago, even my chicken guy at the farmer's market was out of chicken. Where is all the chicken going? Not to my house. When chicken guy is out, things are not good.  

Nutmeg....we do have lots of nutmeg. Nutmeg Factory, Goyuave, Grenada. 

Soon we will be home, sooner than I'll be ready for. The locals keep asking me if we'll be back. Of course I say YES! But what they don't know is that it will be a long long long time from now. 

Until we leave, time to go soak up some more sun.....


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

October is a Fun Month!!

Between Halloween, the changing of the seasons (not here, but in other parts of the world I hear), and 2 little girl's birthdays, October keeps us happy and busy! Here's a recap of what we've been up to:

Noelle's Birthday

This month Noelle turned 2! 

She is such a character! Full of energy and always in charge, Noelle knows what she wants. If she wants you to sit or play she does demand it. It doesn't help that Ethan and Analeigh fulfill her every desire. She is, after all, the baby. 

Noelle loves books and loves to be read to. 

She's started talking a lot lately. New words creep into her vocabulary daily, and she is sounding more and more like a big girl. 

I know she was telling me a story about something upsetting at the beach. This bikini is TOO CUTE!
One of Noelle's favorite characters is Elmo. We avoided it with child 1 and 2, but it could not be avoided the 3rd time around. She actually loves all Muppet characters which pleases me greatly. My sister and I will still watch any movie/show involving Muppets. She's a girl after my own heart. 

So this year I did an Elmo cake for my littlest peanut:

We had some of Josh's friends over for cake. 4th term is never-ending and really rough on the students, so not too many people could come. We kept it an intimate affair, but Noelle was happy as could be! 

There are 3 weeks exactly between Noelle and Analeigh's birthdays. We keep busy with all our activities and all our friends.

Analeigh's Birthday!

Analeigh turned 4 this year! Where does the time go?!

10 month old Analeigh playing in the pool with 4 year old Ethan
Analeigh is a sweet girl who loves drama. Maybe it's just this age, but she is full of drama! She loves all things pink and girly, but her favorite past time is swinging on the swings.

Sweet Sisters
She loves playing with her friends, but adores her sister most of all. And of course, she looks up to her big brother too.

Play dates are the best! 
This year for her birthday, Analeigh requested a Cinderella cake. We went with that theme and had a very casual party for her and her friends. They played, did a craft, and had some princess cake.

Cinderella Cake

Eating Lunch

A Princess Craft

Princess Analeigh

With all her friends

A new Barbie - what more does a girl need? 

Halloween 2013

2 days after Analeigh's birthday is Halloween. I did the costumes again, like I try to do every year, because I know someday a homemade costume won't be "cool". 

Ethan wanted to be a Minion from Despicable Me and the girls wanted to be cats. Well.....ok, Analeigh wanted to be a cat and Noelle can say "meow" so it worked out well to do 2 cats. 

We went up to the campus to go Trick-or-Treating. Remember Halloween is actually an American holiday not celebrated by Grenadians, but the University does put on a very nice route from office to office for the kids to trick-or-treat to.

Afterward, the Significant Others Organization had a little Halloween fair for the kids. It was really fun for everyone!

Pretty Kitty

Waiting to get his face painted.

Another Pretty Kitty

Immediately after I took this she dropped the was sad. 

I love the look on Noelle's face. This is the costume competition. 

This kitty had her fur rubbed the wrong way. 

There were some really cute costumes this year. Most people either planned ahead and brought a costume, or made one from what they had on hand. For example, Ethan's overall's were once one of Josh's old t shirts. Not bad, eh?

6 More Months...

It is so hard to believe that we only have 6 more months (if all goes well) here on the island. We are actually having a great time. I feel like we have all accepted the fact that this is our life right now, and I can't imagine it being any other way. Sure I still struggle with the whole "stay at home mom" gig, but I really enjoy the fact that we have so many friends. In fact, Sunday may be the only day that I don't get to see my friends. 

View from our front yard. 

At this point, it is easy to dream of a life back in the states after the island, but that is exactly what it seems like...a dream. I feel like once we leave here it will all go back to normal, right? Back to our house, my job, our cars, old responsibilities again...right? As if I wake up and it was really all a dream. 

I may be in a state of denial...or simply just confused.

This could really be a dream come true? 

Luckily for now I don't have to worry about it. Let me just enjoy the few simple days and weeks I have left as a former-teacher-turned-beach-bum living the dream, I mean get the point. 

Guess it's time for another beer, so I'll talk to you later.....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back in the Swing of Things

Well 4th term is in full swing. Josh is busy studying full time....along with some classes and labs. We don't see him much right now. He comes home for dinner and then goes back to school to study at night.

This leaves us with a lot of time to ourselves.

You better keep me busy or I'm gonna get into TROUBLE!!

Luckily, we are in a place where all of the spouses and moms have to same problem. So we keep ourselves plenty busy!!

For one, Ethan started school last week.

Ethan is attending the same private school this year. Last year they moved him ahead a grade in reading/ language arts. This year he has been moved up in math. Since the 2nd/3rd graders both do the same science and social studies, that puts Ethan in 3rd grade. Keep in mind it's a small school and there are only five 3rd graders. We are excited for him!!

We are going to try something new this term for him and Analeigh. The school offers after school programs and one of them is swimming. I've got both kids signed up for swim lessons this fall. Ethan would want me to tell you that he learned how to swim this summer, so clearly we are just improving what he already knows.

Analeigh started our mommy-led preschool this week. This is a serious preschool. Our friend Mindy brought back tons of great preschool resources from the states and we are following a curriculum her mom uses in her preschool class.

She loves it!! They will be focusing on animals and they will learn to write, count, do math, and many many more lessons that preschoolers need before kindergarten. Each mom will take a month to teach all the kids. Right now Mindy is teaching and I will teach the month of November. I think it will be really fun!!

These 3 are certainly going to keep me busy!! 
On top of school activities, there are also just fun things we do each week. One of those is go to the park. It's fun for the girls to play with their friends and the moms to get out and talk to other people. Before the official park day takes place, I took all 3 to the park myself:

This girl is addicted to swinging!

I have no idea what the drama was this time. It's always something when you're 3. 

So here is our schedule now that school is back:

Mondays - drive carpool to school (I do this everyday!!), pool day (I know, my life is SOOO hard!)

Tuesdays - carpool, mommy preschool for Analeigh, swim lessons in the afternoon

Wednesdays - carpool, park day, soccer after school

Thursdays - carpool, mommy preschool and I babysit Mindy's adorable 3 month old!

Fridays - carpool, both girls go to GAP!! Free time for me!!!

Fridays are going to be a good morning. Both girls are in the preschool program through the university and Ethan is at school. I haven't had alone time in a long long time. Usually if I was alone, I was at work. I'm am really excited about all the possibilities this fall.

This view from under a beach umbrella may be an indication of my favorite Friday activity. Notice the sun rainbow.  
It's good to be busy around here. Makes the time fly by.

The Great Lego Debocle

Oh that Analeigh!! I didn't post this on Facebook because...well I just didn't. It was just too traumatizing, but I suppose I should share. 

First of all, Analeigh is a hypochondriac. She is always in pain somewhere. And she always wants me to take her to the doctor....always. Cry for attention? Just being 3? Who knows. 

So last Saturday Analeigh complains that her nose hurts. Ok sure, you're fine. Again, this is a daily and common occurrence. But this time she keeps saying it so I look. Nope looks fine. Again she complains so I get the flashlight out and sure enough, there's a pink Lego stuck up in her right nostril. 


Good thing she's cute!

I ask her why. No reply. Blank stare. Okay. 

So we start trying to blow it out. Over and over again. No go. It's a square angled piece and it isn't moving. I alert Josh who comes home. I ask my FB mom friends for help. Sweet sweet Mindy, who was a nurse in her old life, says she's removed objects from other kid's noses before and she could try, if we want her to. 

She's a good friend!!

Long story short, we got to Mindy's, she can't reach it and we make the decision to take her to the clinic on campus. It should be noted here that we are not in the United States. Did you know that?! I am not 100% trusting of any kind of medical procedure here. Just because we are at a medical school doesn't mean that these guys actually, ya know, practice medicine. Let alone on little kids. I am weary. Oh, and it's Saturday. Of course. 

Next we take her to the clinic and the doctor decides he doesn't want to touch it. It's too far back and she screams bloody murder if you get near her. Best option is to put her under. However, this doctor says we have to go to the private hospital, by ambulance, intubate her (yes that is spelled wrong. You know the scary thing you see on TV where they put the tube down your throat. That. That is what they want to do!!) so the Lego does not get aspirated, and that also means general anesthesia. AAAAAHHHHH!!!

It's a Lego. Ugh. 

At this point Josh has been not studying since 12:30 and it's already about 7:00. As much as I know he wants me to go to the hospital with Analeigh, there is just no way I can do it. I'm just not good at the medical stuff. So Josh goes with her in the ambulance and I go home to get the other kids settled at Mindy's house. 

I get the kids settled, head up to the hospital (which is situated at the top of a mountain!), and by the time I get there the doctor had already removed the Lego. Thank GOD!! He only gave her a shot to sedate her and he managed to get it out. It still took a while due to the location and shape, but it was out. Holy cow!! We were so relieved. 

There you have it. Hey, wanna see it? 

Yep, that was in her nose. Why? She will never say. She's keeping that a secret. 

Guess what she's going to get on her 18th birthday? That Lego. The World's Most Expensive Lego. 

Oh Analeigh! 

I have a feeling this is not the last time we'll be saying those words. 

Oh Analeigh!!

Hope your week is Lego-in-the-nose free!! 

ha ha