Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ghetto Park

Well I finally found a "park" for Jimmy. He was ecstatic when we found it. I've been promising him all week that we would go look and it's been too rainy. We only brought one umbrella with us and Jarom's been taking that to work. Unfortunately the little boys and I have been stuck inside pretty much all week. Thankfully it didn't rain much today. So we now present you with our park:

I love Jimmy's response at the end of this movie. He used to say two minutes. He's gotten wiser with age. :)

Glade loved the slide. I just wish I would've gotten his reaction the first time he went down rather than the last.

Soon I'll take you grocery shopping with me. I was planning on doing that today but with it being my first time taking the boys alone I figured I'd just get the shopping done quickly before my luck ran out and they started screaming...oh the glares I feel when the tantrums start. What, my kids have tantrums? Only in public settings. They save their best for when there's a show.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Come on in!

Here's a tour of our apartment here in Holland. We will be living here for a maximum of three months. Sorry a few parts of the movie are slightly dark. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Holland Post Een

Look at that, five days in Holland and I'm already speaking typing Dutch. (Een=One, btw) Well we got here safely. We just got internet in our apartment today and I'm thrilled. I feel like I can actually live here now! :) It's eight hours later in Holland than in Utah so it's about 1:30 am here. Glade is the one that has struggled the most with the time difference. He's wide awake and thus I have to be as well. Last night he had his best night and finally cashed in at 3 am.

Anyway, I don't really know where to start. This will take a few posts to get you all caught up. Either that or one REALLY looooooong one. So I'll just start from Thursday morning...

We had to be up at 5 am and didn't get to sleep until around 2:30 am. We got ourselves and the boys ready and Jarom's mom picked us up and we loaded our 5 large bags, 4 carry-on bags, 2 carseats, 1 stroller and 2 precious boys in her suburban. She drove us to the State Capitol because of course we couldn't just make this "easy" on ourselves and we had to get our birth certificates apostilled before flying. I accidentally shipped my birth certificate and our marriage license so I've been trying to get an extra copy of those and get them certified and apostilled from across the country. Ugh headache...and headache #2...our basement in Utah flooded. Lovely. One day at a time I suppose.

Okay, back to Thursday...we got to the airport and checked in and did all that fun stuff. I wish I would've taken a picture of Jarom trying to push all our luggage on one of those $2 carts. It almost tipped several times and I couldn't help but snicker and try to walk faster so it looked like I wasn't with him. I know, I'm such a supportive wife! The first flight we got stuck in the plane for 45 minutes before it took off but thankfully Jimmy was excited and Glade fell asleep. I was the lucky one and got to sit in between the boys while Jarom sat across the aisle. While we were waiting to take off Jimmy said, "Uh oh, the pane not working again. It need gas!" The boys were really good and Jimmy was very excited about all the fun things we had packed in his backpack (thanks Emma, Brittney & Mom Higley). At one point he looked at me and said while grinning, "Mommy, I SO lucky!" What a cutie. Both boys were incredibly good. They both had their moments but thankfully it was still at times enjoyable.
Waiting for plane #1 to take off.

Because our first flight was delayed we almost missed our second one. We were supposed to have a nice layover so we could have time to change the boys, let Jimmy run around and get something to eat. Instead we rushed through the Ontario airport. When we checked in they said the only four seats left were all separated from each other. Thankfully they moved people around and we all sat by each other. Although it may have been more relaxing to sit by myself and pawn my boys off on a few other lucky passengers! Our first flight was close to four hours with the delay and our second one was just over seven hours. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The boys slept off and on (Glade more than Jimmy) and we had a lot of things to keep them entertained. I felt bad that the person sitting in front of Glade couldn't recline her seat at all because of his carseat. She was a good sport and that made me feel even worse. Poor girl. I was disappointed because when we flew to Holland a few months ago we had our own personal TV's on the longer flight. This one we didn't. I was counting on that to help keep Jimmy entertained. That kid loves TV.

We arrived in Holland and it was Friday at 7 am Holland time. There was an arranged taxi to pick us up so we wandered around until we found him and loaded everything in the taxi. Both boys were just enthralled with the busy city. They both just stared out the window almost the whole way to our apartment/hotel which was about an hour. In the taxi, Glade was very intrigued by all the people, cars, buses, metro, noise...of the city.

We are staying in an apartment that is owned by a hotel. It's much bigger than I expected and it's already starting to feel like home...well, as much as it could at this point. I'm planning on taking pictures of the apartment tomorrow so stay tuned. We've walked to the store a few times and it's reallly quite close. It'll be tricky going alone with two little boys though. I have to push the stroller there so I can get the boys there without having to carry them. I can't really push the stroller and a cart so I'll just have to carry my things I suppose...maybe I can balance a basket on top of my stroller? I can only buy as many groceries as I can carry/stuff in the stroller basket. Needless to say I have yet to attempt the grocery shopping without Jarom. In front of our apartment after shopping trip #1.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

6 days to go

I know I've been horrible at updating this blog recently. I've been very stressed out and just haven't had time to blog. I just sent off an email to two of my bff's :) and thought I would just copy and paste some of it here so you at least know we are still alive. Here's a little of what we've been up to:

I've been stressing myself out recently and actually making myself sick over it. I've really been trying to relax a little and breathe but it's difficult for me when I have so much to do and only one week left to do it. I just keep thinking recently, "this may be the last time I do this (i.e. visit with my good friends I visit teach) before I leave." I have to choke back the tears because I absolutely hate crying in front of people. I'm sure I'll be a mess once I'm home alone in the Netherlands and it all sinks in. Ah, I just called the Netherlands "home." Gotta start some time. Hopefully we have internet pretty soon after we leave so I have at least some connection with people.

(I was asked what I am looking forward to the most and what I fear the most about the move.)

What am I looking forward to the most? There are a few things. I'm really looking forward to having more of an opportunity to share the gospel. Well, who am I kidding, the idea actually kind of freaks me out but I know it'll be good for me to have more of those opportunities. I'm looking forward to being exposed to a whole new culture and many new cultures since we'll be able to travel and see so many new and different places. I'm looking forward to having a tiny house. That probably sounds weird but I'm thinking it'll be kind of nice to have just a cute little home and not so overwhelming when it comes to decorating and cleaning. I'll let you know if I still feel this way after living in a tiny house!

What am I most scared about? I think that would have to be transportation. That probably also sounds weird but I'm really nervous about being alone with my two boys and being able to get around to places that I need to like the grocery store and other places. It's hard enough here when I'm able to just drive somewhere and feel secure where I'm at and know where I'm going and how everything works. I'm nervous about driving because the signs are all in Dutch and the cars swerve in and out of each other so quickly, the roads are incredibly skinny, I have no idea where things are at and there are so many bikers and pedestrians just inches away from the cars. I'm nervous about riding a bike with two kids strapped on because I haven't ridden a bike in years just by myself and I've never ridden with two kids "attached". I'm nervous about taking the tram/metro system because you have to know exactly where you're going and how to get there and which metro to take. Plus if I'm alone I've got to be able to get both kids out of the stroller and fold up the stroller and then help them both on the tram all while carrying a diaper bag and double stroller. Yikes! I'm sure it will all just come with time and I'll need to just take baby steps.

Here's a quick update on the boys:

Time to start blocking the stairs again. Glade is now crawling! Oh, it's so cute. Jimmy will sit on the floor and call to him, "Tum to me bebe, tum on, tum on!" And he gets so excited when Glade makes it to him. Glade has been happier with his new-found independence although he's always been a really happy baby.

I took Jimmy in to see all the cleft doctors/clinic on Monday. We saw 6 doctors/specialists, which makes for a very long day. We were at Primary Children's Hospital for almost 4 hours. I had both boys with me and thankfully they were really good considering. The speech therapist said Jimmy needs to work on some of his consonants. He says his "g's" like a "d" sound and his "k's" like a "t" sound. Nothing I'm too concerned about. I still think he's pretty up to speed for his age in regards to speech. The ENT said both his tubes have fallen out but he won't put them back in unless Jimmy starts having problems (with hearing or ear infections). The plastic surgeon said Jimmy's scar looks excellent and he doesn't anticipate any revisions...yay!!! He will however need the bone graft surgery when he's around 5-6 years old. I was anticipating that though. They generally take bone from the hip and put it into the mouth. I've heard that's the hardest surgery of them. We'll just take it as it comes. I'm not going to worry myself with it yet. Jimmy passed all his hearing tests so now I know when he doesn't respond to me he really does hear me he's just choosing to ignore me! :) The orthodontist said that Jimmy will most likely be missing a tooth where his cleft was and it's possible he can use a tooth bud from somewhere else to help one grow. I don't know if I'm describing it right. I figured we're a ways away from any of that so I didn't bother to probe for more explanations. He was the last one we saw and at that time I was pretty frazzled as were the boys. We were all anxious to get out of there.

It's such a sad place. I saw a few people holding little babies and just wondered what they were there for. One lady had tears rolling down her face in the waiting room and my heart just broke for her. I also saw many little kiddos being pushed around in the little wagons. They had their little hospital gowns on and some were happier than others. It just brought back so many memories of when we were there for Jimmy's surgeries and all the feelings and emotions. I felt a connection to all the people there even though I had never spoken to them. It was sad when the little kids' names would be called to go back and some of them would start to cry. I could tell they were too familiar with what happens there. I really think those kiddos have such a sweet spirit to them though, Jimmy included. I don't know if it's because of what they've been through or if it's just the way they came.

Here's a picture of our little angel just one day old. We've come so far since then. Well, I suppose I should get to bed. It's almost 1:00am. I've done this the past few nights because I can get so much accomplished once the littlies are in bed. And I wonder why I'm so tired! Hopefully I'll have a more exciting post soon. Most likely my next one will be written from my computer in the Netherlands...weird. Yep, it still has not sunk in.