Monday, May 31, 2010

Hard to have seat belts when your sitting on a board

One of the last things we did on the island was let the kids go on a tuk tuk ride. It is essentially a motorcycle hooked up to a wagon of sorts, think the tropical version of a hayride. When the driver pulled up we asked him how much for a 5 minute ride, he told us 15 bucks, we said no way and offered him five for however long it would take them. The kids were so excited and jumped right up in.
We decided that Nicola and Chris would ride a long and attempt to keep everyone safe. Nicola asked sam to move over the other side to balance things out and he looked completely indigent and replied "but I'm sitting next to Carmen." So he stayed put and we rearranged others (of course not moving carmen in the process!)
The driver and his son got such a kick out of me snapping away and the kids giggling.
So off they went all perched on little wooden bench's Chris Calm as a cucumber and Nicola feeling the same anxiety as me!
Meredith and I thought we would take the babies for a walk while they were gone. It is funny in Dili the children (especially girls) run when I ask to take a picture of them. Along the side of the road there was this little gang of boys. I asked them if I could take a picture and they struck a pose
When I showed them it on the screen they freaked out laughing and teasing each other and then struck this one:
This is exactly why I am saving up for a polaroid. I wanted so bad to be able to give them a copy of the picture. We walked a little further and there were this adorable girls
When we got back we were surprised that the tuk tuk wasn't back--45 minutes later it finally came back. They had gotten petrol, taken a sick little boy to the hospital and delivered some packages!!!! HA! Along the way Addie had fallen asleep and Liam was almost there. I am sure Chris and Nicola's bums were numb for a week but man what a hilarious experience for the kids!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Coming Home.. to OUR house

Don't worry the tuk tuk pictures are coming... Because I know so many people are on the edge of their seat waiting for them- NOT. But Chris and I are finally wrapping up things to buy our home in Williamsburg! I already made comments about it on Facebook but some of our family has asked for a link to see them. We will be building in the Village at Quarterpath in the "Jefferson" which can be found HERE. We are adding in a fourth bedroom and extra bathroom so it is second floor option 2 if you are taking a gander at the floor plans. If you want to see actual pictures their facebook page HERE has a ton. We have been lucky enough to work with our friend Katie who has done lots of videos and made us a blog with pictures and updates. I am a little nervous that when we actually see it the colors we have picked out from across the globe will all clash and look horrible ha! It has been really fun thinking about wall colors etc. And although I never ever ever thought I would, I am totally thinking about wallpaper. I KNOW Ahhhhhh. I cannot count the number of walls I have taken it off and cursed the people who put it up. But when it looks like THIS or like THIS, well how cool would that be to have on at least one wall... or maybe five? Ha! It won't be completed until October and we won't see it until next June when we come to the states but you are now warned that every now and then there are going to be house updates and probably some crazy typical kelly decor ideas. We are really excited to be calling Williamsburg home again! This week we also celebrated out 8 year anniversary! Whoo hoo! eight years ago it was just the two of us with no clue what was in store. Now it is all five of us partying in East Timor
Chris and I had a yummy dinner at Daya one of my favs. After straightening my hair for about an hour I walked outside and POOF so much for that! 99% humidity and straight hair are oxymorons.
Chris and I are lovin' that Abby is keeping her dark hair!! After dinner we came home to a nice quiet, clean house thank you thank you che che ha! I always feel ridiculous when it comes to presents for anniversary's,especially since we just had mothers day and I received this in the mail
So we kept our tradition from being students of not getting each other anything. Just enjoying each others company is enough! Plus I am sort of getting to the age where if I REALLY want something we just save up and get it... it makes birthdays and anniversaries a lot less about presents and far more enjoyable.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who doesn't like swimming at 6 am?

While Atauro was an amazing adventure I have to admit the night time was MISERABLE. It was soooo crazy hot. I have never ever been that hot. There was no AC and no fans. The ocean breeze stopped abruptly around 9pm and then it was just stagnint hot air. Barry's little twins have already contracted Malarie SEVEN times!!!! OMgosh! So of course I was miss crazy with bug spray and making the kids wear their christmas feety pajamas and barracading their bug nets around them. I felt awful when around 11Pm Sam was sobbing because he was so hot. I ended up taking off their jammies and then spent the entire night making sure all three bed nets on the kids beds were tight and that they hadn't snuck out (something they do often at home). So when Sam woke up at 5:30 am and crawled into the hammock with me I thought this is the worst vacation ever!!! Then we watched the sun come up together and I was in awe
We got our swim suits on and headed for an early morning swim.
The light at this time was AMAZING and it felt fantastic out!
Since we were not the only people who had been miserable all night we were joined by lots of our friends for our 6 am swim
The kids were excited not to have to wear their rash guards for a moment and not have me chase them around with sunscreen. Sammy loved that he could go out far and still touch
Once Briggs came out Sam wanted to follow him around, he is Six and so cool :)
I sat on the beach watching the kids and relaxing. A local mommy walked past with her baby boy and I had to try and take a picture. Once I reviewed it I noticed how young she is and I think she was actually his older sister.
It is crazy how much the kids here are left to their own devices and the older siblings basically raise the younger ones. I've lost count of the number of times i have seen two boys Sam and Liams age walking the streets together or the older carrying the younger. It is so interesting to compare cultures. This got me really excited to watch that documentary about babies ;) Around 7 am Liam (who slept like a log!) came wandering down in his suit. Jan was nice enough to take him in since I was now all comfy on the beach
Once Carmen and Amanda joined us the party really started
Sam LOVES Carmen. He is totally smitten with her and hello who wouldn't be! The kids grabbed there buckets and went star fishing.
Briggs and Oskar donned their gear and went a little deeper
But the little cuties did just fine were they could touch. Sam wanted to find Carmen a starfish so bad and when he finally did she had already found one herself but was more than happy to have two!
They ended up finding 6 starfish right in the shallows
It was hilarious to hear them talk about the "hundreds of Tongues" and where its mouth was and which ones were poisonous. They filled up a bucket and carried all their starfish up to inspect over lunch. I was suprised that Liam and Sam would touch them since they wouldn't go near them at the Living Museum in Newport News but I guess it helps to have older cooler boys and a cute girl watching you :)
After lunch Brigg's dad Peter came back from his 6 hour snorkel trip (he was encountered by 2 hammer head sharks!!!! I would have freaked out.) and let the kids try out his surf board. Addie hoped right on and could keep her balance pretty well!

Carmen was fearless...
but didn't stay up that long ;)
After that Carmen got wise and simply had Sam pull her around on it,
which Sam was MORE than happy to do :)
after so much swimming, running and starfishing, all on little to now sleep, everyone was ready for a nap! I went to grab a hammock but they were occupied by the daddies and gorgeous baby girls!
Abby was so happy!
So while Liam slept and Abby and Daddy swung I strapped a life vest and mask on Sammy and took him out for a deeper snorkel. It was so fun to have him hold onto my back and cruise among the reef. He would duck down with me every now and then to get a closer look but was just as happy to bob on the surface with his face in the water. He got tired after a half hour though and I made him walk back (We walked soooo slowly it was comical, every few minutes he would give me something else to hold that had become "to heavy") Chris and Abby were now sitting out in the Balaes and Abby gave me this look:
she is SUCH a mommas girl it is ridiculous. Chris and I have no idea how to break her of it but ma has it gotten bad, adorable but bad. As soon as I sat next to her she was good to go
She has started pointing to everything and it cracks us up. You can ask her any question and she will just point at random things. Chris likes to ask her who her favorite is while I am holding her and she of course points to him :)
Sam and Liam took a break and Sam filled Liam in on his repeated rejections from Carmen, and Liam gave him some comfort ;)
Then came the Tuk Tuk ride...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Adventures in Atauro

This past weekend four of us expat families chartered a boat and went out to Atauro, an island off the coast of East Timor. (This weekend resulted in A LOT of photos which will be posted here over a few posts which will probably get old but oh well) We made it to port nice and early with our GIANT duffle bag full of stuff. Everyone was packing crazy amounts of stuff and I was bragging that I had fit everything into one bag, little did they know it was a ginormous military duffle ha! We hauled everything out of the car and waited for our shuttle out to our boat. It was a gorgeous day to be on the water, especially once we saw that our boat was a nice one and not one of the many dilapidated ones half sunk in the port.
We took a little motor boat out to the ship. I got to ride with a bunch of the cute kiddos!
We "raced" with the other boat. Really it was more of us yelling that we were winning and our local teenager driver looking at us with concern since he didn't speak English and had a boat full of kids yelling.
Once on the boat we tried to get the kids all settled in their spots, making sure everyone was wearing their lifejackets.
They were all so excited to be on the boat it was so cute. They kept laughing at nothing, I loved it. When I was walking out the door I grabbed our binoculars and Liam had so much fun looking through them trying to find, well anything.
I kept teasing him that there were different animals in the water
he told me I was silly and kept looking for dolphins. While he was on look out Sammy, Briggs and Oskar checked out the captains cabin who I am sure appreciated having so many kids wandering around his ship :)
The waves splashed so high up the side of the boat it was crazy! Most people switched to the other side of the boat to get away from them but Dominique who is HILARIOUS and I LOVE being around thought her solution was the best:
After about a half an hour most of the cuties on the boat were ZONKED which meant a nice quiet ride. I got to talk camera with Jonathan and show him how cool my new lens is. I am sure I told him WAY more than he wanted to know but thats what you get for asking me about photography ha! Once the island was in view Sam asked if it was the island with Dinosaurs! (He LOVES Jurassic Park) Dominique informed him that they live in the hills. He then requested several times through out the weekend to go see them.
We had rented out all four of the villas which turned out great because then our kiddos running around screaming and playing didn't bother anyone! We checked in with the proprietor Barry, he is Australian who was married to a Timorese women and has run the eco lodge for the past ten years. He has twin two year olds that enjoyed watching our kids all weekend
(The twins had five nannys it seemed like so I still have no idea which one was his mum)
We divided up into the four different villas that are all in a row and each have their own Balaes (no clue how you spell that).
Sam calls them birthday houses because last year we had his birthday party in a gazebo in Williamsburg! How cute is that, he still totally remembers!
Ours had an upstairs with a king bed and a down stairs living room and bedroom with two twin beds and on the porch was an amazing hammock!
(Sammy sleeps with his eyes open. A trait he gets from his daddy and I think is kinda creepy)
The kids had a blast running around and checking out each others "houses".
Ours was a hit because of the wooden ladder/stairs that went to the upstairs. It was dubbed the pirate ship and a favorite place to hide during hide n seek games. (And amazingly enough Sam only fell down it once! I thought for sure we would have a broken arm by the end of the weekend-- phew!) Liam liked walking up the winding path but kept filling his pockets with dirt. When I told him to stop he said "Momma look at that" I turned and looked behind me and when I turned back around he was putting more dirt in his pockets. He totally psyched me! I laughed so hard which threw any sort of disciplining for not listening out the window :) In the next installation, snorkeling and surfing!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rise of the red Lizard

Sammy turned four last saturday! I can't believe how fast these 4 years have gone. To celebrate we have a huge pirate party planned but because of vacations and holidays we aren't having that party for two more weeks. I am so excited for it, her is a sneak peak at the awesome invitations:
This turned out okay since all Sam wanted was a train party- ha! His birthday happened to coincide with the schools May Fair. The fourth graders at QSI adopted a local orphanage and wanted to raise money to fix their roof and buy some food. You paid a small entrance fee and then there were tons of booths, games and food to buy. The boys favorite part was the face painting. Sammy became a green dragon
(This is my version, the original was washed off at the beach but then he begged to have it repainted... thank you google for teaching my how to make homemade face paint!)
and Liam wanted to be a red Lizard. Angela who was doing the face painting was so worried that Liam didn't like his because he was so stoic, checkin it out in the mirror and not smiling
but he loved it and was apparently just getting into character (red lizards don't smile they growl and hiss)
We had fun at dollar beach with Kerstin then it was home for cake, ice cream and presents. Sam had been asking for his present since he woke up. I don't know who came up with the rule that you are not supposed to open presents until after dinner and cake but I have decided that is lame and from now on we will be opening presents with breakfast. After being asked 1 million times to open presents I thought I was going to loose it haa! And really how nice is that to the birthday child to make them wait ALL day on their birthday? ANYWAY after the wait was over Sam was thrilled to open his presents and be overloaded with Thomas items.
He and Liam weren't that interested in the cake then and just played with all the new trains and precious "sodor steam works" that he had be begging for.
My friend Kerstin while here said "ugh thank you so much for not putting the stats of your kids on your blog all the time" um Kerstin you should probably stop reading now.... HA!
I have no idea how tall or how much Sammy weighs, I guess I could go to the clinic and check but he is tall and heavy. He can write his own name and lots of numbers. He LOVES to count, especially how many boys and girls there are places. He still loves Thomas but I can feel the end of that coming. He loves Space and astronauts and will out all the lights in our house and pretend we are all in space. While there is a brawl every now and then he is usually fabulous with his little brother who is ALWAYS shadowing him. He also really dislikes being with out LIam and it has taken some stern talking to's to get him not to go in and wake Liam up from a nap so they can play. He is a great swimmer
I had to include this picture of Liam taken at the same time. He just looks so hilariously adorable in goggles:
and has such a tender little heart. The other day when his friend Noah came over they saw a HUGE grasshopper. Noah (who is an adorable and awesome little guy) wanted to step on it. Sammy thought that would be so sad and thought we should let it go back to his family.
He still wants to snuggle every morning and like his mom hates being cold. (Yesterday at the pool he was laying on the hot cement and asked me for hot chocolate, our friends busted up laughing because it had to have been 95 or so). He adores his Daddy and I know he is going to grow up to be an amazing man just like him...
even if the shoes he has to fill are HUGE. He plays HARD everyday and rarely if ever takes a nap so at night although he is always so shocked to have to go to bed ("Every night everyone is SO surprised that you have to wear pajamas!"- if you haven't seen Date NIght you should) he usually ZONKS after five minutes. Even if it means in the middle of a good book
(Chris came out and told me I HAD to see him so of course I ran in with my camera and he stayed zonked even while I climbed all over his bed trying to get a good picture-- now THAT is tuckered). Sammy sure is my favorite four year old!!