Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shopping Part 2

Our junk is on its way! After a week of ups and downs, our 15 boxes containing all our earthly belongings are on their way to California, and then will be put on a boat to New Guinea. Our house is a lot cleaner and a lot more spacious!

We had a moment of crisis when our helper from Friends in Action called to tell us that there would not be room for our stuff on the October container. After a week of doing nothing but shopping and packing and thinking that our boxes would be taking up our entire house for 3 more months, we were devastated! After a lot of angry words, and crying we eventually responded appropriately with prayer, and found out that it was all a misunderstanding! So, we took a deep breath, ate some chocolate (and by "we" I mean "me") and all was right with the world again. Well, maybe not the world. I know that disease, famine, natural disasters, and Lady Gaga still exist, but all was right with our little world again.

I didn't pack any clothes for myself, as I planned to just pack those in my suitcase. I did however pack 75 little girls' dresses. I know because I counted them out individually and divided them into what I had owned for more than a year and then listed them on a spread sheet for customs. Yes, I did that. Now imagine doing that for socks, shoes, pants, shirts, underwear, and even ponytail holders. Oh my, the ponytail holders! Anyway, that part of my life is over now and I am moving on. (until we come back for furlough in 4 years and I have to do it all over again) So, back to me. I mentioned in a previous post that the attire for ladies is a "meri" blouse with long shorts. (this is where a person who knows how to work a blog would put a link to a previous post, so you could read it if you missed it. I am not a person who knows how to work a blog as I have also stated in a previous post that I am, again, unable to post a link to. Thank you for understanding) I plan on wearing the "meri" blouse most of the time, but need to have a few appropriate things to wear to go purchase said blouses ("blouses" sounds that right?), so I bought a few sun dresses today at Wal- mart (yay, end of season sales!) to start off my PNG wardrobe. Here I am modeling one of these outfits for all of you to enjoy at my expense! Now that you have had a good laugh, and I have had a good cry, I will share some much cuter pictures with you.

I am having lots of fun dressing up my baby.

I bet she is thinking, "Thanks for bringing me into this world, Mom. I am sorry I gave you heartburn and stretch marks. I will make it up to you by being so cute"... I am thinking, "All is forgiven". :)

These two are thinking, "Get used to it, kid. She has been dressing us up and taking our pictures since birth, and is not showing signs of stopping anytime soon"...I am thinking, "Yes, you are correct. Get over it."

P.S. Let us all take a minute and look very closely to see the tiny ponytail in Mae's hair. Progress, ladies and gentlemen. Progress.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Tribal Wife Goes Shopping...

And packing...and shipping...and then checks herself into a mental health facility...which is where I am writing you from now. I like here. All the sheets are nice and clean and white. Just kidding. Although, I came very close, I promise.

JM and I found out last week that in order to have our stuff in PNG by the time we get there we had to ship them on a container that is leaving California mid October. We were told that if our stuff made it there by October 8th, it would be loaded up and would set sail to PNG where it will arrive about the same time we do (late January) if not before. We decided to go for it, and our next step was to figure out how to get it to California. We contacted Friends In Action. They are a ministry that helps missionaries in remote locations with, well, a lot of things. You can check out all they do here: Anyway, they are helping us get our stuff from Mississippi to California, and they told us it would take about 5 days to get there. They would also need two days advanced notice to arrange everything. (These are all business days, by the way, weekends don't count) So, if you followed all that you would see that we had to get all the stuff we wanted to send packed up quickly!

It doesn't seem that bad until you realize two major things that made it complicated:
1. We had to buy mostly all new stuff since we have to live in the US for 3 more months. The picture above is one of about 6 trips to Wal- mart, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Plus, a lot of our stuff wouldn't work best over there anyway (for example, we were advised to get stainless steel cookware because stuff with teflon peels off and rusts quickly)
2. We had to catalog every single item, how much it costs, how long we have had it (stuff we have owned less than a year gets taxed) and what box it is in. Yes, this is a picture of me cataloging tampons. I had already suffered the embarrassment of checking out at Wal-mart with a cart full of tampons...side note...teenage boys should NOT be cashiers at Wal-mart! Anyway, so after that horrific experience here I am taking them out of the boxes to make them fit in the box and writing down that there are 216 for the NTM shipping guy, the California couple helping us ship, and the customs agents in New Guinea to see. Don't think the word "hysterectomy" didn't cross my mind...twice. I guess it is just preparing me for when I run out and have to order them over short wave radio for everyone in the country to hear. Joy!

Anyway, we are done! And are very excited about that. Here is a picture of all our stuff stacked up and ready to be taken to the trucking company. Pretty cool huh?

Friday, September 17, 2010

I am not a blogger

I really like The Pioneer Woman. If you haven't been to her site. Go there. Now. The end. Anyway, She recently posted tips about having a good blog. After reading it, I realized that I don't do any of those things. I don't know how to take great pictures (if you see a good pic on here JM probably took it), I have no idea how to change fonts or link to old posts, or add buttons, and am going to go ahead and admit that I have no idea how to "follow" other blogs. I have also noticed that popular blogs these days are written by super talented people who make beautiful crafts, decorate, or cook and bake delicious meals, cakes, pastries, etc. Basically super creative people. I am none of those things. I am not very creative and I cannot make anything...but these. Babies. Girl babies...and I had a little help with that.

Anyway, I say all that to say "thanks" to anyone who does read this blog that is considered terrible as far as blogs go. Becoming a "Tribal Wife" has been a stressful, crazy, fun, exciting, terrifying experience so far and it is nice to be able to just journal that experience here, and to get the love and support from those of you who do read. So, I can just call this a "journal" and not have to feel bad about my blog incapabilities. Also, I can put up pictures to show off of my kids. Since I am not creative, I have not made scrapbooks for them. I haven't even done baby books. I am a terrible mother, I know. Is there any place I can just take my pictures and things that I want in a scrapbook and someone else will put it together for me? If I tried it would seriously look like a notebook that a kindergartener takes home at the end of the year with all their scribbled pictures and backwards letters in them. (Ok, so maybe I wouldn't get the letters backwards, but the handwriting would look the same) Anyway, since I can't scrapbook, it is fun to go back to this blog and look at their pictures. I guess it is kind of a "digital scrapbook. So, I am going to go ahead and add some fun pictures from this week..

This kid loves ice cream...

And this kid scored a goal at her first soccer game

It was a great week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Tale of Two Air Mattresses

Most missionaries in PNG and other areas have two options for mattresses. The air mattress and the water bed. A lot of tribal missionaries go with the water bed because it is significantly cooler in the steamy jungle. We have decided to go with the air mattress. We do like to sleep "cool" (as you can see above since we just have a sheet on our bed for covers) but we have sleep several sleep issues that make a water bed seem like a nightmare. I have back problems. Most mornings I wake up with serious low back pain. (The anesthesiologist when I had Mia thinks I have scoliosis which makes a lot of sense) Also, JM has insomnia and although he wants me there with him in spirit, he sleeps much better alone. Any movement or tiny noise wakes him up, so I can imagine how little sleep he would get feeling like he was on a float in the ocean on a red flag day every time I rolled over. Plus, we have experience with the air mattress. We slept on one in China, and had no problems with it until one of the seams that create the unnecessary ripples in the mattress popped on one side. (In hindsight, it might not have been a good idea to be "cool parents" and let our 2 year old jump on the bed) We spent the last month sleeping on the Chinese "mattress" which is actually a slab of plywood covered in pretty mattress like material.

Anyway, when we moved from Missouri we sold our mattress and box springs thinking it would be easier to just go ahead and get an air mattress (or 2 based on our experience from China) and sleep on that for the 6 months until we head to New Guinea and then we can just pack them up and ship them over. The first one we bought was the taller kind that is supposed to be more like the height of a real mattress and box springs. What we didn't know at the time is that most of these mattresses have ridges on the outside that are raised up and cause you to roll into your husband (especially when you are pregnant and anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that those last few months you will do almost anything for a good nights sleep). Naturally, I went and bought a regular air mattress that doesn't do that, but unfortunately it sits very low on the floor, (see pic above) and has not been easy to get in and out of post c section. We did get a memory foam topper for it which elevates it a little and feels like what I imagine sleep in heaven will be like.

When we get to the tribe my handy husband can build a base for the mattress to go on, but it really isn't worth the time and money now to do it. We recently realized that we are going to have to purchase yet another air mattress soon because the next container headed to New Guinea ships out in October. We have to get all our stuff on this container if we want to receive our things sometime in the next decade. This brought about the realization that I am going to have to get all new stuff to ship since we will still have to live, sleep, cook, bathe, etc. in the United States for the next 3 months. Oh the JOY!! Like I said before, I am very much looking forward to moving to PNG, but the process of getting there is killing me! Oh well, I guess it all part of the life we are called to, and I am very thankful for that calling... (but I might still complain about annoying things every now and then)

If only I could sleep 20 hours a day like this little thing. She doesn't seem to have any trouble with her sleeping arrangements.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Baby Mia

I had a baby. 9 days ago. Sorry I haven't written a new post. I know the 5 of you who read this blog have been waiting in intense anticipation for a new post. I have been trying to wait out the pain medicine and lack of sleep so that I would have a shot at creating some coherent sentences. I tried last week to post and it sounded something like this. "Babies, hospital, c section, sterilization, happy, sad, Shark Week, Tony Danza" See? Who the heck knows what I was trying to say. Tonight I am feeling a little more like myself. A very sore, tired version of myself, but a lot closer to being "me" than I was last week. Anyway, everything went great with our sweet little Mia's birth. She weighed 6 lbs 10 oz (so no one won the contest, including me, who was convinced that she weighed close to 9 lbs), and was 20 inches long. She was our first baby to not be jaundiced, so to us she has the most beautiful porcelain skin we have ever seen! She does nothing but sleep right now which I am very grateful for, but know that it won't last long. Her 2 big sisters think she is lots of fun, and are enjoying holding her, kissing her, and rocking her. That is, in between fights over all the new "Polly Pockets" they got from their Grammie who thought they needed to be spoiled more than they already are. I hate Polly Pockets. They are tiny, the clothes are impossible to get on and easy to lose, and for some reason my girls think they need 100 of them.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to show her off a little bit. Isn't she beautiful? If not, don't tell me. I won't believe you anyway.