Friday, July 30, 2010

Staying cool

We had some dinner guests this week, of the American variety, and since it's been hot and I was trying to plan out what to make that involved anything but turning on the oven or stove. For dessert I planned ice cream and was trying to think of a way to spruce it up. Then I remembered these babies, cookie dough truffles, and thought why not make little balls and freeze them and add them to our ice cream. The result?


Where there's a will there's a way!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Ever wonder what a 35 lb. watermelon looks like?

Here she is......

I asked Marvin to pick up a watermelon after he parked the car on Saturday.  There is a little stand that sells them at the entrance of the parking lot where we take the van to be watched during the night.  He came home carrying this massive thing that weighed more than Calvin.  Apparently all of them were HUGE.  This baby took up way too much room in our fridge.  Thankfully I finally got the last of it cut so we can put more than watermelon in our fridge.

I absolutely love watermelon, so this time of year here is blissful.  I could eat it exclusively for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Unfortunately watermelon has been given me heartburn recently:( But I'm willing to suffer through the heartburn, it's that good.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fruit Salad.............yummy yummy

For weeks now Calvin's been wanting to make "fruit salad, yummy yummy".  Now the problem is buying fruit for a fruit salad, every time I'm at the store I forget, but not this week.  I asked him if we needed anything from the grocery store and he informed me that we needed some fruit to make fruit salad, yummy yummy.

On our trip to the grocery store this week he was so excited as we picked out the fruit (imagine lots of jumping up and down and giggling). 

He did a great job cutting up the bananas

and peaches by himself. 

He was so determined to do everything himself, that he wasn't too happy when he needed a little help with the apples, but after trying for a while he conceded and let mommy help.  (Check out his outfit, he's also into dressing himself these days too, his style is quite unique.)

The final result..... A very proud little boy

And it was yummy yummy!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Eight Years as Marvin's wife. 

Wow that seems like a long time, but in reality it's flown by.  I cannot imagine journeying life beside a better person. 

When I look back at our wedding pictures it's crazy how young we truly were.  We were just kids, we've learned so much since that day 8 years ago, and still have so much learning to do.  That first year was fun, but it was a learning year.  We both have so many great memories of our first apartment, a tiny one bedroom married student housing apartment.  When I think about it, most of our fun was just learning what it meant to be married.

Each year I grow to love you more and more.  This parents of young children phase has grown my love for you in ways I never knew were possible.

It's been fun Mr. S, and I love being your wife, you continually inspire me to be a woman of excellence.  I long to be a jewel in your crown.

Your (Kryglaya) Wife;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

spit up worthy

Remember that post on Calvin not napping?  Well the next day he got sick, and asked to go down for nap, that was my confirmation that he was truly sick.  So I took advantage of Calvin's long naps this week and finished 3 more burpies and can't wait to use them.  After seeing the robot Calvin was pretty excited to get a robot shirt.  hmmm I guess he's used to me making him shirts, and I sorta promised him I try to find him a shirt, because I just love that little robot guy.  I have one more burp cloth ready to be transformed from plain to interesting.  Nesting is too much fun.

Friday, July 23, 2010


We had an ultrasound a week and a half ago.  We had the sweetest tech, who was very kind and patient, two qualities you don't run into often here.  She let Marvin and Calvin come in and answered all of our questions.  Of course I could not see the screen but Marvin and Calvin saw the whole thing.  After watching the baby for a while, Calvin leaned over to Marvin and told him that the baby looks like "Gloppy" from Candy Land.  What a hoot, although I hope our little guy doesn't really look like Gloppy.
The baby seems healthy and was measuring a week ahead of schedule and unfortunately we found out I have excess amniotic fluid again.  My heart certainly dropped at hearing that news as I'm at risk for preterm labor again.  We were praying for an uneventful end to this pregnancy.  After talking with our doctor she feels like it is very likely we will have the same problems this time around, considering my history and the polyhydramnios.  The good news is we'll closely monitor things from home, get frequent ultrasounds and pray our little hearts out that this baby does not try to come early.

I'll be honest there are times when I think about going into labor here and fear grips me like something else.  It's tough knowing that there is no place we can go in our city that could help our baby survive, but at the same time we know the GREAT PHYSICIAN.  There have been days I wonder, will today be the day?  It's hard to live like your a ticking time bomb.  When these moments come it's been good to lay those fears down at Father's feet and trust him for another healthy baby.  It is a sweet thing to be entrusted with a human life but one that also carries so many responsibilities.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sick Day

Sick days are the pits.  We've had our share of them this past month.  Apparently we're still battling this parasite.

We've spent a lot of time doing this........

and snuggling with mommy, and playing endless games of Candy Land.

But today the cabin fever set in, for the better part of the day a certain someone spent the day watching the kids at the playground.

After he took his nap he went straight to the window and said very enthusiastically, "All done with nap, now go play on playground."  I felt like I literally burst his balloon when I said no.  You should have seen the look of disappointment on his face, it broke this mama's heart.

Here's to feeling better soon and that this parasite disappears soon.  We'd love it if you would pray for our little guy and for us to have the wisdom to know what to do.


The Office, it's one of those shows you either love or think is completely stupid.  We fall into the love it category.  So I was pretty pumped when I this week on So You think Your Crafty one of the entries was a baby gift inspired by The Office.  Sheer brilliance and I'm thinking our little guys needs a Dwight rattle too.  I will say that jello mold onesie made me laugh so hard, although I'm pretty sure people here would think we were completely crazy if our child wore that shirt.  Check it out and while you're at it vote for your favorite.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Preparing the nest

This past weekend I was in complete nesting mode. I finally got on the ball and ordered diapers (excuse me while I squeal with delight)!!! Who knew cloth diapers could be that exciting, maybe I should get out more. I finally settled on Fuzzy Bunz. I knew how much I did not like the Velcro in Calvin's covers and I liked how the fuzzy bunz were a bit bigger, up to 35 lbs and Bum Genius didn't ship internationally, so I guess it was a no brainer. So I'll be waiting patiently for them to arrive!!!

I spent some quality time with my sewing machine this weekend while my guys either slept or played (my husband truly rocks). I stayed up way to late but made a huge dent on my list of things to sew before our next little guy arrives. I can't wait to show you guys our stroller revamp, it's half done but I need some more fabric to finish it, which involves making my own bias tape. I had planned on ordering some fabric but after some Etsy hunting I could not find a place that would ship internationally that sold both of my favorite selections I instead used this fabric this I picked up at IKEA.

Want a peek at what else I was up to this weekend?

Revamped burpies

A new nursing cover. I loved my first one and I'm sure I'll use this one as much as I used the first one.
A couple sweet pairs of baby shoes (Thanks Lacey for the adorable fabric!)

I'm getting excited about this little guy, can't you tell!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Picking up the Pieces

Calvin's been very into cutting lately. He loves it and it gives him something to do while I am doing homework. The problem is……. well it's a mess, and since it's also Calvin's work, that he is also very proud of I cannot throw it away or sweep it up… least while he is around. That little guy has quite a memory he actually remembers what he has cut up and asks about it days later. Hmmmmmm.

I have been quite impressed at how well he is doing, we have graduated from using the spring and he can now operate them on his own. Although he loves to make "widdle pieces" the other day I caught him trying to cut around pictures. I also love how he will often open and close his mouth as he snips, he comes by it naturally because there may be one of his parents who does the same thing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

When sleep doesn’t happen………..

We melt, quite literally over everything. I believe I snapped this picture after the little man was told he could not have ice cream until after dinner.

So how do you convince a head strong little guy to take a nap other than make him run laps around our building all morning long? On the days he's not super tired I usually get one of two responses "don't want to"……..or "how bout I just play in my room" (which really means I have no idea how to do this and so every 2 minutes I must come out and tell you something very important.) Any suggestions? We'd love to hear them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Savoring my 20s

splash of color 29 candles yellow cake

This is my last year in my 20s, I really don't mind birthdays or getting older, but it's weird to think next year I'll be starting a whole new decade. Something about 30 makes me think I should feel more like an adult. I'm not sure when that will ever happen maybe it's when I hit 30, I'll let you know when I'm there. You would think that having a child, and living in another country far away from your family would make you feel like an adult. There have been adult moments in my life, like when we talk about financial stuff like our retirement savings and investments, buying furniture, or a car, but for the most part I guess it just hasn't hit me yet. I may just always be young at heart.

I love to make big deal out of birthdays, and my family usually made a big deal out of birthdays too. When we were little we were woken up to our birthday song, I can just hear it now, "This is space command to zoom, all systems are go for a message to Erica." Marvin's family is more low key about birthdays, there is usually a cake and a present, but it's not a big production (I like that too). It's been a little strain for both of us when my day comes up. Marvin's always worried he's not going to do something I like, but he's learning what will make the day special, and I'm learning how to communicate what would make it special. This year he did well! I got to sleep in, which is worth it's weight in gold. I love sleep! Marvin also made breakfast, it's the first time in our almost 8 years of marriage where he's ever made pancakes. They were yummy, and did I mention he did the dishes too? Now that's Love. What I loved about my birthday this year was that about every 3 minutes all day long Calvin would say, "Happy Birthday Mommy."

A friend of Marvin's showed him this little hole in the wall restaurant that serves something other than the normal restaurant foods here, but you have to ask for it, they don't tell you they serve it. They have some middle eastern dishes like hummus and falafel that are a wonderful change from the ordinary restaurant foods typically served here. It was YUMMY. After our meal we went back to our apartment and enjoyed the fruit pizza Marvin made and we ended the evening playing games with some friends. It was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing what this last year in my twenties brings. In Calvin's words, "Bring it On."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Knock, knock, ruff, ruff

I am not an animal person. Sure they are cute, and I like the zoo, but I'm not a "oh let's get a pet" kind of girl. One night we were coming home and we saw a few people in our apartment complex walking their dogs for the night. We both agreed how terrible it would be to have an indoor dog in your apartment here, especially ones our size. It seriously grosses me out to even think about it. The next day when Marvin left for work in the morning there was a puppy curled up in the corner by our apartment door.

I will admit it was cute, but it may be the pregnancy hormones too. While in language class Calvin and his nanny kept going out to see the puppy. After my class was over I opened the door to find that they fed it some bread and gave it some water. I knew Marvin would not be happy, or our neighbors for that matter.

Thankfully it made its way downstairs and outside sometime late afternoon. Calvin was pretty confused at why his "cabaka" (dog) was not by the door anymore, because it was obviously it was his dog. He still opens the door and checks to see if it's there. However the kids on the playground have been enjoying this little puppy, and I'm glad it is not curled up next to our door all day long.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I only brought two pairs of summer pjs for Calvin with us from the states, because I knew I could find something for him here. I knew it would be a hunt, and after meandering through the market I was successful, well somewhat. I found some tops and I found some shorts but they didn't match at all. It's been warm, and we are using our AC right now (which is heavenly btw), unfortunately we keep Calvin's door closed at night. So he doesn't get any of the AC air and needs to wear something a little cooler at night. Up until this weekend he's been looking rather local. Matching here is a thing with very loose meaning. (It's actually very nice because I don't have to worry if we don't match perfectly.) So this is how he has been looking when he goes to bed.

Nice huh?

I have been searching for some plain shirts but haven't had much luck. When I was at the grocery store last week randomly there were two blue shirts his exact size just waiting to be turned into something that matched his shorts. So I finally gathered a few free minutes to sew and spent some time making my child some matching shirts and shorts. It felt good to finally send him to bed in something that matched, weird I know.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

lollypop, lollypop, oh lolly lollypop

Marvin and I love games, unfortunately this life stage we are in doesn't lend itself to being able to play very many of them together. Our evenings are usually filled with studying and weekends we're busy trying to get a few things done or catching up on sleep. Recently Calvin's become interested in games and boy does he love them. He is always begging us to play a "mame" with him. A few favorites are memory, the cookie game, and Candy land. He's slowly getting the concept of games, although we had to modify the cookie "mame" a bit, it's a bingo game and after trying unsuccessfully to get the concept of putting a cookie on the picture instead of matching the pictures we gave up. Instead he just gets a cookie if he has that picture.
Now candy land is a game that brings this child so much joy right now. He just loves it, and LOVES getting any of the special cards, even if he's about to win and he draws a Jolly card, or the Gingerbread card. He'll even try to trade with you if you get one of those. We're excited for more hours of game playing in our future. Now we just have hunt down a Chutes and Ladders game. It was my favorite growing up, and for some crazy reason we didn't bring it. If I had known his love for games it would have been high priority.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Me and my friend Pooh

We have our first imaginary friend around our house. His name is Pooh and he's a great pal. Often Calvin finds himself playing games with Pooh, and I will admit it's nice to have an imaginary playmate around. Some of their favorite things do do are play "soccer ball" or hockey. Occasionally Pooh comes with us places and at times is a little slow, so we have to wait for him. At first this little friend gave me some concerns about the mental state of my child, but rather than worry we've embraced Pooh and are glad he's stuck around.

When we asked Calvin what Pooh looks like he said that he is "a green and white fish." He's quite a talented little fish, that requires no water to survive, but I'm pretty sure his appearance changes some too. What a fun stage!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Celebrating Expat style

Our 4th of July celebration turned out beautiful, not too hot, and the clouds cleared out by our afternoon meeting time. We were able to gather just outside of town at a favorite spot of ours. Calvin and all the kids played so hard. Calvin LOVED playing soccer on a field with short grass (oh grass how we miss you). There were a few local boys at the field towards the beginning of our time and a few of our guys joined them in a friendly match.
The rest of the time we had the hill and field to ourselves, except when the cowboy was bringing his herd of cows through. It's fun things like this that make our celebrations more memorable here.
We also had some Brits join our celebration too, which is pretty funny, but they thought someone should represent the "old country". We ended the evening with some great fireworks, and some tired children. What a wonderful 4th of July this year.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

For the Curious Kids

I know a few of you are curious about what we made during our OAMC spree, so here's our list with several links. I know I love finding good freezer recipes, so I'll share those we made.

1. Chicken Packets
2. Chili Verde (slightly modified)
3. Chinese Honey Ginger Chicken
4. Maui Wowee Chicken
5. Cuban Blackbean Chicken Salad topping
6. Teriyaki Chicken Burgers
7. Chicken Salad

8. Korean Beef Bulgogi
9. Gyros & Pita Bread
10. BBQ Meatballs
11. Taco Meat
12. Hamburger Patties
13. Shredded BBQ Beef

14. Stuffed Pizza Rolls
15. Calzones
16. Chili Kolaches
17. Bean Burritos
18. Pizza Dough & Sauce

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Empty to Full

This past weekend a friend of mine and I went to work in the kitchen to create some freezer meals. We had a plan of action and started off a little slow, but together made 14 meals to fill our freezers. Now if you know me I'm pretty ambitious and always think I can do WAY more than I actually have time for, so I planned on making 18 meals. We stopped around 10:15 p.m. after we decided to do 4 of the meals on our own the next day.

It was so much more fun to cook with another person and by the end of the day I was so tired and had some killer cankles. I am excited to just pull out a meal and not have to worry about prep work for dinner. I'm also very excited about doing fewer dishes this next month!!!! Each meal was roughly around $8.00, which is pretty average here I've found, so I don't think it saves us any money, other than making sure we don't throw away any ingredients, but if it saves us some time I'm all for it. Most of these meals will give us enough for leftovers too!

After talking about how the day went we decided we had to change a few things next go around:

We will DEFINETLY preparing fewer recipes that involve dough. This month we tried to do a lot of recipes that would help us not use our ovens this summer so we baked, and baked, and baked some more, so we would not have to do it later. For the first 2 hours I was constantly making some sort of dough, and most of that dough also had to be filled with something, so that was VERY time consuming.

Also we need to recruit a dishwasher. At the end of the day after Calvin went to bed, Marvin became our dishwasher, it was very nice. Also it will be much easier when we don't have to bring hot water in from our bathroom. Right now it's summer and the hot water is off in our building, thankfully we have a hot water heater to heat water in our bathroom or else this would not have been fun. This type of cooking produces a LOT of dishes, I'm not going to lie that part stunk.

If we want to do make this many meals, we need do more prep than we did, we tried to chop everything ahead of time, but had a few things that I thought could have been done before we got together.

Also it will be good to figure out which containers would work best for what ahead of time, and label them. I'm very bad at figuring out what will fit in what. Since Ziploc bags are hard to come by in our part of the world we tried to use as many containers as possible. We both ran into problems towards the end with not having enough containers to fit what we needed. It also took a lot of time to stop and label stuff, so we either need to have our labels ready or know what containers will fit what.

I highly recommend getting a good night sleep before a mega cooking spree. We both stayed up late doing our prep work which made for some tired girls going into it.

Overall I'm glad we did it and I'll certainly do it again, the benefits highly outweigh the negatives.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Ya Sure

This little guy just keeps cracking us up recently at things he says and I don't want to forget them, so here are some classic Calvinisms recently:

His response most of the time when he's agreeing to our suggestions, "Ya Sure."

When we ask him to do something and he's stalling doing it. He's quite clever and will usually say:
"But I have to asked you something." Which is usually preceded by not a question but something like this "memmer when we were are the abc house and ......... yes that was hun (fun)."

When playing he'll suddenly gasp and say.... "I have an idea, ya that'd be a good idea."

"Daddy want to wesle (wrestle) me."

"Pooper Groger." When describing his Super Grover underwear.

Saying "bring it on" when playing "soccer ball". (His daddy taught him that one.)

Every morning he's excited to get dressed and choose which "team" he's going to be for the day. As he looks at his shirts he'll say, "maybe be green team, no blue team, ohhhh mommy stripe team, cool." If anyone else is wearing the same color shirt as he is that day is obviously on the same team as him. (Can you tell he LOVING the world cup lately?)

Anytime either of us leave, he must run to the door give us a kiss and say "I wowve you too."

Such sweet gifts! We truly love this verbal stage.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


So far this morning it's a cloudy day and we're hoping the rain holds off until after our 4th of July plans. I know Calvin is really looking forward to a picnic by the river today and Marvin's excited to grill some kebabs (shh don't tell our local friends but he bought some pork).

The 4th of July is a holiday for me where strangely enough I get a little homesick, even more than Christmas. I have such fun memories of spending the 4th on my grandparents farm. It isn't anything but your typical 4th of July celebration, but the smell of fireworks and bug spray open wide the floodgates and the memories come a flowing. It was a day where we could play (we still do), get dirty, eat lots of yummy food, be around our cousins, and do a lot of laughing. I still love it, and it was fun the past two years to be a part of it. Here are some things I will miss this year:

  • Hearing my grandpa pray for the gratefulness of those who have given their lives for their country. Knowing the sincerity of his heart and hearing the pain of losing his own brother in WWII in his prayer. (His generation understands how much freedom costs and I'm so thankful to learn that from him.)

  • My grandma's kitchen instructions. I love being in the kitchen and doing what grandma tells you to do and how she thinks out loud. I can just hear her "Now Erica.........."

  • The commentary on every firework that is shot off from my mom and aunts.

  • Grandma's peach heavenly

  • Catching up with family.

So even though our 4th may look a bit different this year, we have so much to give thanks for. Living in a different country makes us appreciate our upbringing and heritage. We are thankful to be from a country who has the ability to help so many around the world, and where freedom is not just a word but a reality. Truly blessed are we!

Friday, July 02, 2010

giardia, giardia go away

Dear Giardia bug,

Please go away! You've made our life fun this last week, I will give you that, but you have forgotten that Calvin is still figuring out the potty thing, and it's hard for him to make it quickly to the potty when he needs to, especially when he is in pain. Although my vocabulary grew this week because of you and there are a few words I will never forget like stool stample and poop, you need to make a quick exit from Calvin's body. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to check out the medical clinics here, but we'd rather not go back. Your 7 day stay has been long enough. We hope to never see you again.

Our WHOLE family