Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Feliz Cumpleaños, V. and Tía Mari!

Today we celebrated TWO birthdays! V. turns two years old today, and Tía Mari's birthday is actually tomorrow (but she doesn't work so we celebrated today), and I won't tell you how old she is! ;)

It was fun to celebrate these two together. Tía Mari has only been a tía for about a month now, but she has become especially close to V. She was so excited that she and her "daughter" V. have birthdays only a day apart!

We enjoyed some yummy chocolate cake for a snack. Tía Nilda didn't want the day to go by without putting eggs and flour in Tía Mari's hair. While singing "Happy Birthday!," Tía Nilda calmy waltzed outside with the bowl of egg whites leftover from our bread-baking and started spooning it onto Tía Mari's hair. Tía Mari had the calmest reaction to this I've ever seen! The tías normally take off running when they realize what's happening! Then, as if that wasn't enough, Tía Nilda snuck back inside to get a handful of flour. Again, Tía Mari's reaction was so calm! After that little birthday tradition, we wanted she and V. to take a bite of the cake. They tried, but the icing was a bit too hard and it didn't quite work out like we planned! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Volunteer Night

Tonight we had a get-together with all of the volunteers at Jennifer and Jake's house. We always talk about having more of these volunteer nights, but with so many different schedules to coordinate, it can be hard. Linnea will be leaving on Wednesday morning, so we made sure to have one last volunteer night with her.

There's a restaurant just down the street from their house that we've been wanting to try (well, some of us have been wanting to try… others have already been there), so we picked up food and headed over. It's always so fun to just hang out with everyone. We ate, talked, played Dutch Blitz (I'd never played before coming to Bolivia, but I've played it many times here), and just enjoyed each other's company. Lindsey, Linnea, and I all brought "our" babies, so with Sophia (Jennifer and Jake's baby), we had four babies ages 6.5-almost 8 months. They all behaved very well, and Sophia was so kind to share her toys!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Pictures

It's time for church and lunch pictures again! This week, we took the three oldest from the baby home, Baby C., and Baby A. to church. Linnea came along with Baby D. and three of the boys from Casa 2. After lunch, we went out for pizza again. We normally don't eat the same food two Sundays in a row (to give ourselves a break from the food we usually eat at the homes and to allow the kids to try a variety of foods… again, because we eat a lot of the same foods at home and they're not used to trying new things), but after Elias' birthday party, we've been wanting to try the Italian restaurant that catered the pizza for his party. We had big plans to try this restaurant last week but couldn't find it! Turns out, we just hadn't driven far enough (we turned around at the street right before the restaurant as it seemed too far away from where we thought it was). I just happened to pass the restaurant one day this week in a trufi and couldn't believe how close we'd gotten to it without finding it… So, we decided to go there this Sunday, too! 

The older boys were SO excited to see Jennifer and Jake's boys (Jenn is director of CDA and she and her husband adopted 3 older boys who lived at Casa 2) at church that we decided to all go out to lunch together. We had a group of 20, and when we walked in, the waiters didn't look too thrilled to see us… We did have 13 children with us after all! They shuffled us to a back room and put together a table for us. I think our group surprised them because our kids did GREAT! Seriously, they were so well behaved. Everyone sat quietly in their seats and ate all of their food. There was no running around, screaming, being disruptive, etc. I was so proud of our baby home kids! We've been taking them out to eat on Sundays after church as a treat, and their table manners have improved a lot. We've been working hard on teaching them appropriate behavior while out in public, and it shows! It's nice to be able to go out to a nice restaurant and know that our kids will be able to handle it. 

The food was delicious, and everyone had a great time! It was definitely a long morning for our kids (they missed half of naptime while we were out), but everyone had fun. Our kids came home and crashed!

S. was unhappy that she wasn't the one holding Baby C. for the picture… 

 Baby C. and I waiting on our food

 "Tía Hannah, what's this drink? I want to drink this one!" Sorry S., but I refuse to buy you a glass of wine!

Notice the outfit change?! She decided to explode her diaper all over her dress as we were literally walking out the door! 

Just in case you had any doubts about who the cutest baby in the world is… :) 

Baby A. drinking some milk 

Baby D. also spent our lunch hanging out on the floor

Trying to kiss her friend or pull or her hair? We'll never know!

 Hi Sophia!

Some of our big group eating yummy pizza!

Naptime for the youngest members of our group!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Horita Feliz

Just some pictures from Horita Feliz this afternoon…

 All ready to head out!

 R. knows that someone has to hold Baby C. in our group pictures and pointed to her lap and said "C. aqui!" ("C. here!")

 Baby A. excited for Horita Feliz!

 Baby D. sat up by himself for the first time!

S. and I after Horita Feliz… She's been doing so great in her Horita Feliz class and Sunday School class at church!

 Tía Yovana's sister has started bringing her kids to Horita Feliz, and they all LOVE Baby C.! I'd say it's mutual though!

Linnea leaves next week, and today was her last Horita Feliz. She wanted a group picture of all of the big kids, and this was the best one I got… They were clearly ready for a picture!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Random Updates

So just some random updates with a few pictures thrown in for good measure!

As Lindsey and I will soon be the only two volunteers here, we've had to combine school pick-ups so we're both not picking up every day… which we're sure would get old really fast. Monday was my day to pick up the 4 girls! It's a bit of a race to pick everyone up on time. Oriana and Jhosi get dismissed at 4:30pm. They're at the same school as Shyrlen who gets out at 5:30pm. Rather than take them home in between, we hung out at school. There's a little playground right outside the pre-school and kindergarten classrooms so they played there for the hour… It was a bit interesting as Jhosi is blind and this school (and especially the playground) is really not equipped for blind students. But we managed and she was able to play, too. At 5:30pm, Shyrlen's class was dismissed, and we hurried to Ana Maria's school to pick her up at 5:45pm. Luckily Shyrlen's class was dismissed on time today, so we were only a few minutes late picking Ana up… However, most days she's dismissed about 10 minutes late making it impossible to pick Ana up on time. After everyone was picked up, we headed back to their house. 

How precious does our little pre-schooler look in her new uniform?!

K. moved to the boys' house! We knew he'd move over at some point as he turns 3 next month, but we expected to have a bit more notice in order to transition him (we found out that afternoon that he'd be leaving). He has done FABULOUS! We're sure he'll grow up a lot with the big boys and his speech is sure to improve as well!

I received my one year temporary residency visa! I probably should've done a post on this as another visa update, but I didn't have time. My lawyer and I went to submit the paperwork for my carnet which is a Bolivian ID card. We have to go back next week to pick up the actual carnet. Sorry but no pictures!

R. finally got her cast off! When she got home, S. kept telling us "R. got her bone removed!" It really sounds funnier in Spanish because the word for "bone" sounds very similar to the word for "cast." R.'s arm was filthy and covered in dead skin so we let her wash her arm off in a bucket of water while we bathed the babies.

After bathtime, V. looked too cute in her outfit and finally clean hair (her hair gets disgustingly dirty during every meal and bottle)! It just so happened that baby C. had a bow in her hair that matched V.'s outfit perfectly (it had little elephants on it!), so she lended it to V. for a few pictures.

After Baby C.'s bath, she also looked too cute all fresh and clean! She also got to wear her little black shoes that finally fit. They matched perfectly, and she was pretty excited about it!

After Baby A.'s bath, Lindsey decided to give him his first haircut! He had these long, stringy strands of hair that really looked awful. His hair looks so much better now!

Linnea and I went to La Cancha (huge, outdoor market) this afternoon so she could finish up souvenir shopping. I generally don't care for La Cancha (crowded, dirty, don't know my way around, etc.) but decided to tag along to pick up a few baby things. We ended up wandering all around to sections I hadn't been to before, and it ended up being my favorite La Cancha trip yet. Wandering around with no place to go and without a time limit is the way to go! After we finished, we went out for dinner and had milanesas de pollo. They were very yummy! She's been caring for Baby D., so of course he joined us. He's gotten SO much bigger! 

Speaking of Baby D., we have a health update! As you may have read in earlier posts, he has a heart murmur and several congenital heart defects (a Ventricular Septal Defect and a Patent Foramen Ovale). We were told he would need heart surgery between 6 months and 1 year of age… the closer to 6 months old the better. We were also told he'd need to weigh 6 kilos before they could operate. Well, after much growing (he's not quite 6 kilos but getting there!), we've been given a surgery date! He'll be admitted to the hospital at 8am on May 7th, and the operation will take place on May 9th. Pray that he stays healthy during this next week and a half so he can have the surgery, and that the surgery and recovery go smoothly for him! For a more in-depth health update, you can read Casa de Amor's blog here

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter~ Candy Hunt and Dyeing Eggs

After naptime and dinner, we had an Easter egg hunt for the kids! Well, it wasn't exactly an egg hunt as we couldn't find any plastic eggs. Instead, we bought chocolate eggs and chewy candies for the kids to hunt. They LOVED it! We thought about separating it by ages but ended up hiding everything in the front yard. We (volunteers and tías) helped the babies hunt the easy-to-find candy, and the older kids looked for candy on their own.

She chose not to listen when we arrived home from church and therefore lost her candy-hunting privileges… It was no fun watching everyone else hunt and then eat chocolate!

After our candy hunt, the babies went upstairs with the tías, and the oldest four stayed outside to dye Easter eggs. This isn't a Bolivian tradition for Easter, and they thought it was pretty fun! 

 She thought the egg dye was juice…

 Crying because those mean tías wouldn't let him drink his egg dye too!

My mom sent this pack of outer space themed stickers to decorate the eggs… After the kids went to bed, Lindsey and I had a little fun!