Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sophia's New Room!

Actually, this is Sophia's FIRST room! It was high time this baby had her own space. She FILLS UP a whole bedroom with no problem. I think the number one reason I was excited about the move was to get to decorate a nursery for the first time! Well, okay, I've chosen paint colors for a couple of Casa de Amor Baby Homes, but that was a long time ago.

Also, she's a light sleeper and very aware of where Jake and I are, so it was near impossible to go into our room without waking her up, much less talk at all. Now she's sleeping much better!

Welcome to Sophia's room!

She loves playing here! It's warmed by the sun almost all day, very nice in a house without heat.
We haven't hung proper curtains yet. What she has up is just for some light blockage. 

Looking at her books at her new little table

"Got more?"

 Sophia's toys and books keep the boys just as entertained as her!

This shelf used to hold almost all of her things. Now there's room for a whole shelf of books! I used to think she loved reading. Now I think she likes ripping books apart! ;)

Her clothes are organized by size...

Too small clothes and too big clothes hang here, with shoes above

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the light cover thing (whatever it's called)!

Katrina... Have you spotted it yet?? 

I designed the room around the flags you sent me for a birthday a few years ago! :)
Green rug as "grass", with flowers on the walls...

And there she is! I bought the painting above her crib when I was a little girl and slept under it for many years.

It's not done quite yet! I've printed a "few" of our favorite pictures to hang on her walls. 


Sophia loves playing in her room, but playing with anything that is NOT a toy is still her favorite!

And to finish, a picture that doesn't fit the theme except for being SOPHIA!

SUPER BABY! The boys fixed her up in this cape one day.

I don't know when I'll have a chance to post again, as our first flight for our big trip to the US leaves in just 5 1/2 hours!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

We've Moved! (Part II)

Here's a little tour of the upstairs of our new (rent) house!
In this house, we decided to let the boys doing something they had been requesting ever since they found out we might move. Joel and Michael have their own room, and Samuel has the chance for some peace and quiet and keeping things organized the way he likes them in his own room.
With 5 bedrooms, that is possible! We just might get spoiled here.
Joel showing off their newly organized room!

Plenty of storage space in the biggest bedroom of the house!

Jake and I are a little jealous of all their storage space! Our clothes overflow to other rooms, but I wanted us to have the bigger bathroom since I spend a WAY more time in it than even all 3 boys combined.

The boys bathroom is inside J & M's room

Favorite pictures to be framed for the walls when we're back in October...

Samuel's room! He and Sophia get views of Mt. Tunari, Cochabamba's highest peak.

Samuel showing off his nice closet.

Mine and Jake's room (still need to put up real curtains, as in every room)
The view from our little balcony off our bedroom!
Our bathroom
After 8 years in a bathroom with no cabinets or drawers or counter tops, to our apartment with an actual counter top, this bathroom has a closet, multiple drawers and cabinets, AND all of these lovely shelves! It's pretty great! And already almost full. Because of Sophia's stuff, I'm pretty sure, ah-hem...

And, one of our fav spots of the whole house!!

The upstairs balcony!
One evening, Joel fixed up some candles for us. He's been determined since we moved in that we should have a candlelight dinner (there is no lighting from our house), so he made it happen as soon as we discovered some matches.
Some mid-meal star-gazing :)

The balcony is a great spot for meals on pleasant evenings, AND school work! I thought we would work in the kitchen or dining room table as before, but we love being outside. That way, it's also quieter for Jake as he works, and I can tend to Sophia in her room.

(Not clear in the picture: tall mountains in the distance!)

Just had to include this picture of one of Michael's creations from leftover moving boxes, a huge boat. The boys are so creative!!

Next post: Sophia's room!

We've Moved! (Part I)

After a lovely stint of 20 months in our 2 bedroom condominium, it was time for some elbow room!

Picture of our front door, made by a Hospital of Hope volunteer medical student in 2004, back in the day when our rent house was HOH's guesthouse!
Exactly 10 years before this picture was made with my four kids, I was waking up to my first morning in Bolivia in the very same house!
 Move Day, August 1! Only made possibly so quickly and effectively by a team of 8 guys from Holland visiting Casa de Amor who loaned us their muscles for the morning.

Moving in! Picture from Sophia's bedroom window

Walking in the front of the house. Both of our cars now fit in our driveway!
 Just to the right of the entryway, by the stairs 
(Notice the painting of my friend Amy with our street friends, left in this house that they have also occupied! The other painting is thanks to the Booher family. It's HUGE but is PERFECT for this wall.)
The heart of the home!
I went from a kitchen with exactly 3 drawers, to this kitchen with FIFTEEN DRAWERS! At first I couldn't figure out how to use them all. That didn't last long though!!

LOVE my "baking corner" in this new kitchen. The drawer below has baking items like measuring cups and spoons, rolling pin, whisks, etc.
Now to just be rid of the ants, and get hot water to the sink...

The kitchen nook leads to the laundry room and to the back yard, where the boys and even Sophia spend lots of time!
 I also have my "pantry" there, all nice and organized

Sophia and Shaggy, the back neighbor's dog, supervising me hanging up laundry
Entry to the living room/dining room

Our living room (Jake would want you to notice the big projector wall) 

 Our book shelves!

Dining room! When we're not taking our meals on the upstairs balcony...

At the other end of the downstairs, by the garage, is our office! Since Jake now has a full time job working from home, he spends a lot of time here beginning in the early morning.
Across the hallway from the office is a large bedroom that we are currently using as storage and for our extra bed. Since it has a bathroom, maybe it will be our future visitor room! 
The boys are super happy with our two little neighbor friends, one of whom has the same name as one of our boys. They play together almost every moment they're not doing school or eating.

Next post: the upstairs tour!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy TEN Months!!

Our little baby is getting big!!

Here she is on July 17, all ready for big brother Joel's 11th birthday party with the Casa de Amor boys:


For a couple months I stopped using her bouncy chair because she got bored with it and I was afraid she would propel herself out while throwing a fit. :) She loves it again now, after the break.

She barely fits in now, crazy compared with earlier pictures!

A few weeks ago, Jake and I finally had to take the scissors to her hair again so that we could see her eyes!! Everyone kept saying "how cute, she has bangs now". She did before too, but since her hair cutters weren't exactly pros, it's just more obvious. :)

A little post-cut photo op!

What a doll!!!

Something that changed almost on the day she turned 9 months was Sophia's ability to DESTROY! Oh my. Even the boys are constantly shocked by how quickly she can break, rip, dump out, spill stuff. She has gotten VERY active. I suppose that's a good thing, but she needs to learn how to pick UP soon!
The crib after 10 minutes of Whirlwind Sophia!!

She is very close to getting into the crawl position and taking off. She's just so mobile scooting along when she's sitting, she hasn't had a great need yet, although she does get frustrated with how long it takes to get to something tantalizing that she sees...

Cooking alongside Mommy
She has also decided this past month that toys are for BABIES. She LOVES and seeks out anything "real" (that could potentially be broken, I think!!). Just today, the day after she turned 10 months, the boys and I have realized that when she gets very quiet, she's into mischief. We've found her sitting in the middle of her dumped dirty clothes, including a used cloth diaper, and all tangled up in the lamp cord of her bedroom - twice!! 

Taking a little snack break from cooking

One of Sophia's books after she (and now Jake) has gotten ahold of it...

The boys get a kick out of pretending with her. Lots of the pictures from this past month are from fun times with them! I'll have to do that post soon.

Modeling her new handmade necklace from brother Michael


Breakfast on a chilly Bolivian winter morning

Sophia expanded her repertoire of food this past month. She'll happily eat sweet potatoes, potatoes, pureed carrots, homemade applesauce, and all sorts of fruit (bananas and mangos are favorites!), sometimes mixed with plain yogurt. Broccoli and egg yolks are sometimes okay. Avocado still needs to be mixed with banana, although we've reduced the ratio! We were doing lentils and quinoa and she lapped it up, but then came two very screamy hard nights and I decided it was gas. No more beans or grain for a while!

She usually likes steamed broccoli!
She smears her food EVERYWHERE! Since it's dusty in Cochabamba and dry this time of year, just imagine a big meal of fruit and then dirt....
The aftermath of a meal (this picture doesn't do it justice)!

Packing Day, July 31!

Move Day!! August 1

With our new big family, the 1200 sq ft (if that) apartment with nearby neighbors just wasn't cutting it anymore!! We've spread our wings and are completely spread out in a 6 room house now.

Daddy found the baby and thought she should be in a box :)

Happy Bolivia Day, August 6!

All dressed up!

On the last day of our Dutch team's Casa de Amor visit, we all went to a steakhouse.

First steakhouse visit, and Sophia got broccoli and French fries :)
She has three words now - dada, mama, and hola! One day she picked up my cell phone, put it to the side of her head (backwards) and said "hola"! I think I startled her I got so excited!

August 13, 10 months! It's hard to get a picture of her sitting still now, she's so active!

She loves playing in her room!

Sophia in her new room, in a new outfit by a missionary friend who has moved back to Canada

What a cutie!!
Can't wait to share Sophia with relatives in upcoming weeks! We fly to the states in 6 days for a two MONTH visit (yikes)!! That thought was more daunting until the past couple of months. Sophia is getting so much easier! Skipped naps (which happen, since she rarely sleeps when we're out) aren't the end of the world, and I just give her a little bottle of milk when she gets fussy in between the 5 feeds of the day. Occasionally I need to nurse her again in the middle of the night to get her back to sleep, but otherwise I feel practically footloose and fancy free after feeding her 8-10 times a day for the first 9 months of her life!! And to be able to sleep through the night about half the time is AMAZING! It doesn't matter how many hours you're in bed, nothing compares to 8 uninterrupted hours!! Sophia also wakes up so much more refreshed and sweet as a peach when she sleep 10-12 hours at night.

She fits into her 12 month onesies, this one from a Casa de Amor supporter and friend!

We love this baby!!