Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scene from Xai Xai

Two weeks ago we spent the weekend on the beach in Xai Xai with friends. Here is a beautiful photo taken by my friend Paty Jimenez. You can see more of her photography here.

For more photos from the trip click here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Baby @ 33 Weeks

Today we went for our 33 week check-up and got to see our little peanut. We are still trying to guess if it is a boy or girl...what do you think? I think that just by looking at the face it looks like a little boy, but sometimes by gut tells me it is a girl. So to tell you the truth...we have no freaking idea. But it is very fun to keep guessing.

During the visit the doctor had a really good time giving us the details on the baby. Here are some of the stats:
- The baby already weighs 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs). (How much bigger is this baby going to get..still 7 weeks to go!)
- "The baby has a big nose....Melissa, it looks just like you or maybe JJ." (JJ laughing, I didn't laugh so much)
- "Look at those big feet." (Mommy has a size US 12 (43) and Daddy also has a US 12 (47)....BIG surprise)
- "The baby has a big head...look at all those brains." (At that moment I thought it was a girl)
- "You have a really happy baby. His/her heart rate goes up and down...shows the playful side of the baby."

All in all it was a great visit and we are very happy that everything is going on track and the baby is growing....and the best part is that I am NOT growing. Can you believe I weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant. Let's hope I don't gain too much weight in the end...but only time will tell.

As far as the pregnancy, I still get nausea and morning sickness, but at this point I just think of it as a reminder of all the great things to come....or at least that is what JJ keeps telling me. Small price to pay after all the work it took to get this little one.

Luka is really excited about the baby. I hope this is a sign that he won't be too jealous. He loves to come to our room in the morning and shower my belly with kisses. He also changes his mind on a daily basis on whether he thinks it is a boy or girl, but to be honest he tends to lean towards having a brother.

We head to the doctor again at 36 you know what that means...more pictures and I get to eat at McDonald's (hee hee hee). They recently opened a McDonald's in Nelspruit, South Africa (3 hrs from Maputo) where we go for all our medical visits. Yummy! It tastes so much better when you only have it once in a while.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Message from Luka on his THIRD Birthday

Today I am THREE years old! I woke up this morning and my mommy surprised me with a really cool t-shirt. I liked it so much I had to do the birthday dance before I headed off to school to show it off. What do you think of my moves? By the way the t-shirt had a really cool spider to celebrate the Spider & Creepy Crawly Party I will have tomorrow...can't wait.

When I got to school my teacher Ms. Maria made me a silly hat and all my friends sang me Parabens (Happy Birthday in Portuguese) many times during the day. I had to wear the silly hat all day, but it wasn't all bad...everyone kept giving me hugs and kisses and treating me very special.

When I got home my mommy and daddy said I would have some friends come over for cake and coffee. What is that all about...I was like I don't drink coffee or eat cake, but they said that the adults would bring the kids (my friends) if there was something for them to eat...go figure. I was just happy my mom opened a bag of chips. Chips are my ABSOLUTE favorite thing in the world.

When they came over they sang Happy Birthday to me in four languages - English, Spanish, Dutch & Portuguese. I won't subject you to the video of all four, but here is my favorite version - the Portuguese. I really love to sing and blow out candles!

For all the photos from today click here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Names, names & more names

As you know JJ and I are excited about the surprise regarding the sex of the baby. But that means we can't really pick a name yet and the endless possibilities has us in a tailspin. I found this really cool site - Nameberry. Check it out and let us know if you have any won't find out what we picked until the baby is born...we probably won't even know. But it might be fun to come up with some different and unique names.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feliz Dia Do Pai

Did you know that March 19th was Father's Day in Mozambique? Well, we didn't either until Luka came home with this present for his daddy. Isn't it cute? He was so proud of his painted shirt and tie and couldn't wait for his father to see it. Feliz Dia do Pai my love!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Broadway in Maputo?

It wasn't quite the same as seeing it on Broadway, but Luka and I had our first Theater Date yesterday. We went to go see Peter Pan. The show was at one of the local theaters in town, but it was put on by the American High School. It was hard to get Luka to actually go into the dark theater. He cried hysterically and would not stop. We went outside and I calmed him down and told him all about Peter Pan and that it was just like the book we read at home. Well, after 20 minutes he agreed to try the show. So we went in late, but did get to see most of it. In the end he said he liked it and he has been telling everyone about it...but you would have never guessed from the holy hell he screamed at the beginning.

Mommy and Luka on their "date"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bring on the Rain

This past Sunday we went to our friend's house for a dip in the pool. Luka was very excited about going for a swim. Well, we got there and it started to pour...but that didn't stop the boys from playing in the rain. They had a blast and Luka asked for rain today so that he could go out and play :)

Thank you Ellie for the photos!

Say Hey...I Love You

I had never heard of Michael Franti & Spearhead, but here they are singing my new favorite song. I saw this video (thanks Jackie for sharing on facebook) and it made me think of all the joy and happiness that I sometimes see walking around here in Maputo. This was done is Brazil, but it could be anywhere in the world where you see people that you think might not have much, but they still have this zest and joy for life that is simply contagious.

The song also talks about traveling all over the world and it states the more you see the less you know...that is so true. But the learning process is so much fun and really I am blessed to have the kind of life where I will be able to see many corners of the world. By the way, this week we find out where our next "corner" will be.

Anyway, this is dedicated to all my friends and family...I LOVE YOU!

PS Maybe I just overly sensitive due to the rush of hormones, but the song is catchy, huh!

PSS By the way if this guy is super famous and you are thinking...why hasn't she heard of him. Well let's just say that I don't have the most evolving taste in music. I listen to the same music over and over again. It drives my husband INSANE :)

Who is Michael Franti? Here you go...what a cool guy! I also heard he is an ambassador for CARE...loving him!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daddy & Me Time

Just feeling the love for my boys today....aren't they cute? This photo was taken on our last trip to Miami. As I have mentioned before Luka is in love with planes at the moment and this was the perfect way for JJ to bond with his son over jet engines.

Congratulations Evan

A couple of weeks ago, the newest addition to our family, our nephew Evan Adebayo Pitan celebrated his baptism. It was a beautiful day with the perfect celebration with family and friends. Our uncle performed the ceremony and Evan was on his best always. He is really the best baby ever. He never complains and always seems to be a great mood. My sister might have a different view, but I hope "Baby van Herksen" takes notes from his older cousin.

Here is a book I created for Evan to remember this occasion. Felicidades Chuchi (a.k.a Evan)!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Monday, March 08, 2010

Feliz Dia Da Mulher

Today is the International Day of the Woman...well, at least that is what they told me at Luka's school when I picked him up today and he enthusiastically greeted me with this beautiful painting. It is the first bouquet I receive from Luka ♥

In celebration of all the special women in Luka's life I wanted to share the painting with all of you. He sends a special hug to all his omas, abuelas, tias and aunts!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Hanging Art with Hangers....Genius

After almost 3 months of not checking on my favorite blogs this morning I found some time to browse....I forgot how much I love them and how much inspiration I get from them. Here is a photo of a great idea....isn't it a cool way to hang up posters or maybe art from the kids. It has such a great vintage feel. The fabulous orange couch also adds to the whole style.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Our Baby - 29 Weeks

Well, we are officially in the home stretch now. There is no denying that I am pregnant and at 7 months and 1 week I am officially into my third trimester. I am feeling okay, but the nausea and food aversions are still there. I was not one of the lucky ones where those symptoms disappear after the first trimester. But I feel 100% better than the first couple of months...thank goodness.

We still don't know if it is a boy or girl and hopefully we won't find out until the big day, but there are many people that have their own scientific theories about what it is. A co-worker of JJ saw me today and she asked me a couple of questions about my freckles and skin and she said she knows. She claims she had a genetics teacher that taught her this "method" and she has never been wrong. We asked her not to tell us, but write it down and seal it in an we can see if she was correct. In Miami people were always looking at my belly and saying it is a girl. What do you think? Isn't it fun not to know!

I will leave you with these photos of our "baby face" that were taken yesterday. They are not super clear, but if you stand back and take a look you can see our baby. Isn't she/he cute?

Luka's Drawing of His Grandparents

A few weeks ago JJ and I had to go to the bank with my parents. Luka came along for the ride and we had to keep him entertained so I asked him to draw a picture of Grandma & Grandpa. Well this was his interpretation and he was very specific about who was who. It was very cute....what do you think? Better yet...what do my parents think?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Happy Anniversary Baby

On February 19th JJ and I celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary (Yeah, I am a little late on the post). I can't believe how time flies....but I guess that happens when you are having fun...or at least that is what they say.

These four years have been amazing and I can honestly say that they have been an adventure! I love you baby and I can't wait for the next four years, and the ones after that, then the ones after that. Who knows where our "adventure" will take us, but there is no one else I would want as my co-pilot.

Aren't these pictures cute? Well, there is a story to them...ever since I can remember I have been trying to get JJ into a photo booth with me and take these type of tacky photos. Finally on February 19th this year we were at the museum with Luka and I spotted one. I think he indulged me because it was our anniversary. I don't know about you, but I love them.

Thank You Joey

I have this wonderful friend that is a very talented photographer - Jose Chambrot. He took the photos at our baby shower and they are beautiful. You can see them if you click here. For those of you that attended there are many gorgeous photos you might like...especially of some of your little ones.

If you would like Joey to photograph your next party or event send him and email at

Thank you again Joey for capturing the day!