Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Most Dangerous Road in the World

This is where JJ started his bike ride on the "Camino de la Muerte." Doesn't seem like a place where 100s of people have died. I was freaking out all day. I kept thinking he was going to fall off the side of the cliff. Thank goodness he made it home safe and sound!

Yeah, i would have been a little freaked out to say the least, but the views are amazing!

This is Jose, JJ's riding partner...also Nicole's dad. You know the famous Nicole that Sam is in love with.

Finally the Dutchman wears a helmet to ride bike. I think this is the only time I will get him to wear a helmet. What do Dutch people have against wearing helmets?

No, seriously please...there is no way I could have done this.

Taking a break...

Like my Mexican friends would say, "No manches!!!"

Well, baby I am very proud of you and glad you did it. You survived the Death Road or "THE MOST DANGEROUS ROAD IN THE WORLD." You can now check that off your bucket list.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spending the Day at the Botanical Gardens

Nikki, Sam and Luka enjoy the fish pond...but wait there is another little friend inside. Is that a frog?
What a day! The kids had such a wonderful time at the Open House at the Botanical Gardens in town. Honestly I didn't even know these gardens existed, but what a find! I might even have Sam's Birthday party there. It is the perfect place to have a picnic with the kids and they seemed to be engaged and wanted to explore every inch of the place. Thank you to my friend Michi for inviting us to the Open House and thank you to all our friends that joined us....

Here are many photos from today, but to see all of them click here.

The Happy Couple share a moment together.

Anything that involves brownies Sam is there. That boy loves his sweets!
We are so happy that Ollie was able to join us.

Bianca loved those LAVANDER cookies. They were quite delicious!
Luka and Ollie are like two peas in a pod.
Luka must have filled that watering can like 10 times to walk around the garden.

Sam was never too far behind. You know he wasn't going to miss any of the action.
Luka and boys are so cute together!

Girl's Night Out - Bollywood in Bolivia

Yesterday was my first Girl's Night Out in a very long time. We didn't party till the crack of dawn, but we did manage to enjoy a delicious dinner, experience Bollywood in Bolivia (who knew?) and have a couple of drinks. Much better than my usual nights when I am in PJs by 10 pm! And I blow-dried my hair and even put on make-up...whoo hoo!

We went to India Spice, our only Indian Restaurant in town, and it was Bollywood Night. We sampled three curries, rice, naan and a whole tray of different appetizers that I don't really know how to spell so I won't embarrass myself. The food was great and I love, I mean really love, Bollywood so our table by the screen showing dancing clips of all different types of Bollywood movies was perfect.

Here are some pictures from the night. Thank you Bianca for sharing the pics!

Rosa, Bianca, Me & Marielle
Menu for Bollywood Night. Matt you did a great job!
Our three different curries and rice...YUMMY!

Cool wall at the restaurant done by a local home DYI project...maybe????

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sam's Weekly Updates

Click on the images to see them larger.

It is that time of the week again...our update from LIVE. Sam had a great week and he has grown up so much in the last two weeks. He is saying three-word sentences. We are so proud of him. The talking came so fast after we took out the pacifier. JJ was right all along and it wasn't even that hard to do. Way to go Sammy!

Where Did My Baby Go?

Somewhere between not having teeth and today Sam decided that he was old enough to brush his own teeth. Really Sam? Can you be a baby for just a little bit longer. I am not really to let you be a big boy just yet.

Sam has been making all kinds of strides this month. He uses 3-word sentences all the time. Big deal for a toddler. He also understands Spanish, English and Dutch. I wasn't sure but lately he knows exactly what everyone is saying in the house. He also wants to do EVERYTHING on his own. I mean things he really can't do yet, but it is important to let him try, right?!?!?!?

He also is big enough to play with his big brother now. Luka is great and extremely patient with him, actually VERY VERY patient because Sammy is in the everything is MINE phase so poor Luka has to deal with that, but they manage to have fun together.

Sam also has a girlfriend, that I have mentioned before. He is always talking about Nikki. I am not really sure what he is saying, but he loves to spend time with her. And you should see him when he sees Nikki's dad, Jose, he gets all serious...very cute.

Well, Sammy in a couple of weeks you will finally be two...but please don't grow up so fast!

I love you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mom Car...Bring It On!

It is official when we arrive in Chile I will have a "mom car." It is a station wagon! I can't believe it. But you know what I love it. It isn't quite as cool as the Buick Century Station Wagon my mom had while I was growing, did we have fun in that car or what. But I am kind of excited about driving a station wagon...all the things I will be able to fit in that huge trunk! I will be styling in Santiago in the Volvo XC70. Note: Plenty of trunk/suitcase space for when I pick up all those visitors we are going to have while we are living there...HINT, HINT!

Article in Holland About Our Adoption Story

Well, this post is for our friends and family that can actually read Dutch (unlike me...sorry about that..I promise the day I move to Holland is the day I enroll in an intensive course). For those of you that can read Dutch...recentlly the Dutch Foreign Ministry (BZ) featured an article about diplomats that have adopted and they featured our family...pretty exciting stuff. Above is the cover and below you can see the rest of the article. Feel free to click on the image and you may view it larger. I am trying to convince JJ to translate the whole article for me to post...but no luck not that yet.

We are pretty excited about having such a wonderful "promo" for adoption..It is truly an amazing and rewarding experience. I am not able to read in Dutch but I can see that all the families are as happy as we are! The article is yet another reminder for me of why I am so blessed to have this "crazy" life. If our diplomatic journey would have never taken us to Mozambique, I am not sure what our family would look like and if we would even have a family. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we jump around from place to place leaving friends and family hurts, we cry and leave little pieces of our hearts all over the globe...but man I wouldn't trade my family or this life for anything in the world.

Who knows what lies for us in Santiago, but the four of us will find out together!

Enjoy the rest of the article and thank you to local photographer Patricio Crooker for taking the photographs.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to MY Baby

This week JJ turned 35 on Tuesday, April 17th...HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY! But unfortunately Jj was not feeling so well. He came down with a throat infection, but the good news is that he was able to stay home that day and blow out the candles on his Hershey Pie (from BK) with the boys. I was running around that day taking him to the doctor, going to pharmacy, taking the kids to and from school and working. Oh and the maid also got very sick and went we all had a Burger King picnic at home. Not very fancy, but kind of perfect, after a couple of weeks of everyone being sick at home I was just happy that everyone was ok and up and about.
After a couple of days of recovery and rest JJ was back to normal by Friday and ready to celebrate this milestone birthday. Thank you to my friend Matt from Indian Spice...they did a great job and put out a delicious spread for us to enjoy. It is really a perfect place to celebrate with friends...Here we are all dressed up waiting for everyone.

JJ with his boys...what is he going to do without his going out group. This is his Dutch crew!

We had bookmarks for everyone's order. A little OCD on my part, but actually worked very well.

What a great night! JJ, I hope you had a good time and I can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you in the future. I love you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sam was a busy boy this week. LIVE is just awesome. Remember to click on the photo if you want to see the update larger.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why I am in it to END it!

Every since I was a little girl breast cancer has been a household word in my house with both of my grandmother's being diagnosed. Last year my sister and I walked in DC in honor of them. It was an incredible experience and something I never want to forget and I promise that as long as I can I will walk every year to find a cure for this disease. We met so many women that have survived this disease and they were a true inspiration.

Since last year's walk this disease has hit close to home again. On the eve of our walk in DC we spoke to our Aunt Ine and she told us that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. A couple of weeks after the walk my dad, her brother, was also told he had breast cancer. Really, my dad?!?!?!!

Honestly I never thought I would be adding my father to the list of people I walk for, but it just goes to show you that anyone in your life can be affected by this disease. And to be even more honest, this year I got really scared. The reality of the high risk in our family hit me in the face and I need to walk to kick cancers butt. My sister and have to be vigilant, but you know what...I am healthy and I need to walk for all those that can't.

This year is crazy for us. We are moving to Chile and there are so many things going on, but you know what cancer doesn't care if you are moving, having a baby, started a new job, just got married or are planning or daughter's wedding, started retirement, I can't care either. To raise money and fight this disease I feel I have to make this sacrifice so that other women and men don't have to go through what Ine and my dad are going through right now.

On the right side of the blog you can see my list of honorees from last year and they will remain on my list and I hope to grow my list for this year. Everyone one of those names were my inspiration and motivation for crossing that finish line and this year in NYC it won't be any different.

I will be traveling from Santiago de Chile to New York in October. I am so excited about waking with my friend from Mozambique Jackie Jenkins (well she is Canadian, but we met in Moz). She now lives in NYC. Jackie always has a knack for being there for me when I really need her. She was my go-to person during 3 years of IVF treatment and ups and down in my fertility cycle and now she is going to walk across that finish line in NYC. You rock Jackie! Thank you for making this commitment with me and hosting me!

So please take some time and click on this link to make a donation. No donation is too small, but you can always go big. I appreciate everyone that helped last year and this year I want to raise even more money.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Luka's First Book - A Story About a Little Girl Named Ootonka

Luka is enrolled in a drama/theater class here in La Paz and a couple of weeks ago he was the only one in class that day and the teacher took the one-on-one opportunity to really work on Luka's creativity and imagination...and did they ever. Luka wrote his first book all on his own.

The teacher told me that they sat down with paper and crayons and asked Luka what he wanted to write about. She only helped write the copy that he came up with...he created everything on his own. I was so proud of him and surprised when I picked him up after the hour class to be received with such a beautiful and proud smile and this amazing book.

I just had to scan it and post it...i have been meaning to share for a while, but scanning 11 pages took me a while. I will give you an English tour of the book.

In the photo above you can see the cover of the book. It is about a girl named Ootonka and her doggy. Then the rest of the pages...

There was a little girl that was 5 years old and she had a little dog named Isabella.

And one day the little dog got lost and the little girl cried and then all of a sudden she saw a little tail...

The little dog was asleep in her little house. The little girl got happy.

She had a grand house and a garden.

The little girl had a happy family and a car...a handsome daddy and a little brother named Sebastian. The car was very nice.

They went on an outing to the waterpark with a pool.

The mommy bought balloons and two bicycles.

Then they went to buy popcorn and the went to the house of balloons.

They were given hearts and more popcorn.

Then they went flying and flying to the sky and over the city. They were happy forever!

The End.

Luka, Mommy is so proud of you and I hope everyone enjoys your one-of-a-kind book as much as I did. I love you!