Monday, November 29, 2010

it was a whopper...

Last Night
3:00 AM Cooper wakes up and will not go to sleep.  Marco reaches over, grabs my hand and touches his forehead with it.  He’s burning up.  I try to put Cooper to sleep for a few more minutes, but he’s just not having it.  I put him back in bed and go look for the Tylenol and a thermometer.  Can’t find either, so the digital meat thermometer and the Tylenol PM will have to do.  While I’m looking for these items in the kitchen I hear Cooper unload in the bedroom.  I go back to the bedroom…. With the meat thermometer Marco’s got a temp of 101 degrees; who knows how accurate that is; two Tylenol PM and he’s set.  Take Cooper to the living room to change his diaper.  BLOWOUT.  Change diaper, new PJ’s on, now to get him to sleep.  I hear Maria start to cry in the bedroom.  She’s been coughing for a while and it finally woke her up.  I go in there and tell her I’ll get her some medicine as soon as Cooper is asleep.   I get Cooper to sleep and Maria’s been quiet for a while.  I go check on her, her blanket is off, I go to pull it up and she’s not asleep.  I get her medicine and then we’re all in bed.  Maria starts to cry again, she wants to cuddle.  So we go and cuddle on the couch for a little bit.  She wants a bottle of milk, ok.  I put her back in bed.  She sleeps for 2 ½ hours and then is up for the day… woohoo.   To top everything off it’s Monday morning and we haven’t had water since Saturday around 3pm.  Cooper’s got diarrhea (teeth coming in) and we’re trying to potty train Maria….


-The water came back on at 1:00pm for two hours…. Just long enough for us to get showered and some clothes washed.

-The next day I started getting sick…. A nasty little digestive bug.  I made it a whole month without getting anything.  This thing hit hard, we went to the doctor (who treats by signs and symptoms because they don’t have the testing supplies available) and he gave me some medicine which put me out of commission for 2 days, but I’m all better now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today is Thanksgiving.
This is probably my most favorite holiday, and not just because of all of the delicious food.  
Thanksgiving weekend has always been a full weekend.  It is the beginning of the "holiday season".  Our family feasts, makes chocolates, decorates for Christmas, and occasionally participate in Black Friday.

This season is different.  Not only am I thousands of miles from where I would normally celebrate....
but I'm also in a place that doesn't celebrate this holiday,
without an oven to cook a turkey in,
without a fridge to store the leftovers, 
without a store that has supplies to make chocolates,
without the existence of Black Friday,
without any decorations to adorn our humble abode....

I am with my wonderful husband and amazing children....
we have a roof over our head...
we have warm places to sleep at night...
we have enough food to keep our bellies full....
we have clean water to drink....
we have warm showers...
we have sunny warm weather...
we have electricity....

Even though we have so much less than we used to have, we still have so much....
and for everything (things we have and things we don't), I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My older brother was talking to my parents this morning and said that we should buy a few washing machines and open a laundromat.  This isn't the first time we've received this suggestion.  I think it's a great idea.... there are few things we have to figure out before we could do this.
We don't exactly have a lot of space here and I don't exactly want to bust open my living room to put in the necessary plumbing.
Water is rationed here.  6 out of 7 days the water will be turned off mid-afternoon and turned back on in the morning (between 5 & 6).  We have a large bucket in the shower that we fill up every morning for use when the water is off.... but for a laundromat we would need a REALLY BIG bucket.  It would also be nice to have a filtering system so that we could use the water multiple times, but I highly doubt that that could be found here.
Hot water
Do we even make this available?  
Do we even make these available?
Items per load
Washing machines are not exactly a popular item here.  Laundry is done by hand, either by yourself, or you pay someone to do it.  So I don't think how much you put in a washing machine is common knowledge.  So it would probably have to be a give-us-your-dirty-laundry-and-we'll-give-you-the-clean-stuff kind of a service.

This probably won't happen.... at least not this first time down here.... but it is a good idea and we'll keep it around for a later date.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

where are we???

A little over a week ago our internet decided to quit working. We’ve been trying to get it fixed, but nobody seems to have any answers. So, here I sit at an “internet café” trying to get all the things I need to get done on the internet done in a very limited amount of time because two small children and an internet café are not a prime combination.

I’ve been keeping a journal of sorts, so I could remember things that I wanted to blog about. So I will change the dates of the blog posts so that they look like they were actually posted on the day that the things actually occurred.

Ok... so the internet is not so fast so there won't be any pictures right now.... hopefully I will be able to go back and add them later.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Backyard

 Today we spent the morning working outside in the yard… actually I worked in the yard, and Marco finished putting together Maria’s bed. We’re going to have a little sitting area on one side of our backdoor and on the other side there will be a garden box. I still have to decide what I want to plant. I’m going to try taking seeds from fruits & veggies and planting them. (I’d love it if I could get my hand on a yellow tomato). We’ll see how it goes.

While Marco and I work, Cooper is inside asleep for his morning nap and Maria is playing. I think her favorite place to play in the backyard is in laundry washing area. She loves all that water. A close second would be the rocks, but even better than the water and the rocks is the combination of the two… putting rocks in the water. Jorge, Marco’s brother, assures me that it is ok.

A lady comes to do our laundry every Sunday. She washes it and hangs it on the lines. Today ( Monday) it was ready to come inside by mid-morning. Last week it rained during the night so it took a little longer to dry. Marco’s parents have a wood stove that they use for cooking (I’ll get a picture of it sometime), and since our laundry was out longer last week some of it smelled like smoke… not exactly my favorite thing. I was really missing dryer sheets & fresh (even if it is chemically induced) laundry. The lady charges 15 lempiras for every 12 items. This week our grand total was 150 lempiras, last week it was only 90. I think the fact that both Cooper & Maria decided to wet thru numerous pairs of pants may have had something to do with it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


In order for Marco and I to eat our meals with any semblance of peace we have developed a routine of sorts. He and I will sit down to eat while Maria is still playing. I’ll hold Cooper until Marco finishes eating and then he’ll take Cooper and I’ll go get Maria and sit her on my lap so she’ll eat (which means that I don’t get to eat without a child on my lap, but at least no children are screaming!!) Today at lunch Marco finished up and took Cooper while I fed Maria. He had Cooper for all of 5 minutes before Cooper had fallen asleep in his arms. I had Maria on my lap and she was eating her lunch, the next thing I know she cuddles up next to me and falls asleep!! Easiest time putting the kids to bed for naps yet!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today we played tourists. We took the camera out and went for a walk thru the town.
Here is Marco with Maria leaving our house.
Between our house and the center of town they have built a “hammock” or covered suspension bridge.
It’s pretty cool. It’s got some nice views.
We walked by the park.
Here’s Cooper and I.
We also walked by the Catholic Church, it was closed so we couldn’t go inside.
Then we went into the building across the street from the backside of the church. Marco used to play soccer here when he was a kid…. It didn’t have a roof back then.
Then we went upstairs to the municipality offices and took some pictures from up there.
There are lots of little shops everywhere, mostly selling food items. (There is no “real” grocery store here where you can wander around and look for what you want. Everything is behind a counter and you have to ask for it…. Which makes things a little more difficult. So far I have not been able to find butter, brown sugar, cream, hamburger, molasses, maple extract, and many types of cereal (all they have are fruit loops & corn flakes). I’m hoping that it is a small town thing and that when we go into Santa Rosa in a week or two that I’ll be able to find things there.)
We ended our walk by taking the stairs home. They are kind of an adventure in themselves. A little steep and it seems like every stair has a different height.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kid Update

Maria is growing up. She doesn’t like to listen so much…. I think it’s a two year old thing. It’s difficult to get her to sit in one place long enough to get her to eat. She is easily distracted by other kids (especially at dinner time). She loves to play in the backyard in the dirt & water. She loves throwing rocks. She calls Marco’s brother Jorge “My Jorge” and loves playing with him. She LOVES other little kids, and throws fits when they leave. She likes to sleep on Daddy’s bed. She is NOT eating all of her food groups right now… (when we get a fridge things will greatly improve) so she gets a dinosaur vitamin at night. She still uses a bottle; it helps her to wind down so I’m OK with it. She is still in diapers, but that will hopefully successfully change in the next week or two.. She likes to watch Baby Einstein’s Nighttime Words while eating her breakfast. She still loves to clean and will try to take the broom away from you while you are cleaning. She’s feeling a little under the weather today, runny nose, cough, hoarse voice; I hope she feels better soon.

Cooper is also growing up. He is sitting like a champ and only falls over if something is just a little too far out of his reach to the side. He’s learning about object permanence and expressing his desire for certain things. He wants to eat my food. So far he’s tried rice, cooked carrots, eggs, potatoes, and mashed beans. He’s enjoyed them all. I am his favorite person. He wants to be held all the time, which is difficult because I can’t get everything done, but I don’t want to put him down because he’ll fuss if he’s lying down and I’m afraid that if I sit him up he’ll fall over and our floor here isn’t exactly soft. He still likes having his diaper changed. He also isn’t feeling great right now…. He’s got some major snot coming out of his nose. He’s also got a little cough going on. (*update- We got a walker, which he LOVES. He scoots around like nobody’s business)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Maria's Bed

I guess our sleeping arrangements aren’t working out so well. Last night Maria somehow managed to wiggle herself between the armrest of the chair and the end of the bed (which we block off with pillows) and then proceeded to fall on to the concrete floor. Not exactly cool.

This led to the four of us sleeping on our bed, which doesn’t seem so bad… except when you remember that Maria wiggles. so. much. Marco ended up sleeping across the foot of the bed, Cooper and I were diagonal, and Maria was all over the place.

Supply and demand is a pretty interesting thing. Here in this small town in Honduras the demand for cribs is not high. There are plenty of babies and small children, but they sleep with their parents. But this could also be because supply is not high. We found someone selling a used crib. They want 3000 lempira’s for it. Now with the exchange rate it comes out to approximately 158 US dollars. For the US that is a pretty high price for a used crib and for here it’s pretty astronomical… more than a lot of people’s monthly rent.

So, this afternoon we went to town in a friend’s truck and picked up a mattress for Maria and Marco is currently building her a bed. I’m hoping it’s low enough where she can get in and out of it herself, but that it has sides tall enough so that my little wiggle worm will not fall out.

*The bed is now finished. It took a LONG time to get all the materials together. There isn’t exactly a lumber store here. It took almost a week, but now Maria is sleeping all comfy-cozy in her new big girl bed!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Marco showed me the night skies tonight. A.MAZ.ING. So incredibly beautiful. I love being in the middle of nowhere, free from all the ambient light. So. Many. Stars. They seem so much brighter here, and since we’re still in the same hemisphere I could see a lot of the same constellations.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Backyard Tour

Today I ate the “unripe” fruit of a Cacao Tree. It tasted like a melon. Apparently they’re like that and you have to wait until it’s hard before you can make chocolate out of it.

Marco’s brother took me on a detailed tour of the backyard. He showed me the avocado tree, a young papaya tree, sweet limes, mandarin limes, mandarin orange, a tree that you use the leaves to make tea, ginger, and a whole bunch of miscellaneous herbs.

(Mom, remember that octopus looking thing that Marco would get in the jar from the Hispanic market…. Yeah, they have a tree that grows that stuff here too.)

Apples are a little expensive here. Right now you can get an apple for 12 lempiras, around Christmas time the price rises to about 16 lempiras per apple. This is a LOT considering there was a lady walking up the street the other day selling oranges 3 per lempira. They were really good oranges for making juice. We actually took the juice and blended them up in the blender with bananas for a nice fruity drink.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Honduran House

Today it was chilly.  So chilly, in fact, that I was wishing for my slippers that are in a box 4,000 miles away, that and a cup of hot chocolate... I think I'll have to just settle for some socks.

Cooper has been pretty fussy the past few days.  I don't know if it is because of all the traveling or the new location & faces, or teething.  Today he is feeling so much better.  Back to his happy giggling baby self and I am so happy.  He's still a little clingy, but getting better.

Ok. Now for the tour of the house.... but first, a few things to keep in mind.
-There are no chain stores here.... definitely NO Walmarts.
-As far as I can tell (so far) there are is a VERY limited amount of stores that you can buy things above and beyond food & clothing.
-Craigslist does not exist here.  People use things until there is no use left in them.
-I'm not completely organized yet.  Not everything has a place so things won't look as neat and tidy as I want them to be.
-We are happy.  We may not have MANY things, but we are making due with what we do have.

Here is an exterior shot.  Our place is the tan colored one (right) and Marco's parents live in the blue one.  Yes the road is not paved, and yes there is unfortunately garbage here and there.  They do have a truck that comes by once a week to pick up garbage that residents leave by the front door, but because we live right across the street from the open air market a lot of people throw their trash on the ground and the city hasn't gotten around to picking it up yet... although I'm tempted to do just the road in front of our house....

This is our living room from the front door.... actually I re-arranged the furniture today so it's a little different.  The living room is about 9x9.  At night it is the best lit room out of the whole house...  the other rooms either don't have lights (yet), have dim lights, or have no electricity (yet).
Here is another view of the living room.  I actually really like the doors here.... they are wide (just over 3 feet) old wood doors.  I want to get some sandpaper and stain and make them beautiful again.
Here is the dining room/ kitchen.  As you can tell there isn't a lot there yet.  No fridge, no stove, no sink, no counters, no cabinets, no table... but it's all good.  This is the view from the living room towards the bedroom.
This is the dining room/kitchen from the bedroom towards the living room. Where the suitcase is on the floor... that is the dining part of the room.  This side of the arch is the kitchen area... or proposed kitchen area.  The suitcase we have used a few times as a crib for Cooper.  It's in the dining room because that is a room that currently has no lights or windows, therefore it is the darkest.
This is the bathroom.  I made the bathroom caddy hanging on the door for our old place due to limited countertop storage space.... It comes in really handy here. 

Here is the shower head that converts the cold water into warm.... it is so nice.  I think well worth it.
Here is our bedroom from the door that leads into the kitchen.  This part of the house is new and doesn't have any electricity yet.  Something with the guy that built it did something funky so we've got to get that figured out.  Cooper was asleep on the bed when I took the pictures....

This is the view from the opposite corner.  We've got GREAT daylight in this room.  I love it.  Again it's got one of those great wood doors.  At night we push the love seat up against the end of the bed and voila, Maria has a bed.

Ok, so two pictures got deleted somehow and I don't feel like going thru all the time and effort that it takes to upload pictures with this internet again.... so just breif descriptions:
The bathroom in the new addition.... currently we are using it as a storage area.  Each suitcase has different items... one has extra kids clothes, another socks, another Cooper's food, and another extra medicine/vitamins.
The 3 foot space.... this was an area left empty by the contractor between the old building and the new addition.... not sure why he left it that way, so finishing it was one of the projects on Marco's to do list.  It's lovely and finished now and has a hook up for a washing machine if we ever decide to get one.  Right now it is a storage space for Marco's tools.

There you go.... a tour of our little honduran house.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Second Full Day in Honduras

 Today was the second full day here... 

Hot water for showers is not a normal thing here.  So yesterday I had my shower Honduran style... cold.  I handled it... barely. But I thought it would be to cruel to subject the kids to cold showers.  So, yesterday afternoon we got a funky shower head that heats the water.   I'll have to take a picture of it sometime.... when I give the household tour.

Marco's place in Honduras was a living room, bedroom and bathroom.  We added on a bedroom & bathroom to the back.  Here is a picture of the addition.  The two windows on the left are into the bathroom, and the door and the large window are into the bedroom area.  When they were putting the roof on Marco got them to put hooks so one day there will be hanging baskets there with some pretty flowers.  We will also get stairs and little raised gardens where I can plant flowers or veggies.  There are avocado, mango, and lemon (mandarin lemon) trees in the backyard.
 Here is Maria and a little neighbor boy.  They played together all day yesterday.  She had so much fun running and jumping with him.  (But I'm not sure that they'll play a lot together.... his parents think it's funny to teach him dirty words, and I don't want Maria to say those things.)

 This morning we woke up to rain.  Here is the rain pouring of a little shed that Marco's parents have in the backyard.  The air is fresher... less humid today than it was yesterday.  It almost feels like Washington.
 We set up Maria and Cooper in their chairs in front of the open door so they could watch the rain....Maria even put her rain boots on over her PJ's.
 This is two pictures put together..... to show a panoramic view of what we see from our back yard.... you can't see too much because it was raining, but it's a nice view.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hello Honduras

After about a month of getting things together with an incredible amount of help from my dear mother....
packing boxes, packing suitcases, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, figuring out if I would really need that in Honduras or if I could make do without for the first 6 months.

We departed to Honduras Monday morning...
We received much needed help from my Dad on the first leg...
Transporting 7 pieces of luggage, 2 backpacks, a diaper bag, a purse, 2 car seats, & a stroller.....

Then finding out that the airport would NOT check our bags thru to Honduras, and then find out that they would NOT keep them in the airport overnight & expected us to haul ALL of it to the hotel and back.  And then they were saying that we would have to pay to check the luggage twice (the airline we flew only allowed ONE free bag for this international destination) ....  Thankfully we ran into a VERY VERY nice gentleman who not only kept our bags in unclaimed luggage (thank you) he also forwarded them onto our final destination (THANK YOU!!)  
Dad was great... helped keep the kids calm,  I even got to read a couple of chapters in my book.
Dad even planned his morning flight returning to Seattle to go after we left so that he could help us get settled on the second leg.  They didn't let him on the plane, but it was great having him there so we could tag-team the kids (and luggage)  Maria LOVED the escalators, elevators, and moving walkways.

Upon arriving in Honduras we had some amazing people help us...people helped me get off the plane, pack up the stroller (all this time Maria was asleep...  I put her in the baby carrier so she would sleep as long as she could.... nobody likes a cranky toddler) others helped me all the way down to customs, thru to baggage claim and then on thru scanning the bags and over to where Marco could finally help.

I met some of Marco's family.  They were all so nice and welcoming.  I'm glad I married into such a nice family.  I met most of his immediate family last night (I still have two sisters to meet) and they are all so great.  Maria has taken to her Tio Jorge.

Flying into Honduras gave me some beautiful sights.  We landed in San Pedro Sula and flew over the ocean to get there.  I saw some really pretty reefs which were followed by lush green mountains covered in trees.... it was really quite beautiful..... a tropical paradise.  Driving thru San Pedro Sula to our final destination (about 4 hours away) was interesting.  I did expect most of what I saw....although I do have to admit there is more poverty than I thought there would be.  There were lots of little metal outbuildings (shacks) where people lived.  I wasn't quite prepared for the quantity that I saw.  The roads are.... different.  Sometimes they have lines, sometimes they don't.  Lots of times there are pot holes and people swerve to miss them.  The main highways are one lane each way.... the lanes are wider than average ones in the U.S.   It could potentially be 3 lanes if it had lines.  People pass like crazy.  I only had to close my eyes once, which I thought was good considering the number of times we passed cars and I'm not a big fan of passing. 

Because we are so much closer to the equator the sun is in the sky for roughly 12 hours.  It sets around 5:30pm.  Right now I'm not exactly a fan of that, but we'll see how it goes. 

I am enjoying our little place down here so far, there has been lots of unpacking and organizing going on.  I will take pictures and post them soon.