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Archive for February, 2009

Injuries of the week #1

This may or may not become a series…depends on if the trend continues!
Jackson busted his lip 2 nights ago  w

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(evidently he needed his nose wiped before his photo shoot)

Then while I was at the Embassy health fair today and he was with the babysitter he got a cut on his cheek from falling into a drawer.

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I came home to find him with this big patch of white cream…I thought maybe he had gotten into his diaper cream but Isnely told me he got a huge gash so she thought cream might be a good remedy. So odd.

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sin crema

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“Mom. STOP taking my picture!!!! Don’t you have anything better to do?!”

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19 months old

We are officially beyond the baby days…Jackson is a toddler!!!   sniff  sniff

It is amazing to watch him learn and grow but it goes WAY TOO FAST!

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Always living on the edge!

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Ready for “school” with his snack bag ready!

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looking quite calm and serious! he is actually VERY active and quite the comic!

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Jackson is loving reading these days! He gets these magazine’s from Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Ryan each month. Their is a story each month about a family in the back of the book. During the election one arrived and featured an African American family.  We taught Jackson that the mom’s name is Oprah and the boys name  is Obama.  A few weeks ago he saw the yahoo homepage and there was an African American basketball players picture. Jackson pointed and yelled “Bama!!”.  Not sure if that is good or bad.

It has been a fun 19 months!! Not boring to say the least!

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Small world

All of you that keep up with our blog well know about Jackson’s cancer scare last May. Thousands of people prayed for Jackson. And for us. God was so gracious to save our little boy! Anyhow, my dear friend Annie forwarded me an email from her friend that had been praying for Jackson. She was recently on vacation on Captiva Island and met an interesting couple. The woman was a pediatric oncologist surgeon and her husband was a former player for the 49ers. After Annie’s friend shared the amazing story of Jackson (since she knew the surgeon might be interested) the surgeon told her that she in fact was Jackson’s surgeon. Wow!!! She  remembered Jackson because his case had been so rare. She is one of about 100 specialists in the world in rhabdomyosarcoma. If you ever need someone to operate on your child with a tumor call this lady! She is the best.

Because we live abroad the “small world concept” doesn’t always amaze me like it does others….until now. Wow.

We also wanted to share an article my dad wrote after the time at MD Anderson. It was published recently in an online magazine for the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  Here is the story.

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It’s been a while since I (Seth) have posted, mainly because so much of my Colombian stories are work-related, and probably shouldn’t be shared.  But I do have a few quick stories from the past month or so that I thought I’d share.

We were watching American Idol through our slingbox last week and right after the show was over it went into a new show (at least for us) called Lie to Me.  We were slightly intrigued because the commercials were talking about a murder at a diplomat’s wedding and something to do with an ambassador.  (Since we’ve been to a diplomat’s wedding, we quickly realized that the story was overdramatized.)  Anyway, the opening scene showed a hispanic man shooting another one in the chest.  Then in the corner the location of the murder popped up.  Cali, Columbia.  The only thing is that Colombia isn’t spelled Columbia.  It’s a common mistake, but it was especially embarrassing we thought because here is a show on Fox and they don’t know how to spell the name of the country.  I told my co-workers the next day, and we all got a good laught out of it.

The nice thing about living in Colombia is Valentine’s Day.  Mainly because the “holiday” hasn’t caught on here yet.  I remember last year we were driving to a restaurant for VD and at the stoplight there was a guy selling roses.  I bought some for Kristen thinking I was being all romantic.  And then I told Kristen how cool I thought it was that they actually were selling roses on VD.  Then Kristen reminded me that they always sell roses at stoplights and it had nothing to do with VD.  Which brings me to why VD is nice in Colombia.  One, it’s super easy to get a reservation for VD since no one else is wanting one.  Two, roses are super cheap.  On any given day, you can get a dozen for like 3 bucks.  And Kristen said she’s seen a truck that drives around selling 2 dozen for 75 cents!!!  Remember, all the flowers you buy from your local florist come from Colombia.  Three, there are no Hallmark cards in Colombia, so you don’t get ripped off buying those.  Instead, you can write something on your own…from the heart.

The traffic here can be horrendous.  The other day we were driving 3 miles each way.  It took us 45 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to get back.  Unbelievable.  They’ve tried reducing some of the traffic by institutuing “pico y placa” which means that if your license plate ends in a certain digit, you can’t drive on that day.  Up until a month ago, “pico y placa” was just from 6-9 AM and 4-7 PM.  But they are doing major construction around town starting in a couple of weeks, so “pico y placa” is now extended to 6 AM until 8 PM.  Thankfully as diplomats with diplomatic license plates, we aren’t affected.  But I will say, we haven’t seen a dramatic decrease in traffic despite these new rules.

A few weeks ago, a bomb went off at a Blockbuster about 7 or 8 blocks from our house.  We have friends who live about 1/2 block from the explosion.  And my boss was at that exact Blockbuster only 45 minutes before.  Thankfully, no Americans were hurt, although 2 people did die.  Needless to say, things were quite tense around here for several days following the explosion.  The next night, Kristen and I heard three explosions, and immediately called the embassy.  Turns out they were only fireworks.  Which led us to think that fireworks should be banned for at least 48 hours after a bomb goes off.

And the biggest highlight of all.  McDonald’s is looking at building a restaurant at the embassy in the coming months.  I am quite pumped, although Kristen has said I’m going to have a monthly quota on Big Macs.  Before we got married, I average meat on a bun at least 3 times a week (Justin can attest to that).  We are now down to about once a month.  McDonald’s won’t be as good as Whataburger coming, but with only about 7 months remaining, it’ll suffice.

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Cracking us up

Jackson, as usual, is keeping life interesting these days! He is imitating everything we say which is really fun but also makes us more aware of how important it is to protect him from things we don’t want him to hear or say. His words for “sit” and “truck” resemble some not so nice words. Our favorite word that he just learned is “birthday”. We got to call Seth on his birthday at work and Jackson could tell him happy birthday!

Here is a little video we made of him parroting Seth. These are a few of his words. I wish I could set up a video to get a day in the life of him talking because he surprises us with every new word!

This past weekend when we got to the finca we went to get settled in our room. Jackson was exploring…mainly checking out any cords and plugs in the room to make sure everything was in hand’s reach. After a few minutes of checking out the room Jackson started shrieking “Jesus”.  Seth and I were both busy and didn’t look up until he said it about 5 times. (You have to understand that he says everything 10 times at this stage…on average we respond somewhere between the 1st time and the 5th time :)) When we finally looked up we saw that Jackson had spotted an old Catholic rosary-type thing on the wall with Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.  He has learned who Jesus is through his little cartoon looking Bible and when we look at nativities but I thought it was crazy that he knew instantly that it was Jesus. From then on every time we went up the stairs to our room he would say “Jesus!”

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B-DAY, V-day and the Finca!

Seth turned the BIG 30 on Friday! We headed out of town to the finca with some friends for the weekend and celebrated there! We didn’t take many pictures of the birthday festivities but have a few.

Jackson and I are so thankful for Seth! He is such a loving father and husband! He is the most wonderful friend and I really cannot imagine living life without him!  My friends keep warning me that turning 30 can bring on an early mid-life crisis. So far Seth is his normal cool, calm and collected self! Maybe just a little bit sassier than he was a few years ago!

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We celebrated Seth’s birthday a little early (since we were going to be out of town) last week by going to dinner at an Argentinian Steak house

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We had a wonderful dinner with grilled beef tenderloin, etc and our friends Nicholas and Kima brought desserts from a wonderful bakery!

Jackson had a great time at the finca this time! He did last time too but was old enough now to really enjoy it!

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snacking on the porch, EARLY in the morning!

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a little grumpy on our hike

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Ben and Katie, our fellow travelers

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All geared up!

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Valentine’s cookies!

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Reading on the way home!

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Vent blog

So like living anywhere there are good days and bad days. There are days when I love that Colombia has no seasons and days when I need a new spring day. Just like what many of you experience wherever you are. There are a couple things about this place that I will never adjust to…

the honesty policy here just does not exist!!! You are told what you want to hear! A promise is a hopeful thought that something might occur.  It is perfectly acceptable to say you are going to do something and never follow through. Thus the phrase “que pena” like “my bad”. I was a bit overambitious over the past month and scheduled for furniture delivery, rug cleaning and 5 interviews with maids. If I had been wise I would have scheduled 1 of these numberous things so that I would not have the constant reminder that things do not work on a time system here.   We attempted to hire 2 different maids,  neither showed up on their start date. There was no confusion with time, they just didn’t feel like calling when they decided they didn’t want to work. Our carpet guy for 3 weeks now has not shown up. He showed up yesterday 2 hours late. When I asked what happened he said “oh Senora, que pena. The traffic was a little bad”.

Kids are constantly sick here. Jackson has had congestion since we got back from the US over 6 weeks ago. If he hasn’t been totally sick he has had a constant runny nose. Yesterday I noticed he kind of had faint black eyes, by this  morning he looked like he had been in a lively fist fight! The doctor said this is perfectly common when infection festers quietly and then gets trapped! We finally have an antibiotic. It is not unusual when someone gets pneumonia here for us to say “you have a Bogota cold”.  The “common cold” is just not so common to us. The altitude and pollution just make things horrible for health!

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A praise after venting….Most of you know that Sonia our previous maid decided to stay home with her baby. After our new helper didn’t show up for her first day yesterday Seth had to come home so I could work with my patients. We had already interviewed 5 people and experienced another no show so I was pretty upset with another no-show.  I called another maid to come for an interview last night and she miraculously was able to start this morning.  In her interview she said she was happy to do whatever because first and foremost she was serving the Lord.  So, I believe she is a Christian which is a rare find here. She will be Jackson’s caretaker when I am working which is why it is so critical that she be good! She is on a 1 month trial so we will keep you posted . We are so thankful something worked out after much stress!

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Sonia brought Santiago for the day on Friday while she helped do her final day. Jackson and Santiago “helped” . Santiago is wrapped up in true Colombian fashion…they are heading outside but he was dressed like this in our house all day! Poor little guy!

My conclusion after the past week here is that I can’t wait for our move to DC in Sept!! I am trying to stay plugged in but with each honking horn, puff of pollution and no-show appt I am having an increasing excitement for the US! We will miss Colombia but at this point we have had our fill!

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