Helping meet physical and spiritual needs in the communities around San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meet Scarlett

We have been enjoying our baby so much that we’ve neglected our blog or that is the hardest excuse to give us grief over.

We arrived in Antigua just two days before “Blueberry” arrived. On January 5th we picked my mom up at the airport at noon and headed to a doctor’s appointment. At this point we were two for two, we made it to this side of the country and my mom wanted to see my big pregnant belly before “Blueberry” arrived. The doctor told me I could be admitted into the hospital since I was already five centimeters dilated. This was shocking news since I had felt nothing but normal 9th month discomfort. Doc told us to head to the mall and kill some time because he was convinced it wouldn’t be long. Yikes. I was sure “Blueberry” wouldn’t come until after the due date (10th) judging by how I was feeling. From 4 until 5 Shane insisted that I keep walking to move things along after hearing for months from me how the average labor time for a first time mom is 15 hours. We keep phone calls to a minimum because Shane kept saying that, “The more people we call, the more we’ll have to call back this evening to say it was a false alarm.” At 5 I needed to sit down and get hydrated because I was starting to think the doctor was correct. Six rolled around and I NEEDED to get out of there. I felt like someone in a movie as I waddled at an incredible rate with brows furrowed and red faced towards the parking garage.

I’ll spare the details but we arrived at the hospital at 6:15 and at 8:30 we met our daughter, Scarlett Esperanza. She weighed 6 lbs and 14 ounces. We thank you for your prayers, everything went so smoothly. Not only did we get a healthy baby girl, but I had a water birth without any medical interventions, something I really wanted.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Is a Comin'

I love Christmas! I count down the days until I can decorate, listen to Christmas music, make festive treats and bundle up in warm clothes. Yes, it is necessary to bundle up here especially when you crawl into bed and your sheets feel damp. Curse the humidity. We are approaching our second Christmas in Guatemala. Last year I would have hopped on a plane MT bound in a heart beat if I won free tickets, but this year we would have to turn down the tickets (something about women delivering midflight is undesirable). Last year we went to multiple homes on Christmas Eve where we ate many tamales and enjoyed good company with friends. The hospitality we experienced last year challenged us in how we will be celebrating future holidays. So often it's easy to be selfish with our holidays and we want to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible, which means we surround ourselves with family and close friends. We had only been here (our current city) for four months and close friendships don't form overnight, so it would have been easy for us to wish we were somewhere other than where God had us. Is there anyone you can think of who may want to celebrate with your fam' this year?
We postponed leaving for the Capital (where I'll deliver) until after Christmas so we can enjoy it with friends again. God has given us some amazing friendships this last year that we are incredibly thankful for. Trust me when I say that these friendships are from God because with very different cultures, styles of humor, and our limited vocabulary it hasn't always been easy. God is good!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mold Madness

After only one month of disuse look what we found in the bottom of the closet!
It is really damp this time of year and we are battling mold big time. We even blow dry our sheets each night before crawling into bed because they feel so wet and clammy. My hair dryer is also used to dry our clothes each morning because they never get completely no matter how long they hang for. Our pillows smell terrible and we just bought new ones in September, there’s nothin’ like laying your head down on a bag of mildew after a long day of work. These are some of the unfortunate things about humidity but on the bright side my skin feels o-so-smooth and perhaps it will help prevent stretch marks over the last 9 weeks of pregnancy. I never need to use lotion or chapstick but rather I powder my feet with gold bond each morning before I slip on a pair of stinky sneakers. Yes, our tennis shoes permanently reek since they are always cycling between wet or just damp.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Big SEX Question

In the states, people have all sorts of theories for guessing the gender of the baby while those stubborn, old fashioned couples choose not to have the answer revealed on an ultrasound screen. Here are a few I´ve heard over the years.

carrying high = girl (x)
carrying low = boy ( )

Lots of morning sickness = girl ( )
Less = boy (x)

fast heart beat = girl ( )
slower = boy (x)

craving sweets = girl ( )
craving salty and sour = boy (x)

EVERYONE here thinks I´m having a boy for a few of their own

Mom´s that gain weight everywhere = girl ( )
Just a basketball / all belly = boy (x)

Mom´s face generally looks worried and stressed = girl ( )
Mom looks relaxed and happy = boy ( x)

Lots of kicking and movement = boy (x)
Less movement = girl ( )

This next one is my favorite!

A rounded, beautiful belly = girl (x)- Shane's pick
Pointed and not very pretty = boy (x)- Guatemalan's pick

I figure the Guatemalans have more kids than Americans, so as far fetched as some of these sound I´ll assume it´s a boy until proven differently. Besides, I´ve been told many times that my belly is pointed and not pretty like it would be if it were a girl so they better be right or I´ll just be offended that my pregnant belly is unattractive regardless of the gender.

So what do you think?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Montana Teams

Since we arrived back home from Montana, much of our time has been spent with short-term teams from Montana, so I thought I would give an overview of what they did. Who knows, it may spark someone’s interest for next summer?

The first team was from the church, SHEC, in Missoula and many of the team members had never been on a missions trip before. They came to show Christ’s love through work on a classroom in the community of Satexa and through building relationships with the people. With the kids, they sang, pushed them in wheel barrels, had water balloon fights, and led a vacation Bible school on the book of Jonah. The team visited homes and community gardens, encouraging and affirming parents in their hard work of raising kids. They worked alongside the community men to move a mountain of dirt for where the next classroom will be built.
Overall, in their activities the team formed a strong bond with Satexa through the sharing and showing of Christ’s love. At times some of the team expressed a little frustration with not being able to share their testimonies and the gospel due to the language barrier. But they came to understand that their role was to be the hands and feet of Christ and support our staff, who are teaching about the Bible and pointing people to Jesus on a daily basis. I think I can also speak on behalf of the team in saying that their two weeks here was mutually beneficial. The team came not only to give, but also ready to let God work in their own lives through the experience. People here are so generous and hospitable, even though they have far less material things, and there are many lessons we as Americans can learn from them (I speak out of experience). So thanks to the SHEC team, for following God’s leading to Guatemala and being His ambassadors.

One night the team came over to our house for a candlelight dinner. Kallie cooked her signature orange chicken tacos. My sister, Katie, was also part of the team. It was sure nice being able to introduce her to Guatemala and get to spend time together.

That overview was longer than intended, so you’ll have to stay tuned for Montana Team 2 later.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Countdown: 3 1/2 months

We had a crazy month and a half with 4 weeks of it spent with 2 Montana teams. We are a bit frazzled but thoroughly enjoyed our time with fellow Montanans and are glad the trips were so fruitful. Pictures and updates will be following shortly. Thanks to the teams I now have some gringo products that I just can´t live without including LOTS of brown sugar and cans of pumpkin (Thanksgiving without it is depressing).

Pray that we can find a good hospital in the capital and a doctor we can trust. Private hospitals in Guatemala have a C-section rate of 70% which is quite discouraging for me since I´m wanting to go as natural as possible. As a first time mom I already have concerns about pregnancy but then adding cultural differences and expectations to the mix has me feeling somewhat stressed. We are 5 hours from the good hospitals so pray that the baby doesn´t decide to come early or we´ll have a chaotic drive full of speed bumps and curvy roads.

We are getting more and more anxious to enter the wild world of parenting and with only 16 weeks left we won´t have to wait much longer. Just two weeks ago we got to feel the little blueberry's movement for the first time! Many have congratulated us through emails and facebook. Thanks for sharing in our excitement.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little Gringo

For all of you who don´t know.............I´M PREGNANT!!! After a great first year in Guatemala and 4 wonderful years of marriage we thought the time was right. We surprised our families with the news during our time visiting Montana this past month.

We are expecting the baby to make it´s appearance around January 12th. I'm 16 weeks along and through with morning sickness! We will travel to Guatemala City a few weeks before the due date where we can take some advanced Spanish classes as we wait for the baby to arrive. Our side of the country doesn´t have very good medical facilities or equipment so we don´t feel comfortable staying here. I know this is practically unheard of these days but we WON´T be finding out the sex. We want to be surprised. I´m thinking it´s a boy and Shane´s guessing it´s a girl so we´ll see who´s right come January. Please pray for a healthy pregnancy and smooth transition into parenting!