She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME
And up she grew so tall,
She ate from a plate called TASTE ME
And down she shrank so small.
And so she changed, while other folks
Never tried nothin’ at all.
It’s funny how time passes. I look at the clock and an hour passes in what seems like seconds, at other times five minutes feels like an eternity. How is Gus two already?!
Oh! The dogs are barking. Is someone here? Wait, it’s 2 in the morning, I hope no one’s here. I hope they aren’t chasing the cats. Should I go outside and check?
Is that someone looking through the window? Nope, just my plant.
I wonder if Gus is cold?
These are the thoughts and conversations I’m having with myself while I’m up in the middle of the night with a certain baby. Who hates to sleep. I may be loosing my mind. I wonder how long someone can keep it together running on so little sleep, because I don’t think I’ve slept an entire night since Gus was born nearly 2 years ago. And I’m positive I’ve had, at the most, 4 hours of consecutive sleep at a time since Caroline was born 7 months ago. Lately (like for the past month) 2 hours at a time is the norm. And this girl likes to party. We have little parties a few times a week in the middle of the night. She will decide that rolling around like a mad women is much more entertaining than sleeping. Because her crib is too small for such shenanigans, she prefers my bed. It’s my job, apparently, to make sure she doesn’t dive off the bed or suffocate herself. Usually these parties last about an hour or so, that’s about the time she tires herself out and we are allowed to go back to sleep.
Good thing she is so darn cute
How can something that feels so rewarding, be so boring, exhausting, and infuriating all at the same time? Hello parenthood, I hate you and I love you. But I’d love you even more IF YOU WOULD JUST LET ME SLEEP.
So it’s been awhile since we last spoke, I’ve been trying to keep everyone alive, while also not succumbing to madness from sleep deprivation. Priorities.
We ended August saying goodbye to Sam and Amy. They became our family, and the moment they left their presence was missed. We were back to teaching the ways of the farm to new volunteers every couple weeks, I had to adjust to being able to take care of Gus full time. Amy and Gus went on adventures every morning while I took care of Caroline and worked on my end of the business. So many adjustments. Sam knew the ins and outs of the butcher business, and I don’t think we will have anyone cut bacon better than he did. Frankly, life seemed a little empty there for awhile. You can follow their adventures on instagram at karmathekombi. I know they will go far, and I can’t wait to watch.
We’ve had some really interesting and great volunteers come through in the last couple months. Andres and Amy from the U.S. And England. Cami and Dennis, a French couple. Tim from New Zealand, Elaine and J.J. from Ireland (Elaine could be my best friend if only she accepted Tuna in to her life) Sam from the U.S. and Adrienne and Lawrence from Canada.
Shawn and Gus got to go to the United States for a couple weeks. I was very jealous, and it was very quiet around the house. The quiet was especially felt in the mornings and evenings. No one dancing on the couch, asking to go for a walk or play “choo choos.” (And that’s just Shawn) I thought the quiet would be nice, it wasn’t. I realized how wonderfully full my life is. Isn’t there a saying about this? “You don’t realize what you’ve got till it’s gone,” or “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” All those apply.
They got to spend time with Grandma Betty, Grandma Jesse, and Gus got to hang out with all of his cousins, Aunts and Uncles, and of course his Nana and Papa.
Isn’t this how everyone travels?
Go Gus! Proud Mommy over here.
Something very cool happened while they were there. I am apart of a Mommy Group on Facebook. We all have babies the same age as Caroline, well they put together a care package for me that Shawn’s mom picked up. It really was such a cool and amazing thing. All these ladies I’ve never met in person pull together and help each other out. So much love and support, I was honored.
While they were gone our good friend Washington helped the volunteers harvest honey from the hives. So far its been a great year for honey, the bees have been busy. The volunteers who helped learned a lot and Washington really enjoys teaching. My house smelled amazing too.
Photo credit to Amy (of Amy and Andres) some honeycombs from one of our hives
We think it was such a successful honey year because we had some late rains at the beginning of the “dry season.” Ecuador has two seasons, Rainy Season (during the North American Winter) and Dry Season (North American Summer). The rains encouraged the Eucalyptus trees, which are abundant here and from which the bees get 99% of their honey, to bloom late.
Big Momma had some heartbreaking news (our big sow). We thought she was pregnant, but as the time for her to give birth came and went we realized something was wrong. Dany (our vet) came out, turns out it was a phantom pregnancy. We just can’t catch a break these days. Everything else on the farm is trucking along. We have 10 “piglets” running around. Everybody had their pastures moved around some, and the rainy season has begun which is always a refreshing change.
Caroline has started to eat solid food, sits up by herself for the most part, and is starting to be mobile. I fear crawling is only about a month away. She loves her walker and bouncer, and really likes running over her brother. From his screams you would think it was a train running over him, and he was tied to the tracks because he doesn’t get out of the way. She does this adorable thumb sucking thing too.
Gus is quite the jabber mouth, he adds more words to his vocabulary every day, and practices them constantly. We’ve started preparing him for potty training, which has also added some great words to his repertoire. He loves trains, and trucks, and spotting airplanes flying overhead. He will help you out doing anything you ask him to. Wanna dance? Just turn on some music and he’s there ready to bust a move. He can jump, pretend to be a frog or bear. You’ll know if a dog or cow is within your vicinity as he promptly moos or barks when one is near. There are quite a few cows and dogs on our drive to town.
Helping with lunch
Finger painting fun
Some of my girlfriends and I are throwing a Halloween party and Gus will get to get dressed up and go trick or treating. I am not going to miss this particular tradition with my kids, and we are so lucky to have friends willing to help. I’m sure I’ll have lots of pictures to share.
The tradition of trick or treating and getting dressed up for Halloween is not something they practice here. Shortly after Halloween, on Nov. 2nd is the Day of the Dead. The indigenous bring a meal to the cemetery and have a meal with their ancestors, remembering and celebrating them. They make bread in the shape of babies and horses, and a drink called Colada Morada out of the tiny wild blueberries that come in to season this time of year.
November and December bring visitors! An old roommate and good friend is coming down in the beginning of November. I think it’s been about 3 years since we’ve seen each other. I’m ecstatic to show her around our paradise, and meet her husband for the first time.
Shawn’s family comes in December, and we are going on vacation! The Mindo cloud forest, sightseeing in Quito, and the beach for a few days, who hoo! We are using AirB&B for the first time, I’ll let you know how that experience goes, but the thought of my two children sharing a room to sleep in is already giving me anxiety. But who knows maybe Caroline will figure out this sleeping thing in the next two months and it’ll all go smoothly. (Hopes and dreams eh?)
Here’s what I’ve been reading/watching:
This fed my adoption bug – The Child I didn’t adopt
This is pretty rad, a language that’s around us all the time as it’s the native tongue of most of our neighbors, this Girl rocks out some Michael Jackson in Quechua.
Cotacachi from the air – so cool