Tuesday, August 30, 2011

bye-bye curls

It was a spur of the moment thing. Greg was napping, Brian had gone back to work after lunch, and I decided to give myself a little trim. I don’t normally cut my own hair, but it really needed it, and I figured, hey, why not? How bad could it be? But this post isn’t about my haircut - because just as I was finishing up my own hair, Greg woke up from his nap.

I have been wanting to cut Greg’s hair for a few weeks, but Brian has been very non-committal whenever I brought it up. Brian is the one who is sentimental about the soft little baby curls, and I’m the one who wants him to look neat and tidy. Which is pretty funny when I think about it – I would have expected it to be the opposite! Brian would certainly never let his hair get long!

This is curly Greg from last week.

How did I manage to keep my almost-14-month-old still long enough for a haircut all by myself? Well, I’m super mom, didn’t you know? Actually, it’s amazing what cooperation a usually-forbidden treat like an Oreo cookie will buy! Since it wasn’t really planned out, I didn’t get any photos of the haircut itself, but here is the final result:

From the side

The Stink Eye. This is Greg’s favorite look to give to people right now – especially random people who say hello to him while we’re out and about. I’m glad I caught this on camera.

Now I just hope Brian doesn’t kill me when he comes home from work and sees what I’ve done!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What a mess!

Greg has become pretty attached to his daddy lately. When he hears Brian come home from work, he runs over to the door to be held, never mind the muddy boots and greasy coveralls. In the mornings, he just wants to hang out with dad, and he’s pretty sad when the time comes to wave goodbye to daddy as he leaves for work.

This morning Greg was feeling sad after Brian left, so I decided to cheer him up by letting him make a good old fashioned mess. I had an extra kilo of rice in the pantry that I keep just for things like weighing down empty pie crusts when I’m baking. I put it in the big green Tupperware bowl and gave Greg some spoons and cups and the whole kitchen floor in which to make a mess. Needless to say he had a grand time of it, and some good practice scooping and pouring.

And, inevitably, it ended with picking up the whole bowl and pouring it right into his lap!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Medevac Pack

Like a good boy scout, a good missionary should be prepared. They call Papua New Guinea the “Land of the Unexpected,” and so it’s hard to prepare for everything. But this morning I decided that our family needed to be prepared for a medical emergency.

“Medevac” is a common word in our vocabulary here in PNG. It’s short for “medical evacuation.” Medevacs are actually fairly common. Our clinic in Ukarumpa really is wonderful, and we get great service here. But they are not equipped to handle major medical issues, and unfortunately neither are many of the hospitals in country. In short, any medical situation that would require a trip to the emergency room would qualify for a medevac. It’s just that our nearest emergency room is in Australia!

A medevac can cost anywhere from $20,000- $70,000… yikes! (That’s why we have medevac insurance!). If insurance is paying, their procedures must be followed to the letter. You are allowed to take one person with you, and only one. No exceptions. That means that if Greg was sick or injured, either Brian or I could go with him, but not both. It also means that Brian and I have needed to talk about who we would leave Greg with if the situation required that both of us needed to go. It makes me nervous as a mom to think of leaving my baby behind while I go to another country!

I’ve always intended to put together a little kit of essentials in case we ever need to pack and leave in a hurry, but have never gotten around to it. But there were two medevacs last week, and I decided that I really needed to get it done. So this morning I compiled my “medevac pack.”

What’s in it, you ask?

- Basic toiletries in airline-approved sizes

- Lists of important personal, medical and insurance information

- List of personal contacts

- Cash, both Australian dollars and PNG Kina

- Financial information (I can never remember my ATM PIN number, and Brian can never remember the passwords for our online banking, so I figured we should have it written down!)

- An itemized list for each family member of other things to pack and where they are located: clothing, medications, diapers, etc – so that if Brian and I (or someone else in the case that we aren’t able to do it ourselves) can get the essentials together quickly.

We have heard the stories of others who weren’t prepared, and when the time came to leave, they were understandably under a lot of stress, and they found the simple task of packing a bag very difficult, or they got to Australia and realized that they had forgotten important things. Hopefully the list will make it easy in an emergency to gather the things we need. And here’s hoping that we never have to use it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fun Outdoors

It’s a nice, sunny Saturday, so mom and dad took me outside to play.

I don’t like wearing hats, but mom insisted that I wear this one. It lasted about one minute.

Water is fun!

Here Ruby, smell the pretty flowers!

Ruby is a good pal. She doesn’t like it when I take her ball, but she lets me do it because I’m the baby.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

making do with scraps

As we’ve said before, there is not a lot to do in Ukarumpa in your free time. Everything shuts down at 5:00, and nothing is open on weekends here on center. It also gets dark at 6:00pm, so there is not much to do outside of the house in the evenings either.

After Greg goes to bed, Brian and I spend our time reading books, playing games, or watching movies. We’ve discovered the joy of watching TV series on dvd or that people have downloaded from the internet and mailed here (no commercials!) There is no way we could afford to download TV shows ourselves from PNG - it would cost about $30 per episode - but some kind family members have mailed us a flash drive with some new evening entertainment on it.

My new hobby this year is quilting, and it’s been an enjoyable way to spend my free time. I just started after we returned to PNG with Greg last year. There is quite a large group of ladies here who enjoy quilting, and they are a great resource for advice, fabric, and the most valuable and rare quilting commodity here – batting!

The problem with any craft hobby in Papua New Guinea is that it’s very very difficult to find the materials. For quilters, the biggest problem is fabric. It’s nearly impossible to find good cotton fabric here. So what do we do? We head to the secondhand store for a bit of recycling! Yesterday I joined some other quilters for a trip to Kainantu, where we browsed the secondhand stores for fabric. It’s kind of fun to shop for clothes that way. You don’t care about the sizes – you’re just looking at colors and patterns and the labels to find out what the fabric is made of. Here is a stack of some of the new fabrics I found yesterday to add to my stash. I’ll cut up the clothes, saving buttons and zippers for future use.

And here are a few of the projects I’ve done this year:

A baby quilt for my new nephew.

I taught myself the paper piecing technique. This is my first attempt...

…and here is a more recent one.

A scrap quilt I’ve been working on

And (I’m pretty proud of this) my first attempt at hand-quilting