Yes, it’s true.  My son has forward movement.  It’s sort of an army crawl, but it’s getting the job done.  It’s terrible.  He might as well be walking down the aisle.

We are heading to Lake Kivu in a few hours for some much needed R & R.  No internet due to “technical difficulties” – I’m pretty sure every hotel in Rwanda advertises free wi-fi and then tells you they have technical difficulties upon arrival.  So here are a few pics to get you through the weekend.  Have a good weekend!

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Some crawling lessons…


7 months

Freddy turns 7 months this week.  I can’t believe how time is flying.  I brought the baby book all the way to Kigali, but I haven’t updated it.  Baby steps.

He’s learned to clap, and it’s adorable.  He loves to listen to music and dance.


Now we are working on waving goodbye.



He’s such a delight.  I’m still amazed that he’s really here.  I was just re-reading some messages I sent back when we were doing IVF.  What a time we’ve had.  Our little miracle.

He’s a huge hit in Rwanda.  People grab his legs wherever we go.  Last week, we took him to IJM’s prayer retreat, and all my colleagues (men and women) were passing him around.  He does not lack for love around here!

My sweet boy, I hope you grow up knowing how loved you are; how much you were wanted; how many people prayed for you.  There are big shoes to fill, but we trust God has big plans for you!  I love you with all my heart.

The Sample

The end of the story is that we got the urine sample.

We took Freddy to the Belgian doc at the Belgian embassy on Tuesday afternoon. The awesome folks at IJM gave us a ride. The visit was great – very thorough – but it was straight from a PBS documentary on health in Africa. Just one small room with the doctor. No waiting room, no nurses, no receptionist. I now know how to say nasal congestion in French. I still have no idea how to convert pounds to kilos or Farenheit to Celsius.

The doctor diagnosed an infection but wanted to check his urine. He sent us home to collect a urine sample. Apparently you can purchase from a pharmacy a small baggie that you tape over the baby’s unmentionables and leave it in the diaper. You try and explain that to the pharmacist in Kinyarwanda (the language here) and let me know how it goes. I can save you the trouble – the ladies burst out laughing every time someone gestured to or mentioned the baby’s nether-region.

So, we were left with a DIY project. Alas, no Pinterest board for this one. Thus began the vigil of stripping Freddy naked and holding a cup, waiting for the flow to come. For the last six months, until Tuesday, every single time you took off the boy’s diaper, you were guaranteed to elicit a sample. The boy likes the fresh air.

We dipped his toes in cold water and warm water. We tickled him. We talked about running water. Nothing. Dry as this Rwandan weather we are having.

With the 4 pm Wednesday fast approaching, we were getting desperate. I read online that babies pee a lot in their sleep. He fell asleep, we took off the diaper and waited. I gave up and sat down for lunch with our roommates. At around 1:00 pm, BB sticks his head into the dining room and holds out the cup. He did it!

For anyone out there who wants to know the secret (since I googled this question, maybe someone else will to). If you want to get a baby boy to pee, just drip a little cold water on the tip of his p***s while he’s sleeping. Works every time.


The burritos are on their way.  That’s the good news.  Like manna from heaven, the Lord is sending me a burrito. I’m a weak-willed woman and 30 minutes ago was trying to figure out how hard it would be to get home.  But I am won over again with a burrito.

Fred is sick.  He hasn’t been sick his whole life, but of course gets sick the first week in Rwanda when I am supposed to be starting work.  I guess I shouldn’t have let him suck on the seatbelts on the plane and lick the floor of our new home.  Live and learn.

Enough dramatics!  Let’s see some pics.  Here’s the view from our front yard and front gate.


Front gate

Our surrogate dogs – don’t tell Lucy!


Fred’s diapers drying on the clothesline.


The golf course.


Kigali mountainside.


I told you it was beautiful here!

Fred: 2 months

Dear Fred,

You are 2 months old today!  Time flies.  You are pure delight to your dad and me almost 100% of the time.  Sometimes, when you pee on your clothes multiple times in a row (like you did for your dad at 4 this morning), we get frustrated, but otherwise, we can’t get enough of you!

You are growing so much.  We had to out away most of your 0-3 month size clothes yesterday.  You have the most precious little fat legs and perfect belly. 

My favorite time of the day with you is your last nursing before bed.  Right before, you are in such a sweet mood.  Just starting to get sleepy, but still cooing and smiling.  Then, while you nurse in the dim light, you look up at me with your beautiful dark blue eyes.  I rub your feet and legs under your nightgown until you fall fast asleep.

You like it when we sing to you and read to you.  You usually try and sing along with us.  Your favorite toy is still Towely, the hand towel that hangs over the counter where we change you.  Your eyes light up when you see it moving above your head.  You love the book from Ms. Jocelyn called “I Kissed the Baby.”  The pictures keep you captivated.  You never mind when Lucy licks you head to toe and even give your fingers a nibble.

Daddy takes you on long walks in the cold, and you always fall asleep.  He holds you while he sings, and you stare at him mesmerized.  He swaddles you by rolling you into your blanket – we call it the “daddy roll-up.”  He makes sure you always get your tummy time, and he is teaching you to stand.  He loves to see how strong you are.

You recently found your hands and can’t stop looking at them.  You can rub your eyes and suck your thumb now.  It makes you look so grown up!  You are a very social guy.  You love to see other people and be held by them.  You love to be naked and hate getting dressed.  You smile all the time and are always happy to see me.

You are the light of our lives, and we are so happy to be your parents.  Every day with you is a wonderful gift, and I look forward to the next one.  You are grunting and waking from your nap, so I better stop now.  Here’s a sleepy 2 month old picture of our sweet Fred.Image

8 weeks

Fred peed on my hair today while I was trying to suck a booger out of his nose.  Yesterday, a small spec of poo flew into the air and landed on BB’s face.  We have lost all dignity in this house.

We are 8 weeks into this crazy thing called parenthood, which makes me an expert on absolutely nothing except perhaps how to do laundry.  Nevertheless, I have learned a few things in 8 weeks.

1.  It is possible to sustain two human lives on a diet of coffee, cookies, bananas and pretzels, but only for two days. 

2.  Four hours of uninterrupted sleep turns me into a new woman.  Anything under two hours makes me more tired.

3.  I can go three days without showering and not notice it

4.  Breastfeeding hurts at first.  Anyone who says it doesn’t or shouldn’t is a big fat liar.  And yes, I am talking about PAIN, not just discomfort (But it stops hurting, and it’s totally worth it.)

5.  The pain of your hips spreading during pregnancy is only slightly worse than the pain of them coming back together.

6.  Husbands of postpartum wives should get some sort of medal for coming home every day and not drinking themselves into a coma.

7.  You feel super skinny for the first month after giving birth, which was awesome! 

8.  If you breastfeed, you must hydrate like you are running a marathon.  Seriously, it’s nothing for me to drink 4 liters of water a day.

9.  Streaming Netflix is the best thing the internet has ever given us besides the weather forecast.  The West Wing has saved my sanity.

10.  I still don’t understand why anyone in her right mind would do this again.

That said, Fred is amazing and adorable and oh so fun.  Here are a few pics for your delight.  Thanks for indulging me.  I’ll get back to writing about more serious topics when my brain starts working again.




I had to have a c-section.  We had planned a home birth.  The Lord has his own ways.  Waiting to be taken into the operating room, I was the most scared I think I had ever been.  I wanted to run.  I had a teeny tiny glimpse of the garden prayer – Lord take this cup away from me.  Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. 

Going into the procedure, I knew that my prayer would be for humility and submission.  Rather than the empowered birth I had planned, I was being called to lie down and submit.  Spread out on the table, arms outstretched and strapped down, numb, tubes, completely out of control.  This was the exact opposite of what we had hoped for and planned.

I was terrified of the birth – not matter how it was to happen.  Everything in the pregnancy had gone well.  Fred was perfect from all we could tell.  The lies kept coming – it was too good to be true.  It would all be taken from me.

Stuck between a truth and a lie.  Truth being that God had not promised me a healthy baby, a complication-free birth, survival for another day.  God is good, but he’s not safe.  He makes promises, but safety, health and security are not included.  How do you go into something so important without any assurance of success?  How do you not fear the worst? How do you trust an unsafe and dangerous God?

I always cringe when people say things like, Jesus is my buddy, my friend, my partner.  While of course there friendly aspects of Jesus, Jesus is not our equal.  If I were to see him face to face, I wouldn’t run up to give him a pat on the back.  I would be on my face begging for my life.  He is Lord of Lord, King of Kings, nothing but complete submission and fear would be appropriate.

He wants me to hold everything with an open hand.  I have no choice but to obey.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  He is wise, and he is good.  How can I not follow him?