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Levi is now sleep trained! Woo hoo!
We've been patting him to sleep but he's getting heavier and I can feel the effect on my neck and lower back. No good. It was also taking longer and longer to pat him to sleep for his naps. So James suggested to try sleep training him. I was planning to wait till after my parents leave to do it because things will change again when they come.
But a few nights ago, I accidentally sleep trained him. I was real tired, even after I fed him, he still didn't fall asleep. Normally at bedtime, he'll fall asleep after feeding and he'll continue sleeping when I put him down. But he didn't this time so I just left him awake and left the room. And he fell asleep on his own, no crying! So I thought I'll try again the next day.
Consecutively for a few naps, he cried for 30 mins (I almost gave up at this point, I'm terrible at this, James kept me to it), next nap 20 mins and next nap 10 mins and then since then, he hardly cries when I put him down and falls asleep on his own! Brilliant!
So the little one now goes down for his naps and bedtime with his sleeping bag, 2 rounds of Jesus Loves Me and I'll say "Nap nap time", big kiss and down he goes.
Yay! No need to pat him to sleep anymore! Now just need to figure why he keeps waking in the night. He's really strange. One night he sleeps for 6 hrs straight and next night he wakes every 2 hrs! Very strange. We'll see how it goes tonight.
UPDATE: Woo hoo! Last night, after putting him to bed at 7pm, he only woke up to fed at 11pm, 2am and then 7.30am! YAY!!!!! Hopefully this continues and soon he'll drop the 2am one and just wake up a bit earlier. That I can deal with. For the first time in 3 months I woke up in the morning feeling like I actually slept in the night. I figured out the problem – when he stirs and cries, I almost immediately go pick him up to feed. He woke up at 4am again crying and this time I left him and he went back to sleep after a few mins and the crying was not too loud. Then he stirred at 6.30am but I just left him and finally I cannot tahan, needed to feed him so at 7.30 when he stirred again, I fed him. Praying that it'll continue like this. It's a bit harder to sleep train when he sleeps in the same room.
Ok this is a real lousy pic but I just wanted to document that Sophie figured out how to swim on her own with arm floats! Yay! It happened when we were in Vanuatu.
It's quite sad that when we got here we had to stop her swim lessons with Aqua Ducks in S'p. Think she would have done well and should be well swimming on her own right now without floats but oh wells, a step at a time.
She loves swimming and we've gotta figure a way to get her swimming more here!
Here's a random post. This is my desk. A peak into my life. Of the things that are important to me and things that are not that just somehow pile up.
A few significant things from left:
1. A page of nicely designed calendar from my bi-monthly indulgence – Frankie Mag.
2. A page of sermon notes from a sharing my pastor's wife did on Grace. Beautiful words and verses that I must commit to memory.
3. On the table – My daily sustenance – Word for Today, a daily devotional, my journal, my bible and current stash of books and magazines.
4. Middle of the table – a cat pouch with my lovely Canon S90, crucial for documenting our lives.
5. Noticeboard – library ious, hand drawn birthday card from Wan Lin, a note from Sophie's dance class, brochure for upcoming Parachute Festival, our family daily schedule hour to hour (i'm very organized one… ya right), church leaflet
6. Whole pile of books and files – those are Sophie's homeschool stuff.
7. My alien pencil case given by Vicky and Dan (?) some time back
8. New red felt notebook for the new year given by James
9. Red handbag that I love but have yet to find an opportunity to use in ulu land.
10. Finally, Christmas wrappers still rolled up meaning that I've yet to wrap Christmas pressies!!!!
My desk is in a mess and still in a mess even after I clear it… but yep, a snippet into my daily life these days.
Btw, can you guess my fav colour? What's on your desk?
We're all really excited here.
Sophie's gonna be in her first real dance performance this weekend! She's been going to a dance school for two terms now. It's a professional hip hop and jazz dance school. They organise a yearly show and this year the theme is Broadway musicals. Sophie's preschool class is doing a Grease number. Very cool. The girls will be wearing pink tutus and denim jackets. The boys drive a car, have their hair spiked up and wear black jackets! Cute like anything!
More photos over the weekend!
Ooo I love summer fruits – berries and berries galore!
Picnics! We found a secret garden with a playground and we've been going there quite often. We'll bring a picnic with our matching Nood picnic set and mat and Sophie can run around as much as she wants. Most times Levi's pretty contented in his car seat and enjoying the breeze. There's hardly anyone around too!
Just being outdoors……….
The two faces of our little one.. actually the one on the right would have made a great passport pic!
Our baby boy is 3 months old!
I'm not sure how heavy he is now (he was 6.5kg before we left for V2) but he's definitely big! Everywhere we went in Vanuatu, they went "fat fat, fat fat". They didn't mean it in a mean way but it's their way of saying teasing a big cute baby in their culture. Even in NZ, the people say he's big so I guess even compared to a kiwi baby, he's big! One thing for sure, there's no hiding him discreetly when I'm breastfeeding him or carrying him in a sling (which we don't use anymore coz he's just too heavy).
He's a talker. Seriously. If you think Sophie can talk at 4 yrs old, you shd see Levi at 3 months! He'll keep talking non-stop if you keep talking to him. Super cute! He makes all these sounds that makes me go "awwww….". If he's crying, we just have to engage his eye contact and try to talk to him, he'll eventually stop! It's like he just needs to be listened to. He's usually quite easy to be calmed down, unless he's way past his bedtime. Ok I will never understand how 2 parents who don't talk a lot ended up with 2 children that are so talkative!
He's sleeping a bit better in the night now but it varies from night to night. Once in V2, he did a 7 hr sleep stretch… but only once. Most nights he still wakes every 3-4 hrs to feed. I'm hoping he'll do a 5 hr stretch soon coz it's really testing my ability to keep sane during the day with a super inquisitive and active 4 yr old and 3 month old that needs to be patted to sleep.
I still can't believe 3 months have just flown by. It's really such a blessing to have Levi. Having a boy is such a different experience. Very cool. I'm really thankful.
Sorry for the slow down in posts. We came back on Wednesday and have been readjusting to being home.
But main reason why I've been a little more busy is because the little one caught an skin infection while in Vanuatu. He's alright and it's starting to heal. However, it's infectious so I've gotta take care to wash all his stuff separately and keep changing his sheets. The doc prescribed both local and oral antibiotics.
He's been a bit more grouchy but still coping pretty well. Thank God that he's good at taking his meds, not too fussy there.
Please keep us in prayer. Very heart pain to see him like that. Will update more soon!
After teaching for a whole week, James crashed over the weekend so I took Sophie out on my own to town!
It's really easy to get to town. There are these vans that they call "buses" here and you just have to flag them down and it costs 150 VT per person to get to anywhere one way. Children travel free. Pretty comfy but no seat belts tho. But they drive pretty safely here.
First stop, the open market. Saturday must be the busiest day at the market. It opens 24 hrs through the week, closes on Sat by 2pm and it's closed on Sundays. In fact most of the shops in town are closed on Sundays. It's a religious observation for most because most go to church. During the week, the market stall owners sleep at their stall. You'll see mamas feeding babies, grandmas tending the stall, others sorting out the produce. It's generally the women who tend the stores. The men are the ones who harvest the produce in their land.
Sophie bought some peanuts. They are her favourite snack here. She's mastered how to crack the peanut herself this time! She used to bite the shell into pieces. I got myself some tapioca chips. My favourite snack here. I asked the mama at the store if I could take a picture and she raised her eyes and nodded her head. That's the local way of saying yes. After that she gave us a bunch of bananas! Actually she gave it to Sophie. So sweet ah… They really love children here. After that we got a pomelo. It's pomelo season and they are real yummy!
Next we went to the French pastry shop to get an ice-cream… actually to use the toilet… for customers…. so we got an ice-cream, the cheapest thing on the menu!
Finally we went to look for a princess dress for Sophie. The local chinese shops sell the ching chiong pink frilly ones complete with lace, sequins and ribbons… altogether. Managed to find one for her. It cost only 500 VT which is about S$7. She can just wear it casually and I don't have to worry about it ripping. The chinese lady at the shop gave us a discount! Sweet!
After that, we hopped into a bus and went home… in time for Levi's feed. Nice.
We spent the whole of yesterday at the base.
Sophie had so much fun! I hardly saw her.
Left: Sophie visiting the pigpen. Someone paid their staff fees with a pig.
Right: Piglets! They are really very cute and really squeal when you pick them up.
She spent the morning cooking in the bush kitchen (this is just really the outdoor kitchen) with Rinette, feeding the pigs and watching Kalin making a nest for the chick he caught.
Left: A coup for the chick that Kalin caught. He made it out of coconut and chicken wire. Genius!
Right: Hanging out at the bush kitchen on the base.
She spent the afternoon in the sun washing clothes with Rinette. She was getting all wet so Rinette hung her dress on the line too.
At the end of the day, she didn't want to leave.
A special shout out to our good friends Es and Sue before I forget.
THANKS FOR THE T-SHIRTS!
Funny how it arrived just in time for the trip! I realised I didn't have much summer clothes for Levi and also they were just the right size (3-6 mths). It's so comfy and easy to wear and of course, uber trendy! Thanks heaps. Save me from washing everyday!
P/s: Levi is 11
months weeks old today and just before we left, the Plunket nurse weighed him. He was 6.48 kg! My arms are aching from having carry and pat him to sleep. When we return, it's time to sleep train! But he's been doing real well, super cute. I think he's in love with me because he bursts into big smiles whenever I look at him. So so so cuteeeeee.
P/s: And yes, this will be my last post for tonight.
The fruits in Vanuatu are amazing! Truly organic and dropping at your doorstep. Past few days we've been awakened by mangos dropping on G & A's rooftop!
It's mango season! Apparently they only bear fruit twice a year. We're in luck!
A got the base staff to come collect the fruits. We experimented making mango jam. Maybe can sell them and raise funds for the base. A & I have been brainstorming names for the products and trying to think of ideas to help to develop an avenue for the base to disciple the staff through working and at the same time raise money for the base.
On a side note, it's really quite hard to run a base in a country where subsistence farming is the main way of life. Essentially when the kids come to do a DTS or be on staff, they have no money to pay staff fees (In YWAM, we serve as volunteers and we pay a monthly staff fees to our base). Instead, they "pay" their staff fees with produce e.g. coconuts, firewood, bananas, pigs etc! But still, the base needs money to pay for electricity and food etc. Visiting teams help to off set some of the costs but in the long run, the base needs to find ways to sustain the running of the base. They don't even have money to pay for visiting speakers. Each time we come, we come on our own support. It's really hard for them to invite visiting speakers for the DTS since they can't pay but somehow God just provides! So G & A are looking in the long run to develop a sustainable business model for the Ni-Vans to be able to learn new skills, be discipled and also support themselves.
Oh yes, if you would like to support their efforts financially in some way, please do let us know because we're aware of some projects that will require help. As of now, we know of a building project and a couple who are coming to do FMS next year that will need help.