Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Art of Picking Up a Friend.

Say What?! Well I make sure are kids have a kazillion play dates. I take them to the park to play with kids. I take them to school to be socialized. I even make sure the husbands of friends I have can be friends with my husband. Well what about me? Who makes new friends for me?
I have to say being in the Bahamas has probably been the easiest place to make friends. Mainly because most of us at the Embassy with kids are in the same boat. We need things to do with the children. While we may live in Paradise aside for the beach and zoo there is not many kid friendly places. So any time a new person arrives on the island we are on them like hawks! (Which then makes them my friend, right?)
Outside of school and Embassy friends I don't have a single local friend. *gasp* the horror I know! Let me take you back in time a little bit. It's a sunny day in Mobile Alabama. I am at a water fountain park with Alena she is not even 2. She meets a little girl the same age as her and they quickly hit it off. So slowly I work my way over to the other mom. We start to chit chat and find out that her and Rob grew up in the same town in NY. How crazy what a small world. Now it's time to leave. I have to exchange numbers because the kids had so much fun and I liked the mom. We awkwardly did so and 5 years later still joke about it. Lovely story right? Well lets move forward in time some. Rob, his friend, and myself are at a bar in VA. Rob and his friend are having a great time but I was kind of the third wheel. A new bartender comes in and her and I hit it off. We get to talking and she lives on the street behind me, our girls go to the same school, so much in common! I gave her my number and she did the same. A week goes by and she doesn't call... I call her. SHE GAVE ME A FAKE NUMBER!! I got fake numbered!! WOW!
OK are you done laughing? Back to present day. I don't make the first move any more. Were you aware that making friends was as crazy as the dating scene. Jeeze! Meeting moms at the park, school and soccer is more my comfort zone these days.
So the other day I was at Starbucks. I like to go there when I need my Americano fix. I ran into a lady doing the exact same thing as me! We stayed there forever venting about our new Bahamian lifestyles. Yes again I know I know Paradise but we do have things to vent about. I wanted to say lets do this again it was fun but didn't. Thank goodness as I went to leave she asked for my number. So i guess techinally she is not a local, but it's a start.
Friends are made for us, then we go to school, then we go to work. Then there are people like me who move every 3-4 years. I am blessed to have friends all over the world. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Way It Should Be

Island life can be amazing as long as you don't let certain things get to you. One of my biggest hang ups is grocery shopping. There is a huge difference between what 'they' think is acceptable food and what I think is acceptable. I like expiration dates! I am slowly figuring out how to do my food shopping but it usually consists of me going to 3-4 different stores.
Just as I was venting to my glass of vine there was a bunch of knocks at the door. I opened it up all the kids on our street! I am sure I was venting about my kiddos too. So out they all went to play. I could see them through the windows playing made up games in the street. All you could hear was feet stomping, training wheels, and laughter. It was the quickest cure to the early evening blues I was experiencing. The kids have been out there playing everyday for a week now. They go from house to house, working their way down the street. Before you know it there is almost 10 kids playing with each other. Some how even though the age range is from 1 to 13 every child is included. All of the dogs on he street even come out to play!
Some of my best childhood memories are from playing man hunt in England, riding bikes up the red clay hill with Felicia after mom said not to in SC, running wild with cousins and good friends all over. So for my kids to be part of the same world is a great feeling. My heart aches for the kids sitting in front of the TV.
Seeing my kids happy, healthy, and able to be kids make Island Life worth it a thousand times over! This is the way things should be!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


A potcake is the food that gets burnt and caked up on the bottom of the pot. Here at Arawalk Cay 'the fish fry' at the end of the day the potcakes are dumped into the street and the stray dogs come and eat. This happens on several Caribbean islands. So all stray dogs around here are called potcakes. A friend of ours rescued at pregnant potcake named Mercy. She had 8 puppies! Alex has grown to love these puppies. For the past month he has woke up, made his bed, got dressed, brushed his teeth, counted his money, then came and woke me up and asked if I could take him to get a puppy? For over a month I have stood strong and refused. I told him that he would have to walk it, feed it, pick up poo, he could take off at the drop of a hat to go to the beach because the puppy would be sad. I have tried every trick in the book to get him to forget about the dang puppy. Alex's response to all these things have been; I have money I can buy food, I promise I will pick up the poo like grandpa does with a shovel, I will stay with the puppy while you go to the beach, mom I promise. I still stood strong through all the begging. One day we went to the grocery store. Just like any other every day I came home and put everything away. Next thing I know Alex is sobbing in the playroom I mean tears and all. I said baby whats wrong? 'You didn't buy dentasticks for my puppy' then many more tears. Rob and I sat all the kids down and said we would go to the Behumane and LOOK at the puppies but we would come home and talk about it. We WOULD NOT get a puppy that day. We got to behumane and it wasn't adopting hours, so we couldn't look at the dogs. Thank goodness! Well not that I was surprised, but the next morning I was awakened by a little boy who was dressed and ready his trip to Behumane. Everything I have ever said about not wanting a dog, not getting a dog, not doing this again went out the window.
Meet our Potcake Sophie.

She loves to teeth on coconuts.
Now of course Alex does not pick up poo.

Most days she comes to the beach with us.

Most days I wonder what the heck was I thinking, especially when I am the only one picking up poo. Then I see this.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wondering if my arms and legs can fall off?

Rob and I have wanted kayaks since the first time we used the ones at the hotel when we first got to the island. We were terribly broken hearted when we saw the prices of them at the marine stores. So we finally decided to wait because when people move they tend to sell their boat, kayaks, mopeds, and what not. BUT THEN..... We found out about the inflatable kayaks. Who knew?! We got 2 kayaks and a little 2 seater inflatable boat. Today we bathed the kids in sunblock, got the life jackets, plenty of cold water, our snorkel gear, and set of on an adventure. We took 1 kayak and the boat down to the beach we discovered yesterday. The paddles just glide through the clear water with ease, but I have a feeling I will be sore in the morning. It is amazing at how different each beach is here. The Sandyport beach (in front of my house) has magnificent blue water with hundreds of colorful fish. The beach at the Caves (that we discovered yesterday) has water so clear and clean you could drink it, if it wasn't so salty! However there wasn't a fish to be found. There was the biggest starfish I have ever seen though. They were over a foot across and this wonderful shade of reddish brown with creamy yellow bumps. We were able to swim down and pick two different ones up so the kids could get a closer look. It was an amazing experience. I know I know I need an underwater camera. We swam, kayaked, snorkeled, and played on the beach for over 4 hours today. Alex made friends with some local boys who taught him how to pull these strange looking creatures off the rocks. He was in all his glory. Ainsley was just trailing behind them climbing in and out of the little tide pools. Alena was swimming with a girl her age. What a wonderful life.

This is Alena and myself in the canal yesterday going for a test spin.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What Can You Find?

After spending three years in Virgina with Rob on a boat, I would have gone to the end of the earth just to be together as a family. Virgina was wonderful and I made the best friends I've had in a while, met up with childhood friends, had a baby, had excellent state of the art medical facilities for the kids, was close to family, and discovered Williamsburg. However, I wanted my husband back. He was underway a lot, when the boat was in he worked all the time, and he seemed stressed out because of work and the fact that he missed out on a lot of the kids activities and just us in general. We are not at the end of the earth, thank goodness, but the Bahamas instead. The kids have grown leaps and bounds since we have been here. Happiness has done wonders for our lives and it shines through in the kids. Seconds after stepping off the plane in Nassau the stress just disappeared from Rob. He loves his new job. It makes a huge difference when you actually enjoy going to work everyday.
Part of the reason I think Rob didn't like Virgina is because I did all the exploring by myself. By time he did something we had already been there done that. It's just part of being a military spouse, on both ends. So even thought the island is small, we have taken up exploring it together. We love going to the Zoo and bought a annual membership. It is very lush and Alex just knows it's a jungle.

The lizards are every where which is great for the kids. They feel so special every single time they spot one.
We love to walk the neighborhood after dinner. Land crabs are still such a strange thing to me. I just don't picture them not being at the beach. Who would have thought crabs would dig a hole in soil to live?

One evening while playing with the frisbee out front it landed on the side of the house. Alena and Rob went to get it and got attacked by a daddy bird. They came to close to his baby momma!

I know life can't always be what you want, especially being a military spouse. They are bound to be gone at times, it's their job, I get that. BUT I will take the good when I can get it. That time for us is NOW.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What can you live without?

In grade school you learn about what is considered a need and a want. Somewhere between first grade and now I must have forgot. Did I forget? Or have I carelessly let wants turn into needs? For well over a month me and my family have been living with very little. One pot, one pan, 4 big plates, 4 small plates, 4 bowls, some cutlery, cups, only a 4 cup coffee pot *gasp I know*, 5 towels, 1 pillow per person, a coloring book per child, very few toys, one TV with one channel, limited Internet access, and most of all no car. Then one day a big truck rolled to a stop in front of my house and unloaded 161 boxes of all sizes, plus a outside play house, slide, patio chairs, fire pit, bikes, a wagon, and a Christmas tree. I was overwhelmed looking at it all piled up in my house because the reality is, we didn't NEED half of it. I thought I did so good before we left VA sifting through our belongings and trashing, donating, trashing, donating, yard selling. Every time I opened up a box that said girls room toys, boys room toys I would sigh and say what in the world! Where did this stuff come from? How did the kids even have this much crap stuffed into their little rooms? Well I bought it, I stuffed it into their rooms. (along with help from Rob of course) I can't have this all just be about toys though. What about clothes. Did I really need to bring my favorite jeans from high school? Lets face it I haven't fit into them since I was pregnant with Alena. My kitchen is a whole different topic that we won't even touch. I NEED everything in there... wait is the line between and need and a want getting blurry?? Rob called me a hoarder as we were unpacking and sorting/trashing/donating and I tried to toss a ceramic square that had ABC's on it. It once held flowers in it. Boy he fished that sucker out of the trash so fast! He apparently gave it to me when Alena was born.... ooooops. I can proudly say we decided we had to many wants and tremendously downsized over the past 48 hours. I even donated a few of my kitchen items. Not my butter keeper from GG though. It has my favorite Irish butter in it, sitting on my counter along with my big coffee pot. I think that once you have your wants in your possession it is hard to get rid of them. It is also nice to work hard and play hard (or shop) but in the future (i.e. next few years) since I can't just run to target whenever I please... I will learn a few things about living a greener more simple less materialistic life. What can you live without?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Playing catch up

Well last time I blogged we were still in the hotel. We have now moved into our large bright yellow house on the canal. I was so happy when we arrived to our new home and found they had fenced in our yard! I had been having visions of the kids falling in the canal everyday. "Our yellow house" as Alex calls it, is fully furnished, rent paid, and utilities paid. As a young married couple who quickly brought three kids into this world, I can not even begin to explain how good it feels to not worry about those things for the next 2 years. The house beautiful and much our larger then our VA house, so that is a plus. We had some minor issues when we first moved in, some that we are still trying to get fixed. Ant infestation, bad plumbing that equals flooding in my foyer, dishwasher that is not mounted, no phone line, huge gap in the door that is saying hello lizards and iguanas please come live with me!, and probably more things that we have yet to discover. I feel a little bad after reading my cousin in Singapore's blog though because these things are all taken care of for me cost free.
So enough about "our yellow house" that is minutes away from one of the most beautiful beaches that is known for great snorkeling. What have we been up to? Well, we love to walk through our neighborhood in search of monkeys, lizards, iguanas, land crabs, beautiful birds and butterflies. We go to the pool or beach everyday. Is it possible to turn into a mermaid from being in the water to much? We take the jitney (bus) around the islands a lot too. We love to go the straw market and see what island find we will come across. There is an extremely exotic zoo here. We went last week and had so much fun we bought a year membership. They have marching flamingos! While we were sitting watching the show Alena and Alex got chosen to go into the ring with them. That might have been the highlight of their little lives. I can not wait to post pictures of that. Hand feeding the parrots apple slices that landed on us might be a close second for them.
We have been having a great time here so far. I feel like I am not even coming close to explaining what our lives have been like for the past few weeks. Its hard to go back and blog about what we have been doing and experiencing. Now that we have Internet though I can keep up with our new Bahamian lives. :) No worries mon!