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!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Our Pack n Play

Almost 7 years ago Aunt Nikki bought her niece niece a Kolcraft 3-in-1 Travelin Tot Pack and Play. On that day who would have thought that I would have 2 more A's to put in there. Alena Slept in it in CT, NY, RI, WI, SC, AL, and FL. Alex then used it in AL, FL, maybe SC (I can't remember), and VA. Ainsley has slept in it in VA, NC, and is currently sleeping in it in Nassau Bahamas. This pack n play has been in the trunk of so many cars, been checked as luggage at several airports, has been set up in I house a grew up in, one Rob grew up in, set up in a house full of sadness when Grandaddy Goff passed away, set up in empty houses when we have moved all our belongings out, set up in houses where we are just starting a new assignment, set up in hotels while on vacation, and set up in family and friends houses we are visiting. This pack n play holds so much of our lives and has held all of my sleeping children.
*what would I do without it*

Our journey from Portsmouth VA to Nassau Bahamas

Our day started at 430am on June 10th. Alena was up and ready to go when our alarm went off. When I woke up Alex he tried to go back to sleep, I said Alex its time to get on an airplane. Boy he shot up and said OKAY I'm not going to jump out of the plane I was just joking. That was his thing for a long time. LOL. At the airport, going through a checkpoint to get to our gate, the sippy cup Ainsley was drinking out of was taken from her and the milk was tested. Tested for what? I don't know she was DRINKING IT! The flight to Miami was 2 hours and the kids were great. Alena and Alex were fascinated by the take off. As soon as they got a little antsy, I took out a small gift my mom wrapped in tissue paper and gave it to them. Not long into the flight Alex fell asleep on me. We had a very short layover in Miami and were on a very small prop jet to Nassau. The plane only held 50 people and we were like sardines on there.
The landing was incredible. I just knew we were going to land in the water, that's all you could see. Bright blue water and a few small shanty's on the edge of the island. Immigration and Customs took all of five minutes to get though and then our baggage was practically waiting on us as quick as the men were getting it off the belt. We were quickly swept away by a gentlemen from the Embassy and taken on a quick tour of the island on our way to the Hilton. We got to see the neighborhood we will be living in, which is beautiful. The drive reminded me of my childhood in England. Cute little cars, small roads, and quick drivers. The road signs here apparently serve as reading material or just a recommendation. If you are letting someone in from the roundabout or side street you just beep once and then they beep twice, sort of as a thank you. I was told if you lay on your horn the locals will get out their car to see what your malfunction is. The Hilton is amazing and the staff is so pleasant. Our room wasn't quite ready so we were told to go have lunch by the pool, no problem. :) When we came back we were treated to cold lemon scented washcloths. The kids could not wait to get in the crystal blue water. SO we spent over an hour playing at the Hilton's private beach. I forgot how quickly sand, sun, and saltwater can tire them out. Alex and Ainsley fell asleep on our walk to dinner. Alex was on Robs shoulders, so that was a fun walk back. Every two seconds someone asked if we needed a ride, taxi, or bus? Alena asked why they keep saying that? She said I guess I am going to have to get used to it, because they don't stop. We ended up ordering room service which Alena thought was great. We let her have waffles, bacon, and spilt a coke with me!
It was a very long day, but well worth the end result.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moving Day 1

I am blogging today from a scarcely furnished home. Every word spoken echos off the bare walls and hardwood floors. I forgot how nice and roomy this house appeared the first day we saw it, then we moved in all our belongings. Oh yes, and added a child. Friday went fairly smooth. The girls who came to pack moved like lightning. They packed everything in sight little bars of soap with the suds still on them, half rolls of toliet paper, opened boxes of cereal, and Robs uniforms he hung on the back of the door for when we get to the Bahamas OOPS! Then the girls left and 2 men came to load the truck and boy were they slooooow and lazy! I watched them try to get the kids play house out the door 3 times before they took one piece off it, then tried again, then took another piece off, then tried again, then took another piece off, then tried again, then FINALLY took the whole thing apart! I was relieved when they nailed up our crates and pulled away from the curb. Our household goods are in a warehouse somewhere awaiting a cargo crate and then will be boat bound for the Bahamas.
Alena is doing very well during this grand adventure of ours. Alex, my poor Alex, he has given himself acid reflux. It has been pretty easy preparing for this move. Rob and I have not been very stressed out or worried. By nature we are fairly easy going people. So that being said I am not sure how this affects little Alex. He was always very upset when Rob would get underway, but Alex's reflux just started within the past month. We just found out what is was Thursday. He is on medicine and already doing better. Ainsley is just loving running around the empty house. Check back with me in a few day and see how we are doing without toys and a tv. Thats right folks no tv! LOL

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What a 3rd last weekend in VA!

With a thousands things going on in our lives right now, we took a break from it all this weekend.
Saturday we surprised the kids with a trip to Busch Gardens Europe. While we were in line getting tickets and received a call from friends who were there too. It was a long fun filled day with five kids and four adults. I'm still not sure who had more fun! Surprisingly we didn't have any fights, meltdowns(except when Alex and Lily were told they were to little for certain rides), lost kids, or anything else terrible happen. Now they did have to stop the little airplane ride so I could get Ainsley off! She was so happy until the second that ride started. I was afraid she was going to jump out! Ainsley must have been my little trouble maker that day. We were in Dragon land and I took off her shirt so she could play in the water. I was told since she was a girl I needed to put her shirt back on. Wow at 18 months! I seem to remember a picture of me and my cousin Lauren in a zoo with no shirts on at a young age. I guess things are very different now.
Sunday we woke up dreading the packing of suitcases for us to live out of for the next 3-4 weeks.... so we didn't do it! We ate a yummy breakfast, filled up the water bottles, and pulled out the bikes. Alena still uses training wheels and we've been saying we would teach her to ride with out them and have not. I knew it wouldn't take her long once she realized she would be OK if she fell. After her second fall she kinda had the hang of it. I am so proud of her! The training wheels are not trash yet, but hopefully soon.
The Rich's had us over for a delicious BBQ dinner. It was a little sad to watch ours kids say goodbye to each other. Last time we moved Alena only had one friend to say goodbye to. Now we have three children and have made friends with so many wonderful families.
We ended the evening with a skype call to Gramie and Grandpa. This was our first time skyping and boy was it fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

First Entry

Friends and Family,

As most of you know Rob is in the USCG and we are getting ready to PCS to the Bahamas! Wow trip of a lifetime. I have many ideas and expectations of what island life will be like for me. (i am sure i have high hopes lol) I am very excited to share this experience with everyone. Keep coming back for more updates!