Monday, August 13, 2012

Costa Rican Baby Things

Will and I had a language class this past trimester and we were the only two people in it. We just treated it like a 2 hour tutoring class every day and we ended up really enjoying it. Our teacher allowed us to direct the class and talk about what we wanted to which ended up helping us out tremendously. I had asked her if she could teach us vocabulary for baby items and some different verbs associated with having a baby. This is a whole new world we're entering in to! So one day she brought in a full list of necessary baby items according to Costa Rica. The words are so different and some of the items are so funny to me that I had to share...

First of all, every mother has one big baby shower called a "te de canasta". The picture below is an example of how huge this event is. It's a catered event in a banquet hall, can easily last all day, everyone is invited (men and women) and it costs a whole lot! 

Baby items here are very expensive too and there are no second-hand stores to buy used baby items. For example, the cheapest baby blanket I've seen is $20 and we saw a cheaply-made bouncy seat for $120. There is a Carter's store here in the mall and a typical sundress is around $30 (in the States you can buy those at Costco for around $6!). We're really having to think through everything we're purchasing for baby Ally...which is a good thing.

Okay, on to the list...a few things really stuck out to me!


  • los panales de tela o desechables - cloth or disposable diapers
  • el cochecito de bebe - stroller
  • la silla para el carro - car seat
  • las camisetas enterizas con broches - onesies
  • el cepillo/ el peine - brush/comb
  • la cuna - crib
  • la almohadita - little pillow
  • las medias / los zapatitos - socks & shoes (every baby MUST have a complete outfit on at all times. And all germs come through the feet so baby MUST wear socks at all times or baby will die)
  • los guantes - gloves
  • EL FAJERO - BELLY BUTTON BELT (baby must wear this for the first month to prevent having an outie belly button...that's very ugly. You put a button in their belly button and strap this belt around their waist)
  • el aceite - baby oil
  • LA COLONIA - BABY COLOGNE (the brand "Mennen" is the best)
  • la chupeta - pacifier
  • el movil - mobile
  • el monitor - monitor
  • el termometro - thermometer
  • el aspirador nasal - nose sucker thingy
  • las vacunas - vaccines
  • el encierro - pack n play
  • el portabebe - baby carrier
  • los colados - baby food
  • las compotas - puree baby food
  • el goltero - medicine dropper
  • las toallitas humedas - baby wipes
  • la crema para cuerpo y las nalguitas - diaper rash cream
  • las pijamas - pajamas
  • los gorritos - hat (newborns MUST have hats on or baby will die)
  • los escarpines - baby booties
  • el jabon - soap
  • la tina - baby bathtub
  • las sabanas - sheets
  • las cobijas - blankets
  • las protectores de la cuna - crib bumper
  • los panitos - washclothes
  • los baberos - bibs
  • el ahulado - changing pad
  • el talco - baby powder
  • el cortaunas - nail clippers
  • los aplicadores - qtips
  • el chilindrin - rattle
  • la silla para comer - high chair
  • el sacadientes - teething ring
  • la formula - formula
  • las gacillas - safety pin
  • los juguetes - toys
  • el bolso del bebe - diaper bag
  • el chupon - bottle
  • las vinchas - baby bows 
  • tiraleche - breast pump

  • sacarle el colico - to burp
  • amamantar - to nurse
  • alzarlo o chinearlo - to hold or rock
  • ASOLEARLO - TO SUN (sun before 9am the first year)
  • curarle el ombligo - to care for the belly button
  • arrullarlo - to sing lullabies
  • cambiarlo - to change
  • estimularlo - to stimulate/exercise
  • gatear - to crawl
  • balbucear - to babble
  • salirle los dientes de leche - teething
  • dar los primeros pasos - to start to walk

The last thing I had to mention are a few customs:

One is that the baby should always be warm. Remember, it hardly ever gets below 70 degrees here, but during the windy and rainy months babies have on fleece footed pajamas, hats, gloves, sweaters, scarves and blankets. The babies look so hot to me!

Another is that baby girls get their ears pierced in the hospital when they are 1 day old. This is how people can tell if your baby is a boy or girl...period. We haven't decided if we're going to pierce Ally's ears or not.

Everyone seems to find out the gender of their baby. There are very few gender-neutral items in stores around here. This is a very common question....not IF I know what I'm having, but what is it.

Lastly, the baby and mommy do not leave the house for 40 days after childbirth. I have heard it's because the baby will get sick (of course) and that the mom just is NOT presentable...which is probably true. Appearance is huge here. You will never see a woman wearing tennis shoes and a tshirt out unless she is exercising and you must bath every day. So, if a woman isn't bathing daily and can't put her high heels on, she doesn't leave the house. After 40 days she is expected to step out into society as a new woman...and look the part as well. I think I will go crazy if I can't leave my house for 40 days, but we'll see.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pregnancy - The Third Time Around

Being pregnant for the third time after 5 years has been quite an experience. At times I have thought this was the worst idea we ever had being pregnant during language school. The exhaustion, nausea and aching muscles just had to be ignored as I woke up at 5am every morning with Emma to put her on the bus and then the rest of us walked out the door to school at 7:15. We then spoke Spanish for about 5 hours straight (with idiotic pregnancy brain) to come home and shop, run errands, do homework, etc. The good side of this schedule is the time has gone by really fast. I have overall felt really good this pregnancy and can't complain about anything. No, I have no torso, so my baby belly always pops out pretty quickly. 

For a while I had a cute manageable little baby bump and my clothes felt good. Then I started getting hot...and we have no air conditioning in our house. This has been quite a challenge but I have every fan blowing on me in our house including one straight in our bed at night (poor Will). I can't use a lot of pillows because it's so stinkin hot. I have started to swell a bit because of the heat but that's to be expected with me (I retained LOTS of fluid during my pregnancy with Jack). And why in the world does sleep have to be such a challenge the third trimester??? I crave fruit and cereal and have found I can't eat in large quantities or I feel like I'm gonna pop! We walk everywhere so I'm definitely getting lots of exercise. This has kept my weight gain manageable...until I returned to the States. When I returned, my doctor asked what happened this past month with my weight gain (it went from gaining 2 pounds each month to 8 pounds in that one month!). Embarrassed, I told him I just went back to the States for a week and a half, and he said "yep, that's the answer". In the States we use so much salt, sugar and sauces and our food portions are twice the size as here. So I'm sure I ate more than I should have, but whatever. Hopefully now that I'm back it will all even out again. Oops.

16 weeks

20 weeks

24 weeks

Emma used to hang her mouth open just like that.

We found out at 20 weeks that we are having another girl! We are very excited and think a little girl will be a perfect addition to our family. Emma is already like a second mommy to Jack and she will be a great big sister. Jack prays for the baby at every meal and every night before he goes to bed. He's always asking how I'm feeling and how's the baby doing. They're both really sweet about it.  

Will thinks she has a big nose. Isn't she cute?

We decided to name her Ally Tatum Savell and call her Ally. Will's grandparents are named Mittie Alice (Ally) and Bert Tatum (Tatum). They were such a neat example of a Christian couple, living a simple life, loving their family, and serving others. And Costa Ricans can actually say her name and it doesn't sound bad (sounds more like "Olly", but I think it's cute).

This is my spot every day. Check out the horrible wooden desks! I can't believe I sat in that thing for months. In the end I could barely fit in it anymore.

I'll backtrack a little. When we found out we were having a girl we wanted to tell the kids in a fun way. We took them to a toy store in the mall and let them each pick out a toy for the plane ride home. After they did this, we videoed telling them that next they needed to go pick out the first toy for their new baby sister.

We thought there would be more of a reaction, but they simply ran off in different directions looking for "girl" things. They didn't seem surprised at's funny when we expect certain reactions as parents. They were happy, but it was just whatever. Emma told us later that she has been a bit concerned that she is not daddy's only girl anymore. We thought this would happen. She is so over-the-top obsessed with her daddy that I thought that would cross her mind. She was even sad that she would now have to share her annual father/daughter date with Ally. Will said no, that they would have two of them, and he has been regularly reassuring her that their relationship and his love for her will never change. She has warmed up to the idea now and is really excited. Jack said that a stinky girl can't share his room, but he already thinks and cares for her so much that I don't think he will have any problems. If it was a boy, I think Jack would have felt a little threatened.

Anyway, the kids ended up picking out this crazy sheep to give her and it's already in her bed waiting for her. We're busy getting stuff together and making preparations, but we still have a few months left. We're going very simple this time around and I love that. Babies really don't need that much and it's so much less overwhelming not having tons of stuff junking up the house. I know we will accumulate as time goes on and that's okay. Right now we have a pack-n-play, diapers, wipes, stroller, car seat, diaper bag and clothes. We'll get more when the time draws near, but we're good for now.

Due date is still November 1st.

We can't wait to welcome baby Ally to our family!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kids Summer Vacation

Our kids loved being able to go home for a few weeks and have a summer vacation. We are so thankful to both sets of parents for keeping them for so long and thanks to my friend Jami for bringing them all the way back to Costa Rica for us! They had a great time and they have tons of memories from home to last them a while. They were even able to attend VBS at Grace Evan. The following are a bunch of pics sent to us from their fun time in Memphis and Jackson:

Listening to a bedtime book told by Nana before leaving for the States
Welcome home swim party with friends

Surprised friend Ryan at Incredible Pizza

Swimming with McKinley and Annie

Jack and Annie...they will get married one day

Emma and McKinley

Swimming with the Magowans and Phillips

Fun times with cousin Lindley Belle

Emma's going to be a great big sister

They love that little girl

Ice Cream at Gracie Bleu

Jack and cousin Colin

Emma and cousin Caroline

4th of July Fireworks

Silly kids...they did a lot of swimming!

Kids with Nana & Pappy

Papaw teaching Jack to drive the boat

Their favorite thing

Jack sleeping off the Jackson fun

Girl shopping with Mimi

Buddy haircuts with Papaw

Swimming with cousins Sophie & Evie

Kids with Mimi & Papaw

Sunday, August 5, 2012

12 Years and Counting

August 5, 2012 - 12 Year Wedding Anniversary

Surprise trip to Villa Caletas in Jaco, Costa Rica

Have been told this is anniversary/graduation/baby celebration all in one

Nicest room I've ever stayed in

Completely worth it

I love surprises

And I love Will Savell