No Honeymooners Here

Today was our second day of orientation.  It’s just the morning, thankfully.  I don’t think I could handle being away from my kids any longer, nor could I handle sitting on my butt any longer.  My tailbone still hurts from when I fell down the stairs last February when I was pregnant with Zeke.  I’ve been doing a lot of sitting the last several months…..all the training and driving and flying we’ve been doing.  Besides the tailbone, I don’t know how I ever made it in school.  I am sooooo antsy and can’t seem to sit still.  I don’t know if part of it is I have to move around to make sure I stay awake, so maybe my tailbone hurting is a blessing because I have to keep changing my positions, which in turn keeps me awake.  Anyway, I really wonder how this whole school thing will go for me.  I like to do well, but I’ve never done the school thing as a wife and mom.  Plus—this isn’t school for the sake of school, this is learning another language.  I really don’t want to care what my grades are, I just want to learn Spanish.  I have these waves of excitement to be able to speak another language and then waves of exasperation, knowing there are going to be many really difficult days ahead.  I can be so impatient often just wanting the end result and not wanting to go through the painful and stretching experience.  This is going to be painful and difficult and frustrating. 

We keep hearing how there is often a honeymoon stage when first moving to another culture.  I’m not feeling it.  There are some wonderful things here….beautiful flowers and mountains and bakeries and new food.  But I’m really sad I can’t take care of my kids.  I think that may be overshadowing that honeymoon stage.  This whole experience would be soooooo much easier if we didn’t have kids yet.  I envy the childless couples, not because I don’t love my kids……but because I love them so much and I want to be with them and take care of them and not spend my time studying.  I really want to learn Spanish, but my top priority is my family.  If it was just Brian and I, we could spend so much more time out and about and talking to people.  So, I’ve had some really emotion filled days,  I’m really going through a mourning of not being able to care for my kids the way I would desire.  Today Zeke did better….he took a nap and he drank a bottle of formula.  Really, I’m very surprised.  The nursery is only one room, with lots of babies and five cribs…..every time I’ve walked in there, there is a child or more screaming.  He took a nap.  He’s never drank a full bottle of formula, I’m so glad he did.  It’s just so difficult to drop him off and not knowing if the Spanish speaking ladies understand what I’m communicating my baby needs.  Can you hear me tearing up as I write this?  It’s so difficult.  I’m really glad he’s not younger than he is.  Malachi and Elijah seem to be okay, Malachi cried this morning when we left.  He doesn’t do that very often.  There are way too many kids in his class too.  I’m really hoping this is just because it is orientation and the classes are all mixed in together.  Emerson and Zeke have been in the same room and Malachi and Elijah have been in the same room.  When school starts, Zeke will be alone, Em and Elijah will be together and Malachi will be in his own room.  So maybe it will be a better ratio and better organized.  I’m really hoping. 

Our orientation has been okay.  There are about 60 new students, which they keep telling us is huge. (I believe there’s usually 20 to 40.) Which has in turn affected our schedule, class was 7:30 to 12.  It’s now changed from 7:30 to 1pm. We each receive a one hour break in there, but they are all different.  Brian requested our’s be at 12pm so we can get our kids home for lunch and naps.  They wouldn’t be eating lunch until 1:30…..which is a really long time from eating breakfast at 6:30am.  Yes, they get a snack in the morning, but my kids are ready for  naps at about 12:30  when they’ve been up since 6am. So, I haven’t been thrilled with the schedule change, and it’s difficult to adjust when nothing was communicated at all that this would take place.  Not even the day care staff seemed to know when they spoke with us the first day of orientation.  So, I’m working through adjusting my expectations and having a positive attitude about whatever our schedule ends up looking like.  We find out our schedule on Monday—somebody’s working on it this weekend.  Pray for compassion on our family and for our break to be at the last block. 

Tomorrow we are going to go the  feria….a once a week outdoor farmer’s market.  We may do some other shopping too.  We’ll see how cooperative the kiddos are.  I still haven’t gotten to the photos yet.  I’ll work on it this weekend.  Yesterday I scrubbed in between the tiles in the bathroom. They were black, it really is amazing what bleach does.  They are about 75% better.  I mopped and swept yesterday too.  Today during the boy’s nap time, I took a nap too, 2 1/2 hours.  I woke up in a fog.  I could have slept another several hours.  Brian went to the panaderia and got some yummy empanada like things……one with potato and tabasco sauce, one with chicken and one with ham and cheese.  They were different and yummy.  I put them in the oven to warm up for dinner, I couldn’t figure out how to turn the oven on.  Brian tried to figure it out, he called Brit and Sherrie, our downstairs neighbors.  Brit told Brian to jiggle the clock dial on the oven.  So he got off the phone, jiggled the two nobs and turned temperature dial…..and it worked!  Crazy!  It also took us a while to figure out why the hot water wasn’t working in the shower.  I took one cold shower before we figured out the breaker had been turned off.  I AM SO THANKFUL FOR HOT WATER!!!!!!  I love my hot showers.  The stove also didn’t work for us and we finally figured out the breaker was off for that too.  The microwave is so odd,  I set the time when I was trying to heat something up, and couldn’t figure out how to heat things up.  I’ve since discovered the express button, I don’t know how to use the number keys to key in a time.  Maybe when I learn some more spanish, I’ll be able to read what the buttons say.  This is getting long enough.  Oh one last thing, after being here one day, Malachi was saying Buenas Dias one morning while he was playing with his toys(they were talking to each other).  We walked outside that morning, the first person we saw said, Buenas Dias and Malachi answered right back.  Really really amazing.  I can’t wait to hear my kids speaking Spanish—-wow, that will be just so amazing. 

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12 thoughts on “No Honeymooners Here”

  1. I can feel your emotion and realize how hard it is to leave your kiddos! I will pray that this season of life is rewarding and you can see some benefits for the kids, even. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. I was tearing up as I was reading your entry.  Lots of adjustments and transitions and I have no idea how hard it must be.   I’ll definitely be praying that you get the last block schedule.   You guys really have been on my mind and heart so much, I think I’ve been praying for you guys the most that I ever have been and we won’t stop.  That is really awesome about Malachi speaking Spanish, sounds like they will pick it up so quickly!  Love you guys.

  3. Oh, Tara.  As if leaving your kids and being in school isn’t enough… having to scrub all the tiles in your bathroom and clean and figure out ovens and all the normal life stuff  – it would just put me over the edge.  I’m so proud of you for following God’s will for your life.  Especially knowing how hard and difficult all of this will be.  Thank you for being so open in sharing your feelings.  I hope that it’s been sort of therapeutic getting it all out.  We love you all so much and are praying.  And Malachi saying Buenas Dias is just so cute.  Have peace in knowing that all this transition may not be as hard on the kids as it is on the adults.  Tell your kiddos Hola for me. 

  4. I’m glad everyone else knew what to say.  I wasn’t sure what comment I would make other than wow.  That’s alot for anyone to deal with, and it’s hard as a mom to not take on the emotions and hardships of your kids too.  But you are doing the very best thing for your kids and you in being where God wants you to be, Tara.  It’s such an example to me.  I pray in this very weak and vulnerable time, you will know more fully the almighty.

  5. We’re praying for you guys especially that your schedules will work out and all of you will find comfort in your daily routine. Reading your experiences with the stove and water heater brought so many memories of England to my mind. We had similar problems figuring things out and everything was in English! I can’t imagine dealing with these everyday things in another language. I know our neighbors were very valuable to us and helped us out quite a bit during those times. I feel your pain with the tailbone issue and staying awake in class. Remember to stretch, knees to chest is a good one and rotating your knees (while raised to your chest) in a circle while lying on your back to massage your sacrum does wonders. Praying for you!

  6. I’ve been praying for you all day, Tara.  I hope today was a great day to be together.  There isn’t much to say except that you are making two huge adjustments, one cultural and one in having to leave the kids so often, and making them together is so tough.  I know (know) that God can and does take you through those times when you feel like you are breaking in two from the stress of it all.  But I am praying for moments and hours and even some days of relief.  You know we love you guys so much and won’t stop praying.  We are so thankful for you…and that you are willing to go through this.  Oh…and I’d be happy to translate your microwave panel for you if you send a photo.    The hot water, the stove, the microwave…if I laughed a little it was only out of commiseration.  Hang in there.

  7. All of these major adjustments with three little ones…you are my hero! Lean into one another and your teammates. Let anyone and everyone help you. I’m hoping the appropriate scheduling considerations were made for your family’s needs.  XOXOXO-V 

  8. Prayed for your family just now, especially for your break time to work out. I am always amazed at how quickly the misssionary kids here in Paris pick up French, without an accent. They learn so much faster than their parents!

  9. Tara,
    Ah yes, culture shock.  I remember it well. . . I hope it will help.  I will share some of my past experiences. 
    First, I learned to give each new experience 3 weeks.  If after 3 weeks I was still unsettled or unhappy, then I would look for ways to change the situation to fit my needs.
    Next, I found that my attention span greatly increased after I was more comfortable that Erika was safe, well cared for, and growing, too.  Then I could focus on my own classes without my mind doing the panic-Mommy thing.  So, I suggest you watch the kiddos’ reactions.  Your fears may be unfounded, especially since kiddos seem to adapt much more quickly than adults – in my experience. You have given the boys an excellent foundation – they will tell you if they need something, are scared, or troubled by anything.  You even know Zeke well enough to know when his needs are not being met.  Take comfort from the fact that you have a really close-knit family.  These new experiences will not change that, as long as you all enjoy openly sharing them.
    Lastly, I found that sleep was essential!  (I know you know this, but maybe you will take more time to rest yourself if you hear it from another person).  You cannot care for your children, care for your home, learn from your classes, and stay sane if you are in a sleep deprivation mode.  Don’t underestimate this need!  Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a day (when I actually wanted 8 hours) seemed to be my limit when I was in law school and Erika was 6 years old.  Less than that and I couldn’t function.
    So, I hope this helped.  We, too, keep you, the boys, and Brian in our prayers daily.
    You are loved.
    Best wishes,
    Gail Randall

  10. I was tearing up reading your blog – it sounds like quite an adjustment period that you are going through.  I can definitely understand wanting to be with your kids – especially when dealing with the language barrier of the child care workers.  I’m thinking of you – hang in there!

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