CT—7 months

I am so behind on posting. We are 15 days from “the boy” turning 8 months old, and I am just now posting for 7 months. But here it is…


Doesn’t he look like a little boy! I think since his hair has grown in it makes him look so much older. This picture was taken on Thanksgiving day (about a week after he was 7 months). Memaw actually arrived the day that Cohen turned 7 months. This was the first time for her to meet her youngest grandchild (#9)…


I think this next picture is the best smile I caught for the month. “Mama Bela” (Manuela) helps me a ton when I need an extra hand, and I don’t think she minds it at all. 🙂 Can you tell that Cohen is okay with Manuela?


Month 7 (let’s see how well I back track):

1. We went for his vaccinations a week and a half before the 19th. He weighed 19.6 pounds or 8.9 kilos. His height, 26.8 inches. A funny story about his Peruvian check-up. The nurse looked at the graph showing his growth and because he came down a little on weight she said he needed to gain more (he is still way above the red for weight). She told me I need to feed his solids 4 times a day (which I actually do) and with every meal serve him 2 tsp of real butter! This, my friends, is why Peruvian babies are so chunkey. I just shook my head yes while she told me this. She also told me that he needed to eat solid food before nursing (which is the complete opposite in the states). It is amazing what cultural differences there are in raising a baby.

2. Maggie is a tiny thing, but they now wear the same size diaper.

3. Cohen is at the end of his 9 month wardrobe. We have busted out the 12 month clothes.

4. He rolls from belly to back really well. He never does multiple rolls.

5. He plays with his basket of toys a lot while sitting up by himself. He usually ends up lunging forward and rolling over. This results in frustration and crying, but it will buy me 30 minutes of him entertaining himself a lot.

6. He sleeps propped up on a boppy. His sleep routine is super easy. We lie him down, put in his paci, give him his little monkey, lay his blanket over him and say good-night. We usually find him scooted down the bed, paci out of mouth, and his boppy body-slammed on the opposite end of the bed. He goes to bed between 6 and 7 and wakes up to eat around 5:30. He then goes back to sleep until around 7.

7. He naps 3 times a day. Morning and afternoon naps are the longest (2 hours or longer).

8. He loves to eat. He started eating puffs, and he is a pro at picking them up with his hands, but he has no idea how to transfer them to his mouth. We’ll get there.

9. He loves holding small things that rattle. He shakes it like he is in a band.

10. He LOVES the exersaucer we have. It swivels on one leg, but he is able to walk all over the room in it. He grabs at everything he can reach so we have to make sure all the glasses are removed from the coffee table.

11. He can sound out “MaMa.” (probably because I preach it to him every day) 😉

12. I can ask Ana to entertain him or play with him, and it buys me time to prepare a meal or do laundry. This is a huge perk for having 3 children.

CT—7 months


terrible two

Maggie Kate is two years old, and Maggie Kate is a M.E.S.S. We have already had one daughter go through this stage. Did it better prepare us for Maggie… no way, Jose. I know that these moments will just keep on coming, but today I had a “terrible two morning,” and I have several things before this that I want to record about her.

First of all, she is absolutely hilarious right now. Her expressions, the complete sentences she has started to say, her reaction to things, figuring out independence. “Terrible” is not the best way to describe her because she can be the sweetest child, but if the definition of terrible includes getting into everything when we are not looking it describes this stage perfectly.

1. I am going to copy and paste a prayer that she said in Spanish the other day for lunch. Many ask if she can speak Spanish. It is AMAZING how a child picks up another language so quickly. She knows who to say “hola” to and she knows who to say “hello” to. Maggie comes across as an extrovert right now. She typically is not shy to do things or say things out loud…

to our last group of summer interns: Maggie said the prayer before lunch yesterday in Spanish with no prompting. This is what she said: “Grasus por Bela y Nana y Mam. Daddy y Toe-in (Cohen). Y Mahnay (Manet Castaeda), Ohhp (Hope Rice), Beff (Stephanie Brown) and Beelow (April Souza). Grasus por ohmida (comida) y ehsuz (Jesus). AMEN!!!

2. We are learning that we have to discipline her very differently than AG. Greg is a stickler when it comes to letting our children “cry it out.” He knows crying is inevitable, but enough is enough. So with Ana we could tell her to be quiet, and she could stop the crying. Maggie… totally different. She just keeps crying and blubbering, “I sawwee (I’m sorry),” really loudly over and over. There is no quiet to it. We have to acknowledge that she is sorry and comfort her to get her to calm down. I have found that I just have to hold her for a minute and she immediately stops. It is just so different than Ana.

3. The girls love gummi snacks. I have been keeping them in a drawer that both the girls could reach. I thought I had a pretty good handle on them not getting into the drawer. As I write this, those gummis are up high… very, very high. I had one of those moments the other day when I didn’t know where Maggie had gone. I have come to learn that that ALWAYS means she is doing something she shouldn’t. Me: “Maggie, where are you.” MK: “Downwheres (downstairs).” (but she totally said it like her mouth was full of something) Sure enough, she had gone downstairs to the kitchen, right after I had allowed them to have a package of gummis, and she was stuffing her face with as many as she could before I found her. I died laughing inside. She really is brilliant I think.

4. If Ana leaves the table to get something and her food or drink is in grabbing distance Maggie WILL take it at her leisure.

5. I caught her eating Cohen’s puffs the other day.

6. She has started taking her diaper off because we have tried the potty a few times. Big mistake. (See next one)

7. This morning I awoke to Ana telling me that Maggie had taken off her diaper and there was poop everywhere. Sure enough, I walk into the room and the first thing Maggie says is, “Momma, I go potty and there poop on my BaBa (her blanket).” I started the day with a big fat load of poopy laundry (did I mention that she smeared it on a pillow that she had taken the case off of?).

Later in the day, while I am in Cohen’s room tending to him, I hear Ana say, “Oh no. Maggie!!! Momma!!!” She had turned the hot water dispenser (we have a water dispenser for cold and boilong water) on and their was a river going down through my kitchen. Her fingers hurt (imagine that). I took her up to her room for timeout (and held her so she would calm down) only to discover that her hair was crunchy in the back. Me: “Maggie, what is in your hair?” Maggie: “Soap Momma.” Sure enough, I discovered the hand soaps down in the floor in my bathroom and in the girls’ bathroom. I discovered a totally empty hand sanitizer bottle and all of Cohen’s Baby shampoo emptied out.

8. I remember reading I’ll Love You Forever to Ana and seeing the picture of the two year old boy flushing the watch down the toilet. I thought, “I wonder what it would be like to have a child like that?” NOW I KNOW!!! First Maggie will stand at a toilet and flush it over and over again if she is not monitored. Second, we have found multipe items in the toilet that don’t belong there. I shudder to think about what I don’t know about.

9. Another new thing for her is putting things in the bathroom trashcan. Like the entire roll of toilet paper.

10. She painted her nails on her own the other day… and her leg… and her forehead…

11. The picture at the beginning of the post is from when Jeannie and Diane were here. I had bathed Cohen, and Maggie decided that she would take herself a bath after I left the bathroom. That was the heaviest diaper ever. She just climbed right in, clothes and all.

This girl is a mess, and we really do love her, but I sure hope that Cohen takes after his elder sister in this stage of the game.


Ana-isms as a 4-year-old

I don’t want to forget these and some are the kind that I don’t want to correct because I love hearing them so much…

1. hanitizer = hand sanitizer

2. frinkle = what she calls a freckle (maybe it looked wrinkled as well?)

3. slipperly = slippery

4. This is going to be super fun. That looks super yummy. = loves to use “super” as an adjective

(Those are the ones off the top of my head.)

Ana-isms as a 4-year-old

The King Jesus Gospel… started

Scot McKnight is definitely one of my new favorite authors. I follow his blog. There is a mountain of information he pumps through that blog: book reviews, recent topics discussed among Christians, guest bloggers, thoughts of news reports from a Christian perspective. I read his book The Blue Parakeet: Rediscovering How to Read the Bible and absolutely loved it. It will definitely be one of those books that I can write down in my list of “books used to spiritually transform me.” So, when I read about his newest book, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, I immediately ordered it along with one (that my big brother recommeded to me) called Embracing Grace so that Diane could bring it to me when she came. I started The King Jesus Gospel tonight. I absolutely loved the foreword written by NT Wright and Dallas Willard.

Here is a clip from Wright’s piece that I love:

… The Christian faith is kaleidoscopic, and most of us are color-blind. It is multidimensional, and most of us manage to hold at most two dimensions in our heads at any one time. It is symphonic, and we can just about whistle one of the tunes. So we shouldn’t be surprised if someone comes along and draws our attention to other colors and patterns that we hadn’t noticed. We shouldn’t be alarmed if someone sketches a third, fourth, or even a fifth dimension that we had overlooked. We ought to welcome it if a musician plays new parts of the harmony to the tune we thought we knew.

We ought, in other words, to welcome a book like this one from Scot McKnight… (page 11)

I am so excited to get into this. I am also in a place in our ministry here where I feel that God is pushing me, stretching me, calling me to do things I have never done before. In all things it is my prayer that I walk with his Spirit. He leadeth me.

The King Jesus Gospel… started

I am well pleased

Tonight I began a study of Mark with a girl here. I am using N. T. Wright’s Mark for Everyone as a companion guide to our conversations. In the account of Jesus’ baptism, Wright points out something that I never considered in the story. When God the Father opens the heavens and says, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased,” Wright comments that we should all hear this message when we are baptized. We are all God’s children. He has chosen us; he loves us; he is pleased with us. I love that, and I have never taken that part of the story so personally.

Well, soon after that study I was catching up on reading some blog posts. I know that I have referenced Katie so many times, but she just has a way with words. Her post today couldn’t have been more perfect to go along with the idea above. I love when that happens!

Click here for Katie’s words

I am well pleased

Halloween 2011

I really love Halloween, and it really ocurred to me this year that daughter #1 really gets into this holiday. Every year we have lived here we have gone trick-or-treating with a little group of her friends from preschool. We were planning on doing that this year, but two of the three girls attend a school that hosts a big festival and they were not able to trick-or-treat together. Ana was majorly bummed (I didn’t find out the news until the morning of Halloween). She loves getting dressed up in her costume and loading up on candy.

This year Rachel, our teammate, asked Ana if she wanted her to make a costume. Ana told her she wanted to be the mermaid, Ariel, and Rachel made a rockin’ mermaid costume for her! I could not let this day go to waste just because we had no trick-or-treat option so I tried to make it as special as I could. Before lunch the girls designed a giant pumpkin cookie. They decorated it with M&M’s, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

This evening, we had fun getting ready. I had a blast putting the girls’ makeup on. I have fond memories of my mom allowing me to wear her makeup for Halloween, and I definitely had one of those moments where I felt like I was in my mom’s shoes. 🙂 They knew they were hot stuff and we headed to the roof for a costume photoshoot as if we were about to go out. Cohen woke up and I put him in his costume (actually a monkey coat that my mom bought him). Maggie wore Ana’s old ballerina recital costume. We headed to the living room for the McKinzie Three 2011 Halloween shoot. They were so cute.

After pictures, Cirilo joined us, and we made s’mores on the open flame of our gas stove! We ended the evening with three games of UNO Attack. I think that Ana ended up enjoying her Halloween despite the missing ingredient of trick-or-treating. There are not too many neighborhoods here in Peru that have trick-or-treaters. If we are ever in the states for Halloween she will not know what to do with herself.

I will post the link to all the pictures of Facebook at the end of the post. Here are a few of the kids in their costumes:







Halloween 2011

Jeannie and Diane Visit 2011

the girls

There is just something about having kindred spirits in your life. Mid-October, Greg left for the states to attend a conference and make visits to some universities leaving me in Peru alone with the three kiddos. He was gone for 2 weeks. I knew that if I could just survive that first week by myself, life would get tons better because Jeannie and Diane arrived the Friday of the week Greg left. Well, I survived, and boy was I happy to see those two beautiful faces when they arrived.

We had a blast. It wasn’t quite a “girls getaway.” My kids were part of the picture the entire time they were here, but I loved having them as company and LOVED the one-on-one defense we had with the kids. Jeannie is my life-long best friend of close to 30 years. We have a history that no one will ever replace. My kids adore her, and there is just something about that girl that I love. 😉 I got to know Diane during our time spent in the 6 months with Cedar Lane. Greg loves hanging out with her husband, Mark, and they are kind of the first really good friends that Greg and I made as a married couple–people that neither of us knew before marriage. Diane is laid back and so easy-going, and we just really click when it comes to how we see life and how we should live it. They are part of our mission support team there at CL.

Since both of the girls have been to Peru to visit before, we didn’t have to worry about the touristy stuff. We just hung out, went out to eat when we wanted, varied shifts so we could take naps when we needed, and talked like kindred spirits do (we missed you so much, Claudia!!!). I think the things we will remember from this trip are the Gilmore Girl marathon we started ( a series I love and neither of the two had seen), all the funny things that the kids were doing at this particular stage, riding in the back of a tiny taxi with each of us holding a child in our lap, and praying together one night over things we could openly share about. It was a beautiful time. Those girls have seen me at my best and at my worst as a momma, but I am glad that they can empathize with me a little more when I call them on Skype.

Diane left on Thursday, and Jeannie left Sunday evening (the same day that Greg arrived).

To Jeans and Marlee: I love you girls more than words can express, and I appreciate you and thank you more than you will ever know for the time you took to be here with me. I know you sacrificed to come, and I will cherish the time we spent together for years to come. I can’t wait to see you two again next year on furlough.

Here is our “silly picture” we took right before Diane headed to the airport…


And to see more pictures from their time here, click this link: FACEBOOK ALBUM

Jeannie and Diane Visit 2011