I love Three!


Abbie has declared that she will be Three years old forever. Let's be honest here, if you had to pick one age to be forever, wouldn't you choose Three? It's the best. Abbie certainly thinks so, and I gotta tell you, Three suits Abbie very well. She is an excellent Three year old.
She made this declaration when I expressed how sad I would be when that (not so distant) day of their leaving my house arrives. I didn't want to be left alone...I need babies in my house! Elena basically said, "tough luck. I want to be a grownup" but Abbie had compassion on me.
"I'll be three forever. I'm not going to grow up anymore."

If only it were true.

Oh and one more thing, Abbie also says that Jesus should not come back ON a cloud. He should come back IN the moon. She says it will be like a big airplane, but without the seats (Obviously! Because if it weren't for the seats, airplanes would be a lot of fun!) and it will be full of toys. Jesus will be driving the Moon to Heaven and will tell us stories on our way there.

Just thought you should know.

Random Furlough Memories

Memory Number One: This photo was taken one week before Lexi's appearance. I was convinced I was in labor, I know I was, but my Dad told me over webcam to "Stop! Stop at once! We'll be there in a week! Just wait!" and wouldn't you know it, I obeyed. The contractions stopped, nothing happened, my parents arrived a week later on Thursday afternoon and my water broke on 1 AM Friday morning.
But, during the false alarm the week before, I called up my brother and sister-in-law, "get ready!" I told them, "Baby is coming." So they came over and sat on the couch and watched me not be in active labor.

Good times.


Memory Number Two:
The one and only picture of my girls in the snow of New Hampshire. Notice the creative angle? The exact camera settings? The perfect exposure?
Of course you don't, that's because I stepped outside for all of 2 seconds to take this one picture and then retreated inside again. I would have taken many more pictures of them outside in the snow except for the fact that there was snow outside. Also, the girls were never in the snow. We lived inside all winter and moaned and groaned whenever we had to walk outside.

"No! Please! No! No more snow! Take us to Paraguay! At once!!" Thus, their very happy faces. (not so much)

Again, good times.

Milkshakes, or so we thought.

Brian said he knew of a place that had milkshakes. Milkshakes?? For real?
Off we went and sure enough, they have milkshakes.
They're just not good milkshakes. (A glass of milk with about, oh, a tablespoon of ice cream added.)
The girls had a good time in that last hour before bedtime. Usually we watch the run around the house wondering what to do with them, but on that night we decided ice cream was in order.

While the milkshakes were disappointing we did see a picture of a sandwich which looked an awful lot like a steak and cheese.

Two nights later we went back and ordered one.
Turned out they were too salty, plus they added chopped hard boiled egg on top of the meat. Sacrilege if you ask Brian.


And thats the news!

Baby stuff

I currently have 5 friends who are expecting babies. Some are about ready to have their babies, some are just in the beginning months (bless your hearts!) I have a few friends with teeny, tiny newborns as well.

I've been getting lots of emails with questions about baby things, products, pregnancy, etc. I often ask myself why I'm being asked and then I realize that "Oh yeah, I've had three...I guess I might have some opinions on the matter."

So, without further ado, Baby Stuff I Can't Live Without.

If you are a woman in your childbearing years you should be taking these daily. They strengthen your uterus making labor easier and the recovery quick. While most women will tell you that the afterbirth pains are worse with each delivery, my third was the easiest by far. I was taking two capsules every day until the last three months of pregnancy, then I took four a day. I shudder to think what my posterior labor would have been like had I not been taking these. As it was, a posterior baby, with bad back labor was done in only 5 1/2 hours. Not too bad. The after birth pains were almost non-existent. Take them. You'll thank me later.

Cushy, soft, and so absorbent. Prefolds are easy to make, but if you have your hands full (like me!) and don't own a sewing machine (like me!) buy these. Lexi wears them daily.

Aaaah. The Bumbo! It makes the occasional visit to restaurant possible and gives you two free arms during meal time. (Well, not really, because you have to feed the baby with one arm and feed yourself with the other...) We love this.

I realize the walker has had bad rap in the past few years, but I have two of my three girls have been very independent from the start. Having the walker has been a lifesaver. I don't think I would know how to raise a child without one. (I don't own this particular brand)

I'll be honest, this gets painful to wear after about 30 minutes. As I mentioned above, I've had two very independent girls who simply refused to face in when being held. From two weeks of age the cradling stage was OVER. They wanted to see, go and do. I recently purchased the Ergo which is known for not being painful in the shoulders, Lexi is still too small for the Ergo, so in the meantime it's the Bjorn. I wear her while washing diapers, cooking, folding laundry, you name it!

And now, Baby Things That You Don't Really Need:

1. Teethers.
Wash, peel and freeze a whole carrot instead.

2. Baby food in jars.
It looks and smells gross. Make your own whenever possible. There are always exceptions.

3. Strollers. That's if you live in Paraguay. There are hardly any sidewalks here and the ones that are here are not friendly to strollers. If you live elsewhere, go ahead.

4. Electrical socket covers, weird things that keep doorknobs from turning, rubber safety gadgets that keep cabinets from opening...etc.
Train the baby to obey your commands starting from six months or so. Otherwise, if I come to your house I won't be able to open any doors or cabinets. :)

Your turn. What one baby product can't you live without and which one did you buy and then later realized you would never use?


My creation

Our lives are getting busier and busier. New friends means get-togethers, cookouts and game nights. Our first church meeting/Bible study had 16 people in attendance. (BIG SMILE!)
I have mommy friends who want play dates, and young married friends who want once a week movie nights, new Christian friends who want discipleship...the list goes on.

I'm taking a break from Facebook, you can still reach me here. Or at my email which you can find on the side of this blog.

Keep your eyes open for lots of pictures and hopefully more steady posts. But I'm not promising anything...we have lots to do!

(And after a year of furlough where you do NOTHING during the week and run around like a headless chicken during the weekends, being busy again feels so good.)

We're glad to be back.

Baby Weight...BE GONE!

My creation

Ah, yes.

Here we go again.

The baby weight battles.

I don't have a lot to loose, only 12 pounds to be at my goal weight. But if I let 12 pounds slide with each pregnancy...well, that's not a healthy situation for a shorty like me. Twelve pounds doesn't have a lot of places to go when you're 5'1".


I am eating better, no white flour or sugar. Lots of vegetables and protein.

I also workout using Jillian Michael's The 30 Day Shred DVD's. Really good workout, not a lot of coordination needed, and only twenty minutes. I'm seeing and feeling results already after only two weeks. I would highly reccomend this DVD, especially to mothers of young children. I just don't know if you can get this good of a workout in less time anywhere else. But of course, as with everything, you have to actually DO it.

I feel better and I'm loosing inches. I expect to not reach my goal until Lexi is weaned.

(You know how some women just shed pounds while nursing? Yeah, they make me sick. Not the case here.)

I'm in no rush, just want to be as healthy as possible and feel as good as possible. These kids keep me on my toes and I find that I'm a much happier Mommy when I workout.

What about you? Any weight loss tips, or great workouts you want to share?

What I'm NOT doing

The arrival of the third child has pushed me off the cliff.

Somewhere between Lexi's birth and our arrival in Paraguay I have lost all control. Who's in charge? I'm not sure. I feel as if having three kids under the age of 4 is the same as having eleven children! (I'm probably wrong.)

Once you're outnumbered, you're outnumbered.

In order to maintain some sort of sanity I've quit doing many things.

1. Making the bed.
2. Blogging, editing photos. (I do a little bit whenever I can. It's rare)
3. Sorting laundry. It all gets dumped in at the same time.
4. Fixing my hair
5. Leave the house (again, very rare)
6. Looking at the clock for midnight feedings. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

Here's what I am doing:

1. Setting the breakfast table the night before
2. Planning our menus a whole month in advance
3. Only allowing one kitchen helper per night, the other two get Blankie Time. It's all I can handle.
4. Exercising and taking naps.
5. Unpacking, organizing, sorting, storing...still.
6. Facebook. It's how I keep in touch the world.

Maybe things will calm down, maybe I'll finally get my footing someday, or maybe it's just chaos from here on out.

I didn't realize how hard moving across the world with two kids, traveling all over the East Coast with two kids and a pregnant belly, moving across the world AGAIN with three kids, moving across the country with three kids, would be.
It's taken it's toll on me and I dream about sleeping. Or maybe reading. Or maybe just some quiet.

One day.

(I hope.)

But for now, it's messy beds and ponytails.

Sick Baby...how much longer?


Lexi Honey,
We are so tired of you having the sniffles.
Please, no more watery eyes. No more runny nose. No more fussiness.
Come back healthy baby, get rid of this Baby Cold. We miss you.
Daddy, Mommy, Elena and Abbie

Date Night - Burgers, Fries, and Shakes


We learned that:
A. Soaking the thinly sliced potatoes all day is the key to crunchy fries.
B. We don't like the vanilla ice cream flavor here. We miss Freddo. A lot.

We used Bobby Flay's Blackberry Cheesecake Milkshake recipe as our inspiration. We didn't have blackberries, so used frozen raspberries instead. I made a simple syrup with the raspberries, added it to some vanilla ice cream and whirred it in the blender. It was okay...I really didn't like the vanilla flavor of the ice cream. We weren't impressed.

The burgers were amazing though.

So was the company.


I love to browse through other photography sites, and have always been amazed at how people can dress their children in cute, matching outfits and get them to pose for them.

"Why...I can do that!!" I think to myself.

Since I put so much effort into what my girls wear (not) I just let them put on whatever.

"Well, maybe they don't match, and maybe they are wearing a bajillion different patterns, but I should get some cute poses, I think."

"Do something cute!" I tell them.

This is what happens.


Oh well.

I don't know why I expect more.

After all, my children are 50% Vernoy.


Proof that goofiness is inherited.

Trip to Luque

Luque still feels like home to me, I know one day Ciudad del Este will feel the same way. (I hope)

It was so nice to have a little taste of home last week, even if it was just a few days. A short trip to ease the awkwardness of culture shock, and sting of homesickness.

It worked.
I feel better and more adventurous about this new smaller, but way busier, city we're in.

Here's to my old home and my soon to be home.







My Abigail turns 3.

Oh, it was just HUGE this party of hers. (Not really, our birthday parties usually take all of twelve minutes from start to finish.)

We did have to special guests all the way from England, known affectionally as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Great friends and we were glad to finally meet them. Interesting the people who walk into your world through blogging, isn't it?

Anyway, the party was simple. There was a girl who turned three, some Hello Kitty hats from the party aisle at the grocery store, some homemade pizza and a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting.

DSC_0006 DSC_0013

We gave her way more than three candles because what kid doesn't want a cake full of candles? It's her birthday, she should get what she wants.


It was simple and sweet.
Just like my girl.