sak saum

February Update

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A favorite time during my day is lunch hour in the nursery at Sak Saum. I love bringing my lunch upstairs and eating with some of the young moms and the children. One of the gifts God has given me in this season of my life is the ability to navigate motherhood with them. I have been so grateful to share some of the struggles and joys that are common to moms with young children — sleepless nights, odd rashes, potty training, funny things our children say, and so on. I have learned a lot from them in a short time…

  • Generosity. Cambodians are so willing to share what they have with each other and each other’s children. This has both challenged and encouraged me.
  • Helping. Regularly I watch mothers take turns holding each other’s children or helping calm a crying baby so that the mother can take a brief rest or eat some lunch. 
  • Laughing. There is a great deal of the humorous in parenthood. Some days, the good belly laugh I share over a child’s antics or a new game is such a bright spot.

And it has been interesting to hear from them what they find to be so curious about how I am a mommy. Here are two that they have mentioned to me before.

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  • Talking. I am always talking with Caleb about himself, his actions, the reasons why he should or shouldn’t do something, what God thinks about something and so on. This is quite strange to them! I still catch stares out of the corner of my eye. But the other day, I came up to the nursery and found Channa with her daughter on her lap as she explained to her why hitting the baby was not a good idea and encouraged her patiently to say sorry.
  • Showing affection and saying I love you. I can’t help it! I have a little boy who craves as much physical touch as he can get and I simply cannot help but hug, kiss, and snuggle him. I love telling him that I love him. I love seeing moms loving on their children.

Thanks for letting me give you a peek into my very precious world. I love and miss you!

Noelle

Prayer Requests

Thanks for joining with us in asking God to…

  • Continue to protect our marriage against the normal and abnormal stressors that come with daily life here.
  • Continued progress with Aaron's foster care/adoption process.
  • Give wisdom and strength to the ministry as they experience new growth in many arenas.
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End of Year Giving Statements 

We are working on our end of year giving statements, however you should have received your official statement from New Life Church already. Thanks so much for your patience! We plan to have them out soon.

Preggo in Cambodia: The Highlights

Pack n' Play with bassinet and changing table...Over the last nine months of pregnancy, I have enjoyed watching other friends and family have babies back in the States. It has been fun to witness the creativity of nurseries, the growing baby bumps and the absolute beauty of newborn life. As the months have passed it has made me increasingly eager to meet Caleb!

I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into the preparations we have made.

Medical Care? My doctor is from the Philippines. Jacob calls her a little ball of filipino goodness. We have felt very comfortable with her -- she takes a thorough but overall low maintenance approach to having a baby. Her philosophy? Women have been having babies for a long time and our bodies know what to do. I like that. I usually take a tuk tuk to my doctors appointments...that's pretty cool!

Preparing for Baby? We quickly realized that we would need to let go of some of our mental pictures of preparing for a newborn. We decided that Caleb will room with us which ruled out a nursery. Instead of a crib, we opted for a pack n' play. At first, it was a bit hard for me to mentally adapt but I now see the wisdom in it. Plus it's really cute!

I have loved shopping for baby clothes in the market though it is a bit hotter and more time-consuming than swinging by Target. The cool part? I remember where I bought each item and what price I bargained for.

I also love that we aren't tempted to have all the latest gadgets...simply because they aren't available and it isn't worth getting them over here. Cambodians live very simply in this way and, I believe, there is something valuable to be learned there. Caleb will be clothed, fed, safe and loved.

Having the baby? We are headed to Thailand in just over a week. Wow! We considered having the baby here which would have been easier on so many levels but with my miscarriage last time I felt more comfortable with Bangkok. We have the same doctor I saw while there a little over a year ago. Ginny, one of our directors and friends, will be coming over to help for a few days which is wonderful. Who knows? Maybe we will stay in Cambodia for the next one. =)

A few challenges? They are pretty minor really. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed with my internal raging inferno. The smell of dog poop in the streets. Stairs. Navigating the market with a growing baby bump.

My fav baby item? The Moses basket. This is one thing that I dreamt about and was able to make a reality. I am so looking forward to bringing Caleb with me to Sak Saum, meetings, and Saang. I can't wait to use it!

My fav part of being pregnant in Cambodia? Our family here. We have felt so loved and cared for. We are so thankful we have a Cambodian and international community who can't wait to meet Caleb. I LOVE that our baby is most active in my womb when Khmai is being spoken. He seems to already love outreaches, church service, staff meetings, worship times. I am grateful to my tuk tuk driver friends who have taken extra care to drive slowly over bumpy roads and to Sak Saum for making this journey so special. We love walking through life with the IHSC and international staff. Certainly I get some attention as the white lady with the big belly who walks like a penguin but we are grateful to be here and wouldn't change it for the world!

I also want to give a big thank you to my husband who has listened to my constant dialogue of body changes, rubbed my swollen ankles, figured out ways to satisfy my cravings and overall been an incredible best friend. I love you.

With that said, enjoy a few pics that give a snapshot of our pregnancy.

From 10 - 36 weeks...

 

The Moses Basket!

Fun books, towels, toys and more...

Some home knit baby booties...

LOVE my Sak Saum baby bag (named Yun if anyone is interested in ordering one! Visit www.ihsionline.org/ssblog.)

See you in 4 weeks, Caleb