Black Friday...Sort of

We decided that even though we live in another country,
we could still go for black friday shopping, minus the deals and such.
So, we packed up the van and headed to a large city about 3 hours away that has an IKEA!
We decided to leave around 7am to get to IKEA when it opened around 10.
Joanna napped in the car.

As we were driving we saw sheep everywhere,
some not so alive anymore.
This one was alive in the back of a car.

We knew it was a holiday (hence the sheep everywhere),
but it didn't occur to us that IKEA may not be open. We drove up to this!

After a little detective work we realized that it would not open until 1pm.
We dropped Josh off with a friend to watch some of the holiday festivities
surrounding the sheep not being so alive anymore and went on to our
second shopping destination across the city from IKEA,
to learn that it would not be open until 1pm also.
We then moved on to a 3rd destination and it was open!
We walked around a bit and then headed back to destination #2
to learn that it was actually 2pm that it was opening, so we went to a mall,
grabbed lunch and picked up Josh to go back a 3rd time (he was so excited he didn't miss it).
Success! It was finally open. We found a few good deals then headed on to IKEA.
It was packed.
Because of the holiday everyone was off from their jobs and evidently at IKEA.
We were able to pick up a few things for the house, grab some dinner
and head on out to finally get home around 12:30am.
Joanna woke up when we got out of the car and finally went back down around 2:30.

So, 19.5 hours,
500km (plus the trips back and forth to destination #2),
4 McDonalds meals (for lunch and dinner I had a happy meal with a milkshake
and Josh had 2 menus for dinner as they were buy one get one free),
lots of dead sheep
and several great purchases later
we finished our first black friday in another land.

Here is some of the aftermath:


The turkey.

The anticipation.

The feast!

We had a great thanksgiving.
We missed our family but spent time here with great friends.


And rounding out the tour...

Our room :).
It has changed a bit since these pictures were taken,
but this gives you an idea.

We have wonderful built in cabinets that give us more closet
space than we have ever had in our lives!


Bundled Up in the Park

It was below 70 degrees outside...
and therefore every man, woman, and child was covered head to toe with puffy clothing.

We have learned to just follow along and bundle Joanna up to avoid being scolded by everyone we see.
I personally rebel at times, and instead of sweating choose to pull the "I am a silly foreigner" card.

Well bundled, and though this expression doesn't quite show it, Joanna had quite a time on the slide.
We had quite a time watching her.

Joanna says,


The Full Bath

This is our other bathroom. The one we use primarily :).

If you notice there is a huge pile of stuff on top of the washer.
We bought a bathroom cabinet at the same time we bought our
living room furniture, but the cabinet hasn't arrived yet.
The living room furniture arrived 1 week after we bought it.
About 3 weeks later, we asked the furniture guy when the cabinet
would arrive and he said "no problem, no problem. 10 days. Maybe."
We'll see :).


Joanna's Room

If you are facing the office and turn right,
there is a hallway with 4 rooms coming off of it (including the office).
The blanket and clothing items are not always in the hallway.
The rug is.
The first room on the left is the office.
The second on the left is Jo's room, the highlight of this post.
The room straight ahead is our room,
and the door on the right is to the full bath.

When you walk in you can see her crib on your left,
her dresser on your right, and her rocker directly in front of you.
The wall color, border, rug and drapes are hand me downs, but they work OK.
No, the nose aspirator on the dresser is not part of the decor.
It is probably up there to prevent Joanna from chewing on it.
She loves anything rubber.
The rocker has been great!
We got it from IKEA when we first got here.
Mom and Suzanne made the pillow that is in it.
Just a little taste of home :).

This is the view looking out into the hallway from behind the rocker.


Joanna Laughs


This is a medley of a few recent videos of Joanna.
Her dad can make her laugh like no other :).
It starts with laughing at a sneeze,
moves to the quick sniff that her friend Em taught her
(also how we got her tooth picture),
and ends with a fun round of "I'm gonna get you".


The Squatty

When you turn to the left from the front door and walk towards
the office there is a hallway on the right.
Just before you get to the hallway, there is a half bathroom.
This is what it looks like.

If you walk in a little further, you can see the toilet :).


The Office/Catch All Room

If you turn left when you walk into the front door
you will see the office straight ahead.
We still haven't figured out quite what to do with this
room so currently it is the catch all room.

The Living/Dining Room

To the left of the kitchen is the living/dining room.
This is where we spend the majority of our time.

The couches here are a little firmer than we are accustomed to,
but they are super convertible, which is fun.
We could sleep 5 on our couches alone.
The love seat lays back and a foot rest pops up to make a double bed,
the sofa lays back to make a double bed,
one of the chairs lays back and a footrest pops up to make a single bed,
and the other chair and sofa have drawers underneath!
How's that for space saving?
So please bring yourself and 4 of your closest friends to visit!

If you walk in a little further and look back towards
the door you can see the dining furniture (and Joanna).

I still haven't put anything on the walls, but I have a plan to put
some of the "ruins" pictures over the couch.

The Kitchen

As you enter, please take your shoes off and leave them outside.
You can put on some of the slippers by the door as you walk inside the house.
If you look to your right, you can see the kitchen.
We eat most of our meals in here at the little table
on the left unless we have company.
You can barely see our drinking water on a stand in the left of the picture.
Come on in a little further.

Now you can see the rest of the kitchen.
The countertop is a little crowded right now because I just
went to the market and got some fruits and veggies.
I also bought some bread from the doorman this morning.

Welcome to our home :)

I recently took pictures to give everyone a tour of our apartment.
I'll try to finish the tour in the next few days.
We love it and hope you do to!
Just imagine you are walking in the front door now...

French Toast

We love french toast.
It is a little more involved since we have to make our own syrup
(and the brown sugar that goes in the syrup),
but it is soooo yummy with the bread here!
Next time we make it I'll take a picture of the finished product.


It's a tooth!

Thanks to the grin that Joanna's buddy Emily taught her,
we were able to get a picture of her tooth.
It popped through about a week ago.
You will have to excuse the food on her face.
When she is sitting in her chair for meals is about
the only time she is still these days.


My Little Helper

Joanna LOVES the dishwasher. And spoons.
I have even caught her climbing on top of the open door to get to the dishes
when the tray is not pulled out.
At least it keeps her occupied while I work in the kitchen :).





How do you get this child to eat her veggies?

Put them on the floor or on a chair.

When Joanna doesn't eat all of the food on her plate
she tends to drop some of it on the ground.
Even if I sweep right away, she always finds something
I missed and proceeds to eat it, whether it be on the floor or in a chair,
a cookie, pea, bread crumb or dust bunny.
Maybe I should start hiding asparagus in the cabinets?