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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

This year, we had a super brave Spiderman and a beautiful ballerina in our house for Halloween.:) It was a jam packed Halloween weekend which started with a Halloween party and parade at Jeremy's school on Friday.
They made Jack-o- lantern masks and had pumpkin cookies. I was one of the room moms who helped out with the party. It is so cute to see the little ones all dressed up. I couldn't believe there were three Spidermen in Jeremy's class this year, and they all sat at the same table in his classroom.:)

Here is a picture of some of the pre-K kids before the costume parade. Then, they all got to trick or treat in different classrooms.:)
On Saturday, We headed over to some good friends we have made on another compound. Their compound is so nice because you actually feel like you may be in the U.S. It has streets and driveways and lots of green space. The kids had fun... lots of fun going to a Halloween party and then trick or treating in the compound. It almost felt like we were in Houston until Guy noticed the 15 foot concrete wall topped with electric fencing.....then we were shocked back into reality...this was Nigeria...not the U.S.:)

Jeremy's first taste of cotton candy with one of his friends.....Racer X.:)
Lizzy won a cupcake or a "tuptate" as she calls it in the cake walk at the Halloween Party.:)
On Sunday, our compound had a costume parade and trick or treating.:) Here I am with a couple friends here on our compound.:)
Lizzy and one of her little friends.....the soccer player and the Ballerina.:)
Jeremy wanted Happiness to come trick or treating. We had been watching " It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" and Jeremy really wanted her to dress up as a ghost. She is such a sweet person. She showed up and wore her costume and helped me carry Lizzy up all the steps here in the compound.:) I am sure she thinks all the oyibos have lost their mind wearing all these silly costumes ( Halloween is not really celebrated in Nigeria).
There was a clown at the party here on our compound, and Jeremy was too excited when she made him a balloon Spiderman!:)
All the parents were trying to get a group shot of all the kids before they headed off to trick or treat. it was so funny to see all the parents and all the cameras flashing to get a good shot.:) All in all the kids had a great weekend. Guy and I were just talking about how fast the weekend went. We hope you all have a very safe and happy Halloween. Now, I am off to sort through the candy. It is an unwritten rule that Mommy gets all the chocolate, right?:)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yesterday, as I was riding in the car, I noticed these cans with what looked like weeds sticking out of them ( they have probably been there for months.....I just hadn't noticed them before). They are there to line the street. I am not sure exactly what they are there for.( hopefully road dividers)...I am hoping someone doesn't think they are making a nice decoration on the side of the road.:)

It"s Here!!!

Our shipment came on Tuesday night in true Nigerian fashion. I was on the phone many times on Tuesday with the moving company trying to figure out when they would deliver the shipment since it had been released from customs last week. And, just after, the lady told me it wouldn't be Tuesday, I got a call from Guy telling me that the shipment was at the front gate of the compound......and there it was. All 65 boxes had been opened and gone through. Thankfully, only minor things were taken....a few rolls of paper towels, hand cream, some of Jeremy's socks and shorts for school. So, all in all, not too only took a little over 4 months to get here!!!:)

Elizabeth has never had her own bedding. She had been using the crib set I used for Jeremy when we brought him home. Guy and I thought it was time for her to have her very own bed set just for her.....along with matching curtains and rug, of course.:)

The kids Bathroom got a few new things, we decided to go with ducks. You may think that this is crazy that I am taking a picture of a shower curtain from Target and posting it on the blog...but we have waited four months for it to come and the kids are so excited about it:) Especially the soap dispenser and the trash can that quack when you press and open it.:)

Jeremy has a few new additions to his room since I posted a picture of his room last. He is the only one in the family that got to bring all of his bedroom furniture with him when we moved here.:) If you can't tell he is really into race cars.:)

That was just a little bit of what came in our shipment. Of course there was a ton of dog food and regular food, cleaning upplies, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. I never thought seeing these ordinary things could make me so happy.:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where is She?

Where did my sweet baby girl go? In a flash, last night, Guy converted her crib into a little bed. My baby is a little girl now. I am not sure I am ready for that yet...but, it sure looks like she is. In her own words, she was "So essited!!!!" And, she didn't even roll out of bed last night.:) ( but, just in case, we had about 4 pillows lined up next to her bed:))

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Nigerian Tree Trimmer

I meant to post this picture last Thursday after I took it. I was waiting for Elizabeth to get done with school. I was sitting at the group of tables for the moms to wait when I looked over and saw two gardeners "trimming" a large bush. I had to laugh when I saw one pull out a huge machete to trim back the bush. Sorry, the picture isn't that great. The man with the machete is standing in front of the other gardener...but if you look carefully you can see the machete up in the air to "trim" the bush. But, I think you can get my point. I don't know, but I am pretty sure we wouldn't see anything like that in the U.S. Only in Nigeria! ha ha:)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Nigerian Headache

Each day when you get in the car in Lagos, there is no telling how bad the traffic will be on any given day. Some days it can take you almost 4 hours to go 5 miles and other days it can take 20 minutes to go 20 miles! One thing that you can always depend on , however, is the many interesting things you will see through your car windows in the streets of Lagos. Today when we were taking Jeremy to school, there was a traffic jam at the light. No one was moving and Fatai was in the middle of the intersection with nowhere to go. of course the traffic police were there, and of course they weren't doing anything to help the traffic. When we got closer to the source of the jam, we saw it was two Nigerian drivers who were in a fight about something. The road was too narrow for both cars to pass , and neither one would give the other car the right of way. So, while they were arguing about who would go first, we just went ahead and went around them on the curb, of course.:) After we dropped Jeremy off at school, I saw a sight I see almost everyday, a broken down danfo ( Lagos public bus). When you look at the picture of it, you can use the term "bus" is really more like a van. But, believe it or not...about 18 to 20 people cram onto one of those buses at a time. I saw those men pushing the danfo and I knew they must really be having a head ache...
After passing by the danfo, we went over the bridge to Ikoyi to take Elizabeth to her school and on the way there...surprise , surprise, there was another traffic jam. This one was caused by a multi car accident. There is something about accidents here in Nigeria that prompts people who have absolutely nothing to do with the accident to run over to the accident and take some one's side...just for the sake of arguing. And arguing loudly is something Nigerians can do very well.:) So, needless to say, there was a huge "go slow" when there were three vehicles involved in the accident.

By the time I got home today, I had a really bad headache. I was really feeling frustrated that things here are always a little more difficult than you expect them to be...okay...they re ALOT more difficult most of the time. But, then, my little girl came up to me in her purple plastic shoes with her beads and her pig tails and I couldn't help but smile...

She was the best medicine for my head ache today.:)

Monday, October 18, 2010


Here is the Soccer star!:)

Running towards the ball!!!

Saturday was Jeremy's second football game of the season. Or as we Americans call I was going to post pictures from his game last weekend...but couldn't believe that when I tried to turn on my camera last week at the game, I couldn't even take any pictures because the battery was dead. ( I was a very bad mom not being more prepared) Anyway, here are some pictures from Jeremy's game on Saturday. Better late than never! He is doing a great job. This year, he is actually running towards to ball instead of away from it. He even kicked it a few times.:)

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Nigerian Twist

Yesterday, Guy came home and showed me a very interesting article in the local paper here in Lagos called "This Day". He had heard about the article when he was at work and thought it was worth reading. I found it absolutely hysterical...especially since it was actually printed in a Nigerian newspaper. It was written in the wake of the rescue of the the 33 Chilean miners. The author is unknown, but after reading it to Happiness, she even said that this article really depicts what would happen if 33 Nigerian miners were trapped here in Nigeria. She was laughing while reading the article.:) So, here it is...

"If It Were in Nigeria"
"Last night I dreamt that 33 Nigerian miners were trapped underground and the government decided to send a capsule down to rescue them one after the other.

When the miners knew of the rescue plan, they began to argue amongst themselves on who goes first. Zoning was suggested, but they could not agree on which zone would go first. Eventually in a struggle to determine who goes first, several of them got injured and MEND (Men for the Emancipation of the Nigerian Delta) issued a threat message warning that they would set off a bomb if any South-south miner was critically injured.

Meanwhile, the FEC (Nigerian government) had awarded the capsule contract to JB (Julius Berger) and we are still awaiting delivery three months later. There is a probe going on to unravel this and retrieve the award sum before we get to the issue of what formula to adopt for the rescue and which miner comes out first.

In the mean time, traditional rulers from the miners' towns are paying solidarity visits to the president to thank him for his efforts to rescue the miners.

And the first lady had just invited the wives of the Nigerian miners to Abuja for dinner at the Hilton! The first ladies from 36 states will also be in attendance. All including the wives of the miners will wear the Goodluck for President ankara.

CNN reported early this morning that after 10 months underground, all 33 Nigerian miners have died and the Nigerian government has declared seven days of mourning during which the Nigerian flag will be flown at half mast to honour the dead.

Meanwhile, JB (Julius Berger) has sued the FGN (Nigerian Government) for the balance of the contract sum."

So, there you have it....this article sums up the crazy place I am living. I really wish I knew who the author was because he has taken everything about Nigeria and summed it up in to one article....greed, corruption, hostility, and humor. Let's just pray that something like what happened in Chile never happens here.:)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Rule of Three

The other day Happiness was washing one of my wine glasses ( Yes, I can hear all of you reading this yelling at me over the ocean....I do have someone to wash my dishes during the day during the week....but in my defense, I wash them on the weekends:)) Anyway, as she was washing it, it fell and broke on the floor. So, I thought I would go to the store nearby and see if I could by a set of four new wine glasses so they would all match...since now I only had a set of three. When I went to the store, I was so surprised to find that the sets of wine glasses are sold in sets of three....not four as one would think. So, maybe by me having only a set of three matching wine glasses, I am more Nigerian than I thought.:)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Waholla Day!!!

Waholla: A term coined by Nigerians to describe something crazy that happens. Any time you wake up in the morning and the words "No", "driver" and "Malaria" are uttered in the same sentence know you are about to have a crazy day. Everything was quiet and going smoothly until about 8:15 when Guy told me that Fatai had not come into work this morning. He had not called Guy or myself to let us know he wouldn't be in today. I know it may not seem like a big deal to just get in the car and drive yourself.....but, really are taking your life into your hands if you decide to drive yourself anywhere here. I had Jeremy who needed to get to school and Elizabeth who had to attend her playgroup as well as a few errands I needed to run. So, I called a friend here at the compound and she said that i could use her driver. Good, Problem solved...or so I thought. Then, my phone rang and it was Fatai...he told me he was sick and then the phone went dead. I called him back....he said he had Malaria...and the phone went dead ( gotta love cell phone reception here in Lagos) I called him back again and he told me "I won't be in tomorrow or the next tomorrow or the tomorrow after that." Then, the phone went dead. I decided not to call him back because I was so frustrated. So, as I was finally getting the kids' teeth brushed, the phone rings again and it is Fatai. Now, he is telling me he will be in tomorrow......what the %$#@?????? And at the same time he called me on my cell, my home phone rang and it was a friend of Fatai's ( a fellow driver) who was telling me that Fatai was sick and couldn't come in. There I was on two different phones with two different drivers...neither of which could help me. I promptly hung up with both of them. Just as I was about to walk out the door, the phone ran again.......all I could think was " Lord, please help me." It was my friend who told me I could use her driver...she was having her own waholla day and needed her driver for an emergency. So, there I was again without a driver....I was about to say that I couldn't take the kids anywhere today ( and sit in a corner and bang my head against a wall), when I realized that another friend was gone this week and she wouldn't be using her driver...he happened to be here and the problem as solved...thankfully....but not without a lot of waholla.:)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


What kind of place do you think you would be in if a person came home from being gone all day, stripped down to his underwear, put on a Spiderman costume and bounced around the house on a big black bouncy ball? No it's not Guy.....although that would be a sight!!:) Jeremy does that everyday when he gets home from school.:)
Elizabeth: Today I asked Elizabeth to say her name. She looked at me and said "Little Bit"....Little Bit...Elizabeth...that sounds the same, right???:)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goodbyes...Thank goodness for the "Hellos"

I just arrived back to Nigeria late last night after being in the U.S. the last two weeks. My grandma's funeral went really well, and I was even able to "hold it together" to say a few words about her and how much she meant to me. In a way, it was a good thing to be there for her funeral because I was able to be around my family. There were many relatives I hadn't seen in a while, and I know she was smiling down on all of us together again.:) But, there is always a time to say good bye to loved ones....and saying good bye is such a hard thing for me to do. When I was on the plane coming back home, I thought how to put it in words how I feel inside when I say good bye...and this is what I came up with:

A quiver in your smile
A tear in your eye
That's when you know it's coming...
It's time to say good bye

The heartfelt hug,
the hands holding tight
The whispers, "I love you." oh so light.

The lump in your throat
The pain in your heart
Knowing that once again,
You'll be miles apart.

But that's when you remember
The good times you've had.
The laughter you shared and
the good times still to be had.

And try to remember not to be sad
Try not to be blue and feel too bad.
For every "Good bye"
as a matter of fact,

There's always a next time
someone will say,
"Hey, Welcome back!"

So, I will end this post on a happy note. The picture above is of me at the airport with my aunt, Grandpa, and Mom...saying goodbye. I love you guys!!! And, then, the picture of my kids....welcoming me back after being gone for two weeks. It is so good to see them and Guy again....I sure did miss them.:)