A Travellerspoint blog

February 2013

For All You Baby Lovers....

This One's All About Elijah!

So for all you baby lovers out there, we wanted to do a quick blog entry all about our cutie, Elijah! He has grown so much in the last three months, and we want to give you all an update.

November 2012: 5 months old
We left the US for Peru when Elijah was about 5 ½ months old. He was just beginning to sit up on his own. He could push up off the ground with his hands, but hated to be on his belly; he preferred that someone hold him, so he could stand on a lap. He’s wanted to stand since he was about 2 months old! He still didn’t have any teeth and didn’t have any interest in solid food. Also, we practice EC (elimination communication) which is kind of like early potty training, except we’re the ones learning, not Elijah; anyway, at this age we would catch about half of all his daily pees/poos in a toilet (or bush/side of a building, haha).
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December 2012: 6 months old
At 6 months old, Elijah was first interested in foods, and ate a bite of Jessica’s banana when we were in Puno, Peru for his first true taste of food. He loved it! Then in the same day, he tried sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. Around the same time, he got both of his bottom teeth in! Ouch! This month, he also “army” crawled for the first time in Cusco, Peru. He really hates it though, and actually grunts and groans about it the whole time while crawling. It’s pretty funny! Oh and we got better at saving diapers; we only miss about one or two per day! We’re also teaching him sign language for “potty” so hopefully he can start telling us when he needs to go.
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January 2013: 7 months old
This month, he started “pulling up” on everything! All day, he’d just puts his hands up in the air for us, so we can put out our hands for him to pull up on. It’s really cute! (and sometimes a little tiring). He really wanted to stand by himself, but can’t yet at this age. So we got to help him a lot. Even though he wanted to eat food at this age, he was still having trouble not choking/gagging on solids, even when they’re pureed or mashed, so he doesn’t get much. Up to this point, these are the foods he likes: tomato, lemons, limes, onions, oranges, carrots, and bananas (his favorite like his daddy). For some reason, he doesn’t like avocados, which makes us a bit sad, but we’ll keep trying. This month, he said his first word, dada, while we were in Pisac, Peru, and then everything was dada. Dada, dada, dada, all day long. Tracy loves it! He also signed “potty” for the first time this month. It’s amazing! We are doing great with EC, and sometimes go days without a dirty diaper!
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February 2013: 8 months old
We never thought we’d be so thankful for carpet, but since having it here in Tampa, FL, Elijah has been able to really get going on the floor by himself! We didn’t have many options in Peru without worrying about him cracking his head open. Anyway, he started crawling, for real, and is really good now (which just means we’ve got to be quicker)! He also can pull up by himself on almost any edge, which is still a bit scary if he does accidentally fall. But he loves it, and can stand for about 10-15 seconds all on his own without holding onto anything. He can’t wait to start walking also. He wants us to “walk” him around by his hands everywhere and it’s super cute! Most people think he’s at least one when they see him, and are surprised when we say he’s only 8 months. We have back-tracked a bit with the ECing; we think he’s a bit distracted with all this new found freedom of movement and has stopped signing to us. But we’re not giving up. Luckily we’ve got washers and dryers here in the States! He hasn’t said any more words, but he does like to babble on in his own language, and growls sometimes too. He’s definitely working out his vocal cords this month. Not much progress with solid foods, luckily he’s got plenty of breastmilk that even a toddling 8 month old won’t go hungry! Oh and we'll be seeing two more teeth soon!
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Well, that’s the baby update! We will have another entry soon to let you know how our “culture shock” back into the Matrix went. It’s been a wild one!!

Oh one more thing about Elijah, he makes a lot of crazy faces, if you didn't notice.

Posted by jessp2386 03:06 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Realizations and Reflections

Moving On...

So we’ve been traveling for almost three months now, and we have learned so much about ourselves and exactly what it is that we’re looking for on this journey. We basically jumped head first into the world, after being cooped up in our American “box” and now we’re seeing things with much more clarity. First of all, we’ve realized what our priorities are in life, and what we really need to be happy. Family is an obvious one; the three of us are very much connected and when one or more of us are sick, it’s a huge drain on our small family system. But to further that point, we also know that we need extended “family” too. This doesn’t necessarily mean blood relatives, but we need community that we consider family around. It’s really hard to take care of all facets of your being when you don’t have others that you can rely on. One obvious area that has been lacking for us is our relationship, as in Tracy and Jessica’s bond. We always have Elijah with us now, and even though we love him so dearly, there are times that it would be nice to be just the two of us to connect in a way that doesn’t include a baby.

Next, we’ve come to really, really value health and good food. It’s amazing how much being sick can change your perspective on things, especially when it’s your sweet baby that has had diarrhea for two weeks. There were times when both Tracy and Elijah were sick, and Jessica was ready to book a ticket back to anywhere in America to just have decent sanitation and good water/food right now. Of course, we persevered because really the food/water in America isn’t really that good; it may not make you sick today, but probably sick in 10 years. Then again, they’re poisoning the food here too with chemicals and RoundUp and such; it may too make you sick in 10 years and sick today, boo! For example they put Fluoride in the salt here in Peru, stating on the back of the salt bag that it is good for children’s health by preventing mental retardation and increasing intellect. If you know anything about how awful Fluoride is, you’d know this is a load of crap! It’s very frustrating how the people here are being tricked and trained to believe this stuff, just like they’ve done in America and other Western nations already. We really wish we could find an oasis where fresh organic food is produced and clean drinking water is available, and we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about being poisoned by the ones in control. We’ll keep looking…

Another priority we’ve realized is how important it is for us to have nature and wildlife around. It’s strange here, but there are no wild animals or many trees in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Tracy really misses animals (that are not pets) and has realized that wherever we end up, it will be somewhere that includes wildlife to view and to hunt or fish. There are fish here, but again the Urubamba River has been polluted so much that you wouldn’t want to eat anything out of it. There’s just tons of garbage floating in it, and that’s only the stuff you can see!

Finally, we’ve realized what kind of community or environment we’d like to live in. We really want an environment or community where everyone is heard and there is no central leader, but instead of group of individuals that make decisions. For example, right now we’re staying with this guy, Michael, helping to take care of his dogs and house. There are also volunteers here who help take care of his small farm. Up front, this sounded like a great opportunity. The farm is beautiful, the kitchen and house are very nice, there’s good organic food, and we get to stay here for free! What could be bad about all that??? Well, we realized quite a bit, haha. The way Michael organizes and communicates to us and the volunteers is basically like mini-America Michael-style, where whatever he wants goes and if you don’t fall in line with his way or don’t allow him to mold you to his way, you basically don’t matter to him. He seems to like mid-20 year olds who are still searching for what they want, and he can use them to start businesses, which is his hobby. Listening to their farm meetings every morning is like listening to the CEO of “insert random corporation”; basically, it’s really, really draining for us. One of the main reasons we left America was to escape commercialism and materialism, and now we’ve found ourselves caught right in the middle of this guy’s huge plan to make tons of businesses all over the Sacred Valley in Peru. And it’s all about money and the bottom line and the market and blah, blah, blah….. it makes us sick. And since we don’t fit into his mold of business schemes, he’s been pretty rude to us (and he thinks we’re neglecting his dying dog, oh well). We’ve decided we’re leaving here soon for somewhere tropical! More on this later!

That brings us to our next point. Beyond realizing our priorities, we’ve realized we are free!! Free to go anywhere in the world! We have the whole world at our disposal and its liberating. We are never stuck! And it’s an amazing feeling! I hope that more people wake up to this realization. We thought with a mortgage and bills that we were stuck in America and in Kansas City, and that just wasn’t true. We really do have control of every situation we are in. Of course, actions do come with consequences, like we let our house foreclose, but that’s only a bad thing if we cared about our credit scores and getting another mortgages or credit in the future, which we definitely won’t be doing any time soon. We also realized that there are ways of making things manifest with intention, and with letting God guide your decisions. We don’t need to be tied to a “job” or to money. We have let go letting money decide or determine how or where we’re living. And it’s refreshing! We’ve realized that in America, so many people are tied to money and let it decide how they go about their lives. When you let that go, you realize how abundant your life really is and you can let Spirit or God govern your choices in life. If you let that happen, you will always be taken care of.

So with all that said, we are leaving Peru and flying to Tampa, Florida....... wait a minute, you're probably thinking why the heck are we flying back to the States!?! Well, it's only temporary, we think. Tracy's parents are there, so we'll be visiting them in their condo near the beach. We're imagining awesome weather, laying by the pool or beach, and just relaxing for awhile after a whirlwind tour in Peru. Of course, we could get sick of America quite soon, and in that case, we'll head south to Mexico, Guatemala, or who knows where (but somewhere tropical). If we aren't totally sick of America, our plan is to trek across the US visiting only intentional living communities. Just in case, you're new to that lingo, an intentional living community is a group of people living sustainably, self-sufficiently, and sometimes off the grid or semi-off the grid. They do this by way of growing their own food, producing their own energy, home schooling their children, etc etc. Some communities also share finances. Basically it's the same as a commune; that term came out of the 1970's, but typically that name has a negative connotation associated with it, so we'll stick with intentional living community. If you're more interested, check out ic.org. Anyway, after exploring Peru, we're definitely more focused on where and how we want to live, and now we just need to continue working on our inner happiness and raising our consciousness, despite our living situation. We do know that true happiness does come from within, not from any outer experience, but it sure does make it a whole lot easier when your outer situation complements the inner one. So we'll continue looking and learning! See you on the beach! Chao Peru!
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Posted by jessp2386 15:22 Archived in Peru Comments (2)

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