Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Playing with the dog

a little morning fun with our dear Honey! video

Back to normal

I think things are slowly starting to move back towards normal here. I'm glad we are going away at the beginning of next week though. There's nothing like a little scare to make you realize just how complacent you've gotten. Not that I'm usually lax about my personal security, but I have begun to think about it as routine, or part of my own personal paranoia. But even after this, I am not afraid to leave my apartment. At some point you have to own your fear and figure out ways to get past it. Your time is not your own to begin with. You could decide not to go to NY because of terrorism and then die on your own street in a car accident. You could decide not to leave your house, and slip and fall in the shower. You just never know.
Because of this, I have been trying to make the most of every day. Not do the most, or see the most, but at least try to enjoy the day. I make sure to thank God for everyday that I spend at home with my daughter as a stay at home mom. I know that I didn't want to be a stay at home mom, but I am really enjoying it, and I feel like I am doing the right thing by my daughter. I think part of the reason I am enjoying it so much is because I do see it as a gift. We may not do much, maybe we just sit on the couch and babble at each other, but it's still a gift. She could be in a nursery and I could be behind a desk billing hours. I am trying to work on seeing my hubby as a gift too, and trying not to take him for granted, but it's tougher going. I think once you forget to be thankful for something it's harder to get back into the habit. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The news

So news of what's actually going on has finally hit the mainstream media. It's a little frustrating that my knowledge of what's going on is limited to what Yahoo! has or what CNN reports on. Apparently some Wahhabi (according to Yahoo: Wahhabism originated in Saudi Arabia in the 18th century. It is rooted in the idea of restoring Islam's purity by purging it of foreign and corrupting influences.) gathered some weapons and grenades in an effort to launch an attack against the US Embassy.
It's a little bit unsettling. Most of the people here are very friendly, and not very conservative at all. There are a few people here that wear their hair covered, or have grown beards, but generally people dress more revealing than I do. I think it's sad that a handful of people have the ability to completely change your view of a place. You hear it all the time on TV, but I guess I never really thought about it before. Just like Christianity, Islam is a religion of brotherhood and love, and just like with Christianity, a few people can take the words of God and twist them to serve their own purpose. I don't understand why people work very hard to turn something beautiful and comforting into a source of nightmares. Religion is supposed to be helpful to people not hurtful to others. I don't know about any of the other religions, but I know that Jesus preached peace and non-violence. But things that are often done in His name are anything but.
My husband comes from the former Soviet Union, and coming from a culture of agnosticism to the US he is naturally skeptical of religion. And to be honest, the US, well anywhere for that matter, does not paint a flattering view of religious people. But its just like with any group in the US. Only those who are doing something truly wonderful (like pulling a child out of a burning building, rescuing puppies from floods, or delivering babies in subways, etc.), or something hideously awful, are reported in the media. So for the most part on the news you only see and hear stories about suicide bombers, rapists and murders, or abortion clinic bombers.
I guess what it boils down to is that you should always try your best to be a good member of the group you represent. Because, like they told you in school, one or two people can ruin it for everyone.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Uh oh!

After three years overseas we have our first scare. The embassy is shut down today because of a threat. It's so weird to be in a situation where you both directly and indirectly affected by something and not be able to talk about it, or even really know what is going on. I have all these questions rattling around in my brain, but I know better than to ask them, and I know that even if I did ask I wouldn't get a response. So for about an hour yesterday I wandered around the house trying to ask cryptic questions but eventually gave up in frustration of my husbands equally cryptic answers. But I guess now that I have a baby it's a little better for me. Before it was my opinion that if it was dangerous, if I couldn't go, he shouldn't go. But now I think someone's gotta be around for babes. So if he has to go be in danger, it's better if I stay with babes. I still don't like it though.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!

My hubby just sent in the last check for his student loans!!!!! He is now debt free! Way to go!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baku

It's fall in Baku and it really is a pleasant time of year. The weather is cooler now, and it's not quite as windy as it will be in the winter. I went this morning and walked along the boardwalk with Babes. It was gorgeous, the morning sun was glinting off the Caspian, the birds chirping and circling overhead, and there weren't that many people so I wasn't constantly circling around someone. It's too bad Honey's legs have problems because I think she would really enjoy the morning walks too. There are some other people out with their dogs, and Honey could be with us while we walked, I might even take her off leash! I know I have been saying bad things about Baku, but I think I've turned a corner, and I am now starting to enjoy it. It helps that all of the other moms in my baby group are very nice, and that the weather has cooled down a lot. But I'm out now, twice a month, with friends, and I get out of the house with Babes once or twice a week, at least (if I wanted I could be out every day), I've got language classes, and a language partner, and then there's Babes! I have a very full life here in Baku. I have to say that it also helps that I am not pregnant. I only hope that other posts that we go to in the future will be as rewarding.

Monday, October 01, 2007

To market to market



I can't believe we're already into fall! The weather here has cooled down, the kids have gone back to school, and my baby has started eating solid foods! Not that the last thing has anything to do with the weather, but it seems to coincide nicely with the start of a new season. In honor of Babes' first new vegetable we went to the big farmer's market to see if we couldn't find something recommended for little bellies to start off with.
ALL the "make your own baby food" websites suggest that you go with sweet potatoes, avocado, carrots, or squash as a first food. I have only been to the market here once before during the super hot summer, and it was pretty fun. There are the colorful fruits and veggies piled up on the stands and the colorful people from the regions behind the stands. Interestingly enough, gold teeth are very popular in people from the regions. I know that it was a common sight once in the US, but now it always disturbs me when I see it.
Today I was not quite so excited to be at the market. For some reason there were bees all over the place so every time I would relax a little a bee would fly by and I would try very hard not to freak out (I'm very afraid of bees and bugs in general), I don't want young babe to be afraid of bees like her mama, but it was very hard work. So we quickly made our purchases, I ended up buying squash for the babe, I knew the other vegetables were a lost cause before I began, but I thought that I would look anyway. But, there was a big discussion about sweet potatoes at our last baby group and people thought they saw them, but no they did not. I've seen avocados but they are always over ripe and very expensive ($5-6 a piece! YIKES!), and my hubby is allergic to carrots. So we were left with squash.
Babes was a big hit, as she almost always is, at the market. Azeris love babies. They always coo and fuss over her, and generally I don't mind, but at the market, you've got people from the regions, and well.... the hygiene is not what I would want for my baby who puts everything in her mouth. I am usually pretty laid back, but I don't want the man in the bloodstained apron, and blood encrusted fingernails touching my Babes' hand. Last time we went someone either blessed Babes, or cursed her, I'm not sure, but he looked happy, so I'm going to go with a blessing. This time we escaped with just a few looks and funny baby attracting noises.