life with Darwin

baby-centric Dutch

April 22, 2014

By the time I left Kyrgyzstan, my Russian was far from the fluent level I had dreamed of achieving when I first moved there. I will give myself credit though, for my taxi-Russian, my restaurant-Russian, and my Darwin-Russian. Babies are natural conversation starters, I find. Especially when Darwin was super small and squishy, strangers would […]

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Darwin’s DIY Learning Tower

March 12, 2014

I’m not much of a DIYer. I want to be; I’ve wanted to be one for a long time. In Kyrgyzstan, it seemed too daunting, so I silently pined away for a life located near a Hobby Lobby or Joann’s fabric store, filing away all of the DIY projects of my dreams. One day I’ll […]

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the most shocking culture shock

January 2, 2014

(so far) There are tons of things to adapt to about living in Ghent/Belgium/Europe that are different from the US or Kyrgyzstan. Little things, like discovering that my favorite mascara costs 11 Euros here (compared to $5-6 in the US) and taking the minuscule step of buying store-brand make-up from a chain I’ve never heard […]

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December 30, 2013

I hope everybody is having a wonderful and relaxing holiday season! Farrell’s parents left this morning (or this afternoon? they have the worst luck with flight delays) and we’re working on getting Darwin back to his old routine of not being spoiled by loving grandparents all day. In the meantime, I figured I’d post some […]

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finding the perfect park

December 5, 2013

This is new territory for us. Now that Darwin is walking, he’s no longer content to be carted around all day, either in the Ergo carrier or his stroller. Sometimes I just gotta let the guy run around. This isn’t something we had to deal with in Bishkek, since he hardly crawled while we lived […]

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an epic road trip

October 9, 2013

The original plan was something like this: fly from Bishkek to Ghent, hang out for about a week, fly to the US, get Farrell’s Belgian visa sorted out, see some family, fly back to Ghent three weeks later. Obviously, I mention the original plan because it didn’t quite go like that. Yes, we went to […]

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medium-format Darwin

October 4, 2013

I bought the Lubitel, my first Soviet-era film camera, back in September/October 2010. I bought some 120 film in the states some months later, loaded some film in there some months later, decided that the camera was busted some months later, took it to get fixed some months later, finished a test roll in August, […]

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Istanbul is baby-crazy

May 27, 2013

I thought Kyrgyzstan was baby-crazy. I started an album on Facebook to share photos I snapped of waitresses and strangers (and some friends and family members) who would insist on holding Win when I’m out (usually to my delight if I was trying to have a nice meal without dripping lagman all over his head). […]

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Darwin’s 100th day

April 14, 2013

Considering how global Darwin’s short life has been so far, I’ve been drawn to borrowing customs and traditions from other cultures to celebrate various milestones in his life. I dutifully tracked when Darwin would turn 100 days old so that we could commemorate the day. It’s a Korean tradition, called baek-il, so I invited some […]

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taking Win to Karakol

March 11, 2013

Karakol is another one of those places that strikes me as being “must-see” in Kyrgyzstan. It’s one of the bigger and fairly well-known sites, especially by those who have experienced a Kyrgyzstan winter. Why? Because although Karakol doesn’t seem like much in the warmer months (maybe some good hiking? I’m a terrible tour guide), but […]

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