Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Quiet day
Addis stores
Shoe shopping
First burgers and fries
Playing outside

We decided to stay around the Guest House all day. We felt like it was necessary to just be together and having some quiet fun. We went walking along the busy street near the Guest House and visited some shops.

I love the stores in Addis. Many of them are smaller than a U.S. walk-in closet, and are just filled to the top with stuff. There is store after store after store with adult clothes or shoes or kids’ clothes and shoes. And every single one has at least 6 or 8 mannequins outside to display some of their items. They have very modern clothes and shoes that are really stylish and even some actual name brands to go along with the knock-off brands. (The kids’ favorite “fake” brand was “Zeropostale”, which would be pronounced there as “Zeh-ro-pos-tal” – just like Aeropostale but with a Z.) There are also many shops with water, soft drinks, toilet paper, soap and all kinds of miscellaneous things.

Deke went into one of the shoe stores to see if he could find some shoes. Since the U.S. sizes are different than sizes in Ethiopia, we couldn’t just say, “Do you have a 13 in this?” They guy kept grabbing shoes and showing Deke to see if he liked them. Deke kept saying, “Too small, too small.” The guy didn’t understand so we just pointed to Deke’s feet. His eyes got really big as if to say, “Wow, those are BIG!” He reached over to the side and grabbed what I assume was the biggest pair of shoes in the store – the whitest, puffiest, grandpa-looking shoes I’ve ever seen! Deke’s expression was priceless as he was trying to figure out how to refuse them. The guy kept insisting Deke try them on, so he did. They were too small, but the guy insisted they fit him since he could get his foot in them. It was quite entertaining to see Deke try to get the guy to understand that he didn’t want them, even though they “fit”!

We walked on some more and found a kids’ store where we could get TJ some new shoes. I had assumed that he would come to us with a pair of tennis shoes that would at least do until we got home, but he only had on sandals, and they were too small. I FB messaged the G family who would be arriving in a few days to see if they could bring some tennis shoes to him, and they were gracious enough to agree to do so. But this morning he found some size 9 tennis shoes that were to be donated and tried to put them on. Actually, he did put them on, but since his too-small sandals were size 11, he had trouble walking. It was so sad to see him limp around in those shoes, especially when he was out front trying to play soccer with the bigger boys, but there was no way we could convince him to wear the sandals for a few days until he got the new ones the G family was bringing. He did eventually put his sandals back on for a little while because those tennis shoes were just hurting way too much. At the kids’ store, he found some light-up Spider-Man that he LOVED, so that’s what he got (even though I can’t stand character clothing and shoes!). He was SO excited! They just barely fit, and there’s no way we would have bought shoes that close to being too small if we were at home, but he loved them so much we just gave in. So now TJ has light-up Spider-Man shoes!

He wore those shoes right out of the store and all day long. Then he put them right back on after his shower, and at bedtime he tucked his socks inside and hid them under his bed. I can’t wait until he understands that some things are “his” and he doesn’t have to protect them from us because we are not going to take them away. I’ve noticed that both TJ and Brielle take good care of their things and always put them away, though – they could sure teach their older siblings a thing or two in that area!

TJ is definitely testing his limits, but he does end up obeying. The hardest part is getting the older four not to laugh at his antics. He’s a showman for sure! And Brielle is so cute and so sweet and very obedient, too. She loves to be held and carried around by her big brothers and sister. Deke put her up on his shoulder while we were walking down the street. At first she wasn’t sure about it because it was SO high, but then she started loving it.

Zebra Grill for lunch. TJ and Brielle’s first hamburgers and fries. Not so sure about them yet and definitely not a fan of ketchup! When the waitress brought other customers their drinks before he got his, he fussed at her. Thankfully, she laughed and thought it was cute.  Oh, my.  We have some work to do...

Brielle and TJ do a little hand-jive rhyme that is so cute!

T, Job, Yonas, and Dawit played soccer in the Guest House courtyard with all the boys.

TJ and Brielle will only call Mattea “Sister”. They call all the boys by their names, but only call her “Sister”.

Deke has been so sweet with his new sister and brother and even with Eli, Mattea, and Wyatt. I love to see him play with them, and he has already learned a few phrases that he uses with them all the time.

We spent some time in the afternoon resting in the room and letting the kids play their video games.  Eli, Mattea, and Wyatt saved all year and bought DSi's for themselves a couple of months ago.  We bought Fisher Price iXL's for TJ and Brielle because we had heard they were a good choice.  They LOVE them!  We put some of our own pictures and music on them, and they have had such a great time playing with them.

Playing her iXL (AFTER I took the braids out...)
TJ, iXL, Monkey, and new Spider-Man shoes

Then we all went out for games in the court yard. FUN!

We went to Zebra grill again for dinner, and TJ and Brielle asked the blessing about 10 times. “Thank You,
God, for giving us this food.” But whenever Michael prays, they giggle and giggle. It was very sweet and touching to think about them thanking God for their food and made us all more thankful for how blessed we are. The waitress tonight insisted we order injera and tibs for them for dinner, so we did. They were SO excited when they saw it, but it was VERY spicy! They kept eating and eating and after every bite they would cringe because it was so hot, but they both ate all of it. We also ordered samosas, and everyone in the family loves them. Definitely something we’ll be having several more times before we leave Addis.

Brielle had little braids all over her head when we got her, but she kept tugging on them so I took them out tonight. It took me about 45 minutes to get them all out – can’t imagine how long it took for someone to put them in. I combed it out and put in her head band which she LOVED! She may even take the sunglasses off her head for a while if she’s wearing a headband. (She has worn those sunglasses on her head constantly, and some of the other families here have started calling her “Hollywood” because she never takes them off!)

A good day overall. Many more to come, I’m sure…

Facebook post from today:
"Thursday's Update: Another great day! Things are going very well. TJ keeps saying, "Tebarek Jeremiah Pierce!" over and over. Biruk laughs and laughs. They both call Deke, Eli, and Wyatt by their names but will only call Mattea "Sister". When we went to dinner tonight, we asked the blessing about 10 times - just because they wanted to. "Thank You, God, for giving us food. Amen." Now everyone is asleep - yay!"

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