The Toothfairy is coming to visit…again!

April 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Toothfairy is coming to visit!

April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Ben and I were talking on the way home from work today (we are lucky enough to get to carpool home together) and I was totally stressing about my to-do list. There is a ton of things to get done both personally and professionally and not enough hours to do it in (and yes, I completely forgot it was Monday). We pulled into our driveway and were greeted by our sweet boy riding his plastic motorcycle. Our sweet boy who was missing a tooth. Wait- he’s missing a tooth?!? My baby is growing up!!

Cue mom-guilt for being at work when the momentous occasion occurred.
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Menenberg Family Walks

April 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

We go for a family walk almost every evening these days now that rainy season has finished and the dirt roads are dry. Ben and I need the exercise and enjoy the time we get to talk. Nathaniel loves seeing the ‘motocars’ and greeting everyone we pass. Higgins is excited about the new smells and loves to be with us.

The Adoption Transition to Parenting: Bed Sharing

March 19, 2013 § 4 Comments

Our first kid was 5 years old when we became parents. Obviously, this isn’t typical and so we had to do some not-so-typical parenting. Here is one of our experiences from transitioning to being parents:

Ben and I had initially talked about whether we would want to share our bed with our future child. Initially, we had the image of a baby. This then implies that you need to do night feedings, sleep training, worry about the safety of sharing bed together, and get the child used to sleeping in their own bed. Adoption an older child with special needs turned that idea upside down. « Read the rest of this entry »

This is Zambia: How to Wear a Baby in a Chitenge

March 13, 2013 § 7 Comments

Last week, I posted on Instagram (follow me @lauramenenberg) about how Nathaniel needed to be close so I put him on my back with the chitenge. We did this a lot when he first came home, as well as with our ERGO baby carrier. Due to popular request (specifically my high school friend Lucy), I have done a tutorial on how to wear your baby in a chitenge.

Chitenges (2 meter pieces of colorful African fabric) are used for almost everything in a Zambian woman’s life. Most commonly, they are used as a skirt wrap to protect clothing when working or traveling, to carry a baby, as a cushion to carry goods on the head, or to make a dress suit.

Wearing your baby on your back in a chitenge is an easy, inexpensive, and intimate way to wear your baby. You can also easily shift the baby to the front for being seated or breastfeeding. Women usually start wearing a baby in a chitenge when the baby is around a few months old. Initially, a grandmother or auntie will help the mother to hold the baby on the back while the chitenge is tied. Eventually as the baby grows, the baby “gets used” (used to it) and will hold on while the mother ties the chitenge.

I borrowed our maid’s son Elijah for this exercise, as it’s a bit easier to demonstrate with him than with my almost 40lb son!

 Step 1: Bend over and place the baby on your back with the legs and arms facing towards your front.

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How YOU Can Help the Least of These: Sponsor a Child with Special Needs

March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

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In honor of Zambian Youth Day, I want to highlight an easy way for you to help a child here in Zambia:

Sponsor a child with special needs.

Maybe you’re reading this and dreaming of living in Africa yourself. Maybe you want to teach your children about giving. Maybe you are waiting to adopt a child and are looking at other ways to help. Maybe you are looking for a good organization to give a charitable donation. Maybe you are tired of living for yourself, your own children, and your own well-being and want to give to someone who doesn’t have as much as you do. Maybe you have a special needs child and know the extra challenges involved in special needs parenting.

Sponsor a child with special needs.
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The Adoption Transition to Parenting: Learning English and Signing Time videos

March 11, 2013 § 2 Comments

Our first kid was 5 years old when we became parents. Obviously, this isn’t typical and so we had to do some not-so-typical parenting. Here is one of our experiences from transitioning to being parents:

When Nathaniel came home in June of last year, he spoke very little English and we spoke very little Nyanja. As you can probably hear from the videos I have posted, his English has improved tremendously. One of the things I credit this to is his Signing Time videos. « Read the rest of this entry »

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