[This post has nothing to do with sweet E and the progress he is already making. More on that soon! I need to find the time to write more!] We have officially been in [Eastern European Country] for one week today. In many ways, life here is different than back home, of course.

Sometimes differences or lack of resources can be difficult, and for such times, we are required to get a little creative.

So, for your education and information, I am writing this post about the life hacks we are using while away from home:

20140705-205841-75521536.jpg As I mentioned in a previous post, it is light here from 4:00 AM until 11:00 PM. Chance used aluminum foil and masking tape as darkening curtains.

20140705-210002-75602955.jpg We went to a Fourth of July party at the US Embassy and received these American Flags. I wanted to display them for the Fourth, but wasn't sure how. I kept thinking that I needed a vase, but finally realized that a cleaned out plastic milk jug from here would work.

20140705-210241-75761935.jpg We have no Rubbermaid containers for our leftovers, so we've been saving every container that we can. This jar was from spaghetti one night and has been repurposed to hold leftover peas.

20140705-210407-75847542.jpg This container is similar to the jar. The water here isn't always safe for drinking, so we buy all of our water at the grocery store. I hate the idea of throwing all the bottles away (although they do emphasize recycling here), so we started cutting the tops off of the bottles. This can now hold leftovers. (Just put a little of Chance's aluminum foil over the opening!)

We also use these bottles in the bathtub. They are great for scooping and dumping water on the little boys' hair. In addition, they hold and contain our razors and small shower items.

20140705-210924-76164690.jpg I mentioned this in a previous post as well, but Chance used masking tape to hold a towel on top of an extra desk in order to make a changing table. It could stand to have a bit more padding, but it gets the job done!

20140705-211104-76264785.jpg Sometimes when Mama is cooking on the stove, little hands want to help. I'm used to having kids underfoot, but when they start changing the cooking temperature, problems arise! Chance grabbed one of our drying racks and made a baby gate tonight!


20140705-212002-76802379.jpg Our two little boys ride in a double stroller through town, but we needed a method for keeping Nasko close. At first, Chance had him holding on to the handle. That worked fine for about a day, until Nasko started trying to "help" steer the stroller to hit every bump. Chance got frustrated quickly, but then he found an old checked-luggage tag, and moved it to the handle for Nasko to hang on to.

20140705-212335-77015196.jpg This one worked temporarily, but we have since upgraded to the real thing.

We had no idea how tiny E was going to be. We brought only one travel high chair for Louis, and we didn't have anything suitable for E. He can't sit up completely straight because of his hip, so he was much too low to eat from the table. This was the idea that Chance came up with. It made me very nervous (I ate standing up next to E), but it got the job done for a couple of meals!

Today we got a high chair from a rental company, and E kept saying, "E chair?! E chair?!" I think this life hack was frightening to him too!

We have two more weeks in-country. I can only imagine what else we (mostly Chance) might come up with in that amount of time!

Orphan-Grief: The Loss of Less

Dear Residents of Flat 28