Thursday, September 18, 2014

2nd Grade Duds

Before time goes by too much, I wanted to post Sojo's first day of 2nd grade photo. We stocked up on our yearly supply of shirts and leggings this summer, and there were lots of choices for the first day. Wearing shorts is totally new for her, so wearing one of her funky new pairs was a must. She then chose her ancient Angry Bird t-shirt that she actually sleeps with each night (she gently rubs it on her lips, and it's adorable) as her blanket. I mentioned that maybe she should choose a shirt that fit better, but she insisted that this particular one made her feel "fuzzy" all day long, and she needed that on the first day.

I get that feeling. You gotta feel good on your first day, even if you are wearing what is basically your security blanket. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ninja Warrior

Over the summer, Dale's sister told us about the show called "American Ninja Warrior." We wound up catching it on TV one night, and the little ones just loved it. Literally, Sojo was pacing around the room with nervous energy and excitement. Since the show is all about physical challenges and obstacle courses, it feels like a great role model show, and we are all basically addicted to watching it.

And then she realized that our house could become a practice place, since she wants to join the competition when she turns 21. Hence, the spider climb in the hallway.

And balance practice on the couch arms.

She and her best friend even do the spider climb together sometimes. Love the determination. Not as big a fan of the dirty walls. 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Extended Grandparent Time

It's so wildly beautiful how life turns out sometimes. My brother and his family are now teaching in a compound about an hour from us, and my parents generously offered to help them settle their 2 year old son into life in Saudi as the adults adjusted to their new jobs as well. We are having a bit of adult joint custody as they take a bus down to spend the weekends with us. It's a true gift for all of us, especially since I have lived away from my family for over 20 years now. Having mom and dad walk in the door every Thursday afternoon is amazing to me, and we are celebrating the little things like going to the movies or playing Monopoly with Sojo or having American Ninja Warrior marathons.

Watching her fold the towels for their arrival was such a loving thing to see. 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Fun with Driftwood

Perfect light, perfect eyes closed, perfect windblown hair. And her discovery of the 'driftwood mustache' was just one of the awesome summer beach memories. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


As Sojo ages, I have an unspoken fear that she will lose her quirkiness. Of course, some of the quirks from the past, like meowing like a cat when she got nervous and someone spoke to her, might be okay to let go of as she ages, but I see her quirkiness and creativity so entwined that I guess I don't want her to lose either. The way she looks at the world around her is quite beautiful.

Seems I have nothing to worry about at this point. One of our Chinese decorations for the door broke the other day, and there was just a tassel left. Sojo quickly decided that if she wore said tassel, this would bring her good Chinese luck all day, and she set off in search of a hat to attach it to. Even her expression in this photo cracks me up. 

Quirkiness prevails...for now. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

2nd grade

This is what 2nd grade looks like in our house. I was a tiny bit worried about her because she was not in the same class as her favorite peeps, but she was open to the idea of making new friends. One new boy from India who is quiet and shy is in her class, and he joined our community right at the end of 1st grade last year. When I told her he was in her class, she said, "Oh, nice. I wanted to get to know him."

There were some nerves (oh, this kid worries so much sometimes!) about what to do when she is itchy and needs to get Benadryl from the office. She hates, hates, hates missing anything for fear of not knowing the directions, but we are trying to encourage her to speak up and just ask for the directions again. 

She rated the first day a 16 on a scale from 1-10. And then, in the backyard after school, a wild game of ball tag with friends from the other class made us all realize that in our close community, it doesn't really matter what class you are in. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Letting Her Hair Down

This was the summer Sojo wore her hair down for the first time in years. She has always been a bit of a stickler when it comes to her hair choices--for an entire year, it was only two braids every single day. And then it was one ponytail for months and months. After that came the two ponytail stage, but they had to be 'bunny ears,' which means they were coming out of her head right behind her ears.

Out of nowhere this summer, she started wearing her hair down, and it is so silky and gorgeous. When I asked her about what prompted the change (she always said no when I suggested it before), she said it was only going to be for the summer because she didn't want any of her friends to see her wearing it like that. As I probed a bit deeper, she informed me that she feared if she wore it down here in Saudi, all her guy friends would want to marry her.

I get it, kid. I mean, look at that hair.