Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On Modesty

When we lived in Asia, it was very common to have kids running around in those bodysuit kind of swimming wear, and I loved how it protected her from the sun in super hot Bangkok. Her pink Angry Bird suit was her very favorite then, and she wore it until it was completely stretched out. I myself love the stripy, summery one-piece suits that remind me of my own childhood and look downright adorable on kids. I usually picked one up at Target each trip home to have on hand overseas, but she rarely wore them after the age of 3. 

As Sojo is growing older, she is more and more modest and is totally opposed to one-piece swimming suits. There was once a huge kerfuffle on a weekend trip when a one-piece was her only option, and she felt strongly that certain body parts were HANGING OUT for all the world to see. We had to convince her that nothing was hanging out, but she felt so uncomfortable that we had her go online with us afterwards to find a bathing suit that she felt more at home in. She chose a rash guard and boy shorts, and we thought we had found a solution of what was good for her comfort level. 

However, wouldn't you know that the boy shorts are pretty darn short and, again, parts are hanging out that she doesn't want hanging out. We lived with it this year as it was better than it was, but she still wasn't totally at ease. 

Then, we went to Bahrain a few weeks ago, and we saw a sport store with the very modest swimwear that is found here in the Middle East. The longer, to-the-knee shorts were perfect for her, and she was thrilled to give them a go at a recent Water Fun day on our compound. Watching her run around with such ease, and with absolutely nothing hanging out, was so wonderful to see as a mom. 

And she looks downright beautiful. 

Monday, May 04, 2015


Two ponytails and this type of outfit bring me back to my own childhood, and I couldn't resist taking a photo in front of our school. 

And the shorts. Those little legs sticking out of them are adorable. Dale and I both still can't believe that she is healthy enough to actually wear shorts. For years, with her eczema so horrible, shorts were out of the question as that much exposed skin would be too tempting to scratch to pieces. We are so happy for her that she now leads a more comfortable life, complete with wearing shorts. 

Almost done with 2nd grade, this girl. So exciting and beautiful to watch her growing up. She is such a compassionate person, and we are proud to be her parents. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Book Character Day

Our school had a super cute Book Character parade for Reading Week, and Sojo dressed up as one of her favorites, Franny K. Stein. She's a girl mad scientist that is quite funny. An added bonus was that she got to carry a stuffed animal to school, something she wishes she could do each and every day.

Love that girl. 

Friday, April 03, 2015

Shamal Wear

Last night, we had the biggest shamal we've seen since moving to Saudi. The wind whipped the sand around all night long, and it was like snow on the ground this morning.

Sojo needed to have her eyes protected, so she wore these awesome glasses.

And in a completely unrelated photo, I snapped this the other night of her reading in bed. Not something she chooses often (she always prefers that we read to her), but this Roscoe Riley book was so good that she finished it in one gulp. We love catching her looking so big. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Paris, again

This spring break, we headed off to the glorious city of Paris yet again. Spoiled, yes, but we also wanted to take Dale's mom somewhere in Europe, and she chose Paris (woo hoo!).

Dale's sisters met us there as well, so it was a true family affair. We rented a big flat with plenty of room, and we saw as much as we could see in the chilly 6 days.

Here are the highlights:

1. Seeing the Eiffel Tower just as spring was starting to appear. Cherry blossoms were stunning!

2. Hop-on, hop-off bus was a blast, especially seeing Dale and his sisters so happy to be together. Next time, I want to go up the Arc de Triomphe as they said it was awesome.

3. We didn't visit the Louvre itself, but I loved just hanging around the area, drinking coffee and eating bread. So much bread was consumed on this trip. 

4. We stayed in the Latin Quarter this time, and it had more of a local feel than the St. Germain area. I liked both for different reasons, but we hung out at a cafe on the Contrescarpe where Hemingway used to write. Cool factor very high there! Sojo was especially fond of the gelato store on Rue Mouffetard, and she partook of gelato at least once a day.

5. We made a day trip to Versailles, and it was a sight to see. Truthfully, the opulence was overwhelming if I took even a minute to think about it. My favorite part was when we rented golf carts to toodle around the gardens, stopping to eat hot baked potatoes on the way. 

Even after two times in Paris, I'd hop on a plane to go back in a heartbeat. Although, next time, it would be lovely for us to head out of the city itself and explore the countryside. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Riding the Creative Wave

A weekend wish for a car for Gilgamesh was granted by her baba. We then took a family walk together to show off his new wheels to friends in the 'hood. At one point, Sojo said, "You know, it's so nice that we live here where no one says I'm weird for having a car for my stuffed animal." 

I totally agree. There is an innocence here in our small town that I am not sure exists anymore in many places. As a parent, I love how Sojo does stuff like this and thinks it's absolutely fabulous. I am watching some of the 2nd graders subtly shift into wanting to be with the older kids, and I hope she hangs onto this creative side of imaginative play for as long as she can. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Speech

For posterity's sake, here is the speech. She said that technically she didn't write it (it was SO long, mama!), but instead she told her counselor and she wrote it for her. Her words, though. Our pride. 

"I was adopted when I was one day old. I know nothing about my first mama except she was kind enough to give me to the orphanage--maybe because we were poor but I don't know for sure. Maybe we didn't have enough room in our house or enough money to take care of me and she didn't want me to suffer. But what I do know about my first mama and baba is that they were from China.

Because I am from China, I call my parents mama and baba because that's what they call parents in Chinese and Arabic. In Spain, they say mami and papi, and in Canada, they say mom and dad. My mom and dad are from the USA, and they are Ms. Tara and Senor Ethridge.

When people ask, 'where are you from?' I think it is weird and none of their business, but I tell them anyway to be kind. I say I am from China but not totally because my mom and dad are American. I am Chinese but I don't speak Chinese. I have never been to China except for when I was just a baby so I don't remember. But I would like to go there to try the noodles because I LOVE NOODLES! 

I am a third culture kid because I live overseas from my hometowns and home countries. This makes me feel cool because I am part of cross-cultural places."