Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still Itchy

Ugh--just when we thought we turned a corner with the eczema, it's back again and worsening by the day. Tomorrow, we are headed down to the awesome hospital here in Bangkok called Bumrungrad. People actually come from all over the world for its great, affordable and oh-so friendly healthcare, so we are hoping the dermatologist can help us find some way to relieve Sojo of this eternal itching. One thing that has happened during all this itching is that she has become addicted to back massages as that was the only way to find relief in the beginning. Now, it's just something she realizes is pretty awesome, even at 3 a.m. when she wakes up itching. That part is not so awesome for the massager, but it's hard to argue with a super-itchy kid, even when you are exhausted. She's becoming pretty demanding for her massages, which makes me think she'll be taking advantage of Thai massage in just a few short years.

More fun books! The best part of being a librarian is that I'm surrounded by books all day--found a cool one that has become a new favorite called Peek! Thai Hide and Seek by Minfong Ho. Sojo loves to find the little girl on every page in this one while I love all the aspects of Thai culture woven throughout the story.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Favorite Books


I used Photobooth tonight to take a picture during storytime, and we figured out this is the way to get Sojo to smile in photos--have her see herself while having a picture taken. She wound up hamming it up so much that our wind down time kinda lost its rhythm and we had to start over a bit. Before she gets any bigger or I forget, I wanted to document her very favorite books at this stage in her life. I have such wonderful childhood memories of reading favorites such as Harry the Dirty Dog, Richard Scarry's Things That Go (I still recommend this to any kid who walks past me in the library!), and The Pokey Puppy over and over again.

Here are Sojo's 'over and over again' books:













And on a completely different note, I'm adding a groovy pic of my brother Matt (a.k.a. Mojo) and Dale playing together at an open mic this summer. Mojo, it was awesome to have so much music in the house when you and Caffee came to visit. xoxo

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sojo's Turn


Sojo has recently begun to string a few words together, and one of the most commonly used phrases coming out of her mouth is, "Sojo's turn!" While the teacher in me is thrilled that she is getting the concept of possessives...um, it always seems to be Sojo's turn. She'll say, "Mama's turn" or "Baba's turn" and then quickly change it back to "Sojo's turn" before you know it. That being said, it is helping with getting her to tidy up her toys a bit, something she has absolutely no interest in doing whatsoever. But, if I pull the old "Sojo's turn" on her, she'll help out. Ah, magic!

After our time on the swings today, Sojo turned into a bit of a drama queen when she slipped on the living room floor and hurt her elbow. We pulled out the fabulous Boo-Boo Bunnies, and she wound up doing an award-winning performance of melodrama while putting the bunnies on various body parts. Please note that the elbow is only one of the many "hurt" parts. The look on her face with the bunny on her head is priceless.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sawadee

Having a ball at the school's playgroundSawadee Ka from Thailand! Whew--after a few days of settling in, sleeping at weird hours and finally getting internet access, we're back to blogging. The transition has been fairly smooth so far, and Sojo is in hog heaven as she can see the pool AND the playground from her bedroom window in our apartment. We've had double playground days since we arrived, and she loves it so much that she hasn't had her normal interest in swimming. Hmmm...that activity would be less hot than the playground, but she doesn't get it. I, on the other hand, LOVE that I can walk out my back door into the pool for a swim once Sojo goes to sleep. The best news is that her eczema, which got so incredibly heartbreaking over the summer, has all but cleared up, which solidifies our thought that she has a pretty severe allergy to cats. Point taken on our part, and we'll stay clear of all cute felines from now on. It is wonderful to see Sojo not completely covered up and some new pink skin coming in where the other skin was just ravaged.

So glad we came early because we still have about four more days before we are due to start orientation. Lots of lazy mornings and exploring our neighborhood without having to leave Sojo all day just yet. Dale and I have been leaving Sojo with her new mae bon/caregiver for a few hours a day (feeling very, very lioness-like in giving her over to someone else after a summer of togetherness) to get them accustomed to each other, and she likes her new friend, Khun Tim (coon tim). Khun Tim already has her putting her hands together in prayer as is the customary greeting here, and Sojo is starting to say "sawadee ka" which means hello. Over the top adorable...

In a nutshell, the balmy tropics, daily mango fixes, a new lifestyle where we walk most everywhere, and friendly people all around, and we are easing into the tropical, laid-back lifestyle. Throw in a few Thai massages, and we're also in hog heaven.

A few pics--realized we've been so busy getting settled we haven't taken many pics. Will do so soon.

Leaving Seattle with nai-nai's teddy bear she bought Sojo
This one kills me! After a major meltdown in the grocery store for illogical reasons due to jet lag and toddlerdom, she just held her new turtle potty and cried and cried.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Closing Up Summer


Not sure how it happened so fast, but our summer vacation is just about over, and we are due to leave for Thailand in just a few days. The time in Washington was filled with family and friends, music and trips the beach, early mornings and late nights. As always, we are grateful for the time spent with everyone and now move into the heartsick part of choosing a life abroad--the leaving. Unfortunately, even after 15 years overseas, that part never gets easier.

One of the things I will remember about this summer is how many people came up to us and started a conversation about Sojo and then shared with us that they are adopted themselves. From the random older man in a Mexican restaurant to the young girl riding a horse on the beach, it's like a little club that Sojo is a part of forever. When the girl on the beach told me she was adopted, I said, "Wow! How cool for you!" and she totally agreed. It reminded me of a time in the LAX airport when a 20 something Korean-American woman was bringing a newly adopted baby from Korea to his new family in the U.S., and we got to talking. She said she herself was adopted as a baby and so she wanted to give back in some way to other families that adopted by helping with the process. And, yes, it was at this point that I started crying! Wow...adoption is an incredibly powerful choice, and I am so thankful that Dale also wanted to choose this way of creating a family together.

Next stop, Thailand...gong gong and sojo at the park
heading to the beach
friends and family
first time eating spaghetti this summer. you can see why i've avoided it

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tea Party


Brought out the 'peh shul' kitty cat teacups and teapot the other day and filled them with smoothies. Sojo realized that she needed to be careful as they are breakable and took great care of them. Oh, she is growing more and more each day here it seems. Talking up a storm and wanting to spend almost all her time in "yellow," our VW van. She pretends to drive and basically runs all around the van--her idea of fun.

In just 10 days, we'll be in Thailand. So hard to believe, but lots of family and friends passing through in the next ten days to keep up chocked full of love and wine!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Joy x 3

Snippets of joy in the last few days...

1. Our pre-anniversary (almost 3 years since the big day) getaway to the nearby hippie town of Port Townsend. A gorgeous waterfront hotel room, massages, an evening of open mic folk music, and it's just about heaven for us. We often toy with the idea of moving here for the summers since the good energy is so intoxicating. Plus, we figure we already have tattoos, piercings, and a VW van, which I think may be requirements for living here, so I have a feeling we'd be welcomed with open arms. A big thanks for popo and gong gong for taking great care of Sojo for us while we frolicked for 24 hours (crossing my fingers she sleeps through the night for them. please?)
2. Simply the most fabulously funky green shoes I purchased on the getaway. Just slipping them on makes me want to skip everywhere I go.
3. And the lovely Sojo. She is now at the parroting stage of talking, which is quite comical and fun. I found this awesome Jimi Hendrix shirt at YoungPunks and we told her she should say "Jimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" when she wears it. Hilarious to hear her say it over and over again that day while pointing at Jimi.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Chillin' at the Beach


The concept of beach in Washington is a wee bit different than other parts of the world. Water temps never go above 47 degrees, even in the summer. So, when my mom, Sojo and I headed out to the beach the other day, we had a good chuckle at us all bundled up on the sand while we watched the local kids splashing in the water. Brrr! It was a fabulous, fabulous day and Sojo is very content in the sand for hours, which gives the adults a bit of a rest from chasing her around. To top it all off, some horses and riders came down to the beach, and Sojo was in heaven. It is absolutely amazing to watch a kid do something for the very first time, especially something as cool as petting a horse's nose when she's only seen them in books before. The cherry on top was when the man asked if she wanted to sit on the horse. Such simple joy.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cousin Fun



We keep remembering that Sojo was basically a lump on a blanket last summer, just getting the hang of keeping her head up at 9 months, and now she is literally giving us a run for our money with constantly going up and down stairs and running willy-nilly. It is truly amazing what love and stimulation can do for a kid! One of my favorite things to do is to follow the blogs of Sojo's fellow housemates at the Kunming orphanage and see how all the little cuties are thriving.

Some serious summer fun is hanging out with her cousins Ana and Josiah. While Sojo sometimes tires of us big people, she always loves people her size and responds so well to little babies and toddlers. We love that Ana and Josiah come over often and play with us. And, joy, joy, joy! Dale, my dad, and my uncle built what I've been hinting loudly about for a while now--a banging wall. I read about it on the Soulemama blog and thought our property was perfect for something like that. Some old fenceposts, a few pots and pans, and some driftwood have created a pretty cool place to hang out and make some good old fashioned noise.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sojo's New BFF

A few summers ago, I found this small statue at the grocery store of all places, and I loved the serenity of it for our front garden. She has knelt there quietly ever since; that is, until Sojo discovered her the other day and decided to become her new best friend. Sojo and "girl" (not quite understanding the idea of giving things names yet) spend lots of quality time together with Sojo giving her lots of hugs, changing her diaper, putting pieces of bark on her head, and even throwing her down the stairs sometimes. Thankfully, she is not made of stone but some sort of coated plastic, so the broken pieces don't matter so much. Our favorite stone buddha arrives in the shipment tomorrow, so "girl" might have some competition.