Saturday, March 28, 2009

Castaways


I think I speak for all three of us when I say we are ready to give it all up and become castaways here on Borneo. Just look at that water and all those fish right off the jetty! This morning, we took a short boat ride out to a neighboring island for a quick swim. It was like a huge, salty kiddie pool for Sojo, and she loved her version of snorkeling with goggles. She is so comfortable in the water, and she often experiments with what her body can do in regards to moving around and rolling in the water. Today it was so cool to watch her experiment with the extra buoyancy that the salt water gave her. Having the motion of the ocean pull her out a bit without her having to do anything made her smile every time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Borneo Babe

Whew! The trip to Borneo was about 14 hours door to door, but Sojo was a real trooper and seems to be developing her travelling legs. For a kid who doesn't sit still often, this is quite a feat! Pics of Borneo itself tomorrow, but suffice it to say it's pristine and gorgeous with spectacular sunsets and small islands everywhere you look. That said, all Sojo cares about is the playground. Well, that and the groovy welcome necklace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Love It!!

There are many a conversation in our house lately that go like this:

Sojo, picking up any random toy, animal, clothing article: "Who bring this to me?"

Tara or Dale: ________ gave you that.

Sojo: I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Oh, the enthusiasm in this kid. It could power a small country.
Thanks in part to her awesome art-based preschool, she is having a ball drawing and coloring. Dale's mom brought us some watercolors (I LOVE IT! big time with these. Thanks, Patsy!) and she concentrates so hard using them. I've recently started making blank books for her to give her the chance to start writing her own stories. I sit back amazed at how she is able to tell me about her beginning pictures. So much inside even the little kids just waiting to come out.
And lastly, the dramatic side is also being nurtured. Seeing the Cinderella play a few weeks ago made a lasting impression on Sojo. This is her pretending to cry on the floor like Cinderella did. Note the one sparkly shoe.
Off to Borneo tomorrow for a conference/vacation with the family. Woo! Hoo!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Look Back

This morning, Sojo and I spent some time looking through old pictures on the computer. I love telling her the stories of her life so far, and it's amazing how much she has grown and what she remembers. This week, it feels like she is entering a new growing stage--lots of food going in that buddha belly and lots of sleep.

Stumbled on this photo from one year ago. And this one from last week. Same funky hat one year later, growing funky girl. I kind of wish this hat would fit her forever.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Proper Haircut

It was way past due to get this girl a proper haircut that involved something akin to bangs with a straight line across, so we headed out to the salon in our neighborhood last weekend. A quick stopoff at Starbucks to fuel up on coffee for us and a smoothie for Sojo, and off we went. Piece of cake, right?
Much to our surprise, she kind of freaked out when we got there. Who knew that the girl who appears to fear nothing would be afraid of getting a haircut?! She wound up being in my arms for most of the time and then in the chair for the rest, thankfully distracted by her smoothie. It ended well, she has straight bangs, and now we know to add it to the list of role playing at home to get ready for the next time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

End of the Weekend--sigh

Another weekend has flown by, and we love all the quality time it gives us with Sojo. It makes Mondays tough. There are times when we entertain the thought/dream/possibility? of taking a year off at some point as a family and exploring the world, homeschooling Sojo along the way so we are together all the time. I have a beautiful vision of us taking our time with each day and seeing where it takes us in regards to life and learning.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Big Girl's Room

Little by little, we have made Sojo's room her own with some paint, mirrors, and a gorgeous watercolored alphabet that our friends Sue and Tony gave us. Lucky us to have a super handy guy around the house who loves to measure and put things up just so, and even cuter to watch him with his little helper. My favorite part of the room is the big soft brown carpet right in the middle--perfect for lounging about with books and for having impromptu picnics.One more big girl addition to the list. We certainly wouldn't want to be held while washing our hands for dinner anymore. We're at that adorable, 'pull up the chair and just reach the faucet' stage.
In grownup news, an exciting opportunity has arisen for Dale and me. We are going to help with the design of a library at the Mercy School, a school located in the slums of Bangkok and founded by a man named Father Joe. We go tomorrow with a small group of teachers to look at the room and begin the construction of library shelves to house a lot of books that are being donated. I am so honored to be a part of it and in awe of Father Joe who has been helping the people of Bangkok since 1974 when the first school opened. A great article about the his work can be found here. I've already shed some tears reading about his passion for helping others.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Preparing

In a few weeks, we are off to the island of Borneo for a conference/vacation, and we're getting Sojo used to the fab kid headphones I found this summer (thanks, Dyann, for the suggestion!). In essence, the travel ban imposed on Sojo has been lifted. I am a bit in awe of this child who is so accustomed to computers already. She has only talked with her grandparents on Skype, so much so that when she got new shoes last week, she wanted to get on Skype right away to show them the shoes. She builds computers out of Legos, and she pretends to work on the computer herself with her play garage. What will life look like for her in 10 years, I wonder?

Perhaps something like this?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Too Much

Seriously, this kid is too much. Whoever said the twos are terrible forgot to mention that kids are also wonderfully imaginative and absolutely hilarious at two! Not that she doesn't have the occasional irrational meltdown, but thankfully those have slowed down in the last few months.

But back to the fun stuff. I think it started with a Tigger movie where he couldn't whistle and tried to do it, but the last week or so Sojo has really taken a shine to whistling. I use the term very, very loosely as you will see on the video. It's basically her puckering up and making a really high-pitched noise.

The best part is she does it all the time. We hear her in the mornings in her crib just whistling away. She whistles all the songs she knows. And she cracks us up every time.
video

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Empty Nest

Our niece Courtney left a week ago today after a wonderful 2-month stay, and we have been feeling a wee bit of the empty nest syndrome. She is just so groovy and so wide open to the world, and we got used to great conversations, great foot massages and having her be here when we got home from school. Sojo loved Court to pieces, and just this morning she took down a picture and said, "Sojo loves Courtney." Ditto on that sentiment.Yippee! The elephant came while Court was here. You can see that meeting an elephant in person is really quite a joyous experience.

And coincidentally this week, Sojo has taken one more step in her own independence. We have a lovely nighttime ritual of carrying her to bed while singing a sweet song we made up when we first became a family. The other night, out of the blue, Sojo announced that she is now going to walk to bed by herself. Ouch...we had grand plans of carrying her to bed until one of us got a hernia. Perhaps she'll wind back around and want to be carried again.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

P.E.

The preschool newsletter last week mentioned that kids should be wearing appropriate footwear for P.E. days, which may have been directed toward our child who wears nothing but Crocs every single day. Being the law-abiding parents we are, we took Sojo out to the mall (a real mall-you'd be amazed at how fancy the malls are in Asia!) to buy a pair of P.E. shoes. Pink shoes, of course, which then became pink head-to-toe later in the day. She sort of lumbered along in the shoes since they are heavier than Crocs, which was quite comical, but then she got the hang of it. We heard lots of stories of all the kids she chased at preschool in her new shoes, even Teacher Amy.