Monday, June 29, 2009

Adios, Tucson

After some quality time in the Sonoran desert, we are headed back up to Washington this afternoon with my mom, and we'll wait for the rest of my family to join us in a few weeks. Looking forward to more time together, storing up all this love to last us the rest of the year.
Highlights of the last few days...

Random copycat game Sojo invented to play with popo and gong gong.
A trip to the Children's Museum. This place was a blast! Imagine how cool it would be to have this magnetic board in elementary schools.Our first trip ever to feed the ducks in the desert oasis of a nearby park was such a treat. It was the perfect size and tucked away under some palm trees. Yes, that might be the grooviest kids' hat ever that Sojo has on! I was psyched to find a funky hat that was made just for kids. Now she doesn't have to steal her baba's anymore.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stillness

Being still is not something Sojo does often. However, an early morning desert picnic of blueberries and toast dipped in soy milk (coffee for me!) inspired us both to sit quietly and soak up the loveliness. Hummingbirds, blue skies, and the sounds of the desert waking up--it was as if being still for a while was exactly what the morning was asking of us. Happy to oblige.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Many Faces of Sojo

Somebody is a huge ham in this family! For some unknown reason, (I vote that it's just to bring us joy) Sojo has started what we call the 'no smile' face. Perhaps a silent protest at how many times we are whipping out the camera to document her life? Whatever the reason, we can't stop laughing each time she does it. Winking and snoring faces are the newest additions to the repertoire of cuteness.
The live version shows it best. Seriously, even if she weren't my kid, I'd choose to hang out with this girl everyday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Transitions

This is the first summer Sojo has been aware enough of her surroundings to realize that we are not at her home in Bangkok, which she calls the 'white house.' Because of this, there have been some transition issues on this trip, starting with a middle of the night screaming of "I want to go to the white house" on one of the first nights back. She seems to be settling in more (albeit with continuing sleep issues), but I imagine it's confusing to her. Bangkok to Port Townsend, then Tucson, and in a few days, back to Port Townsend. Add three pretty yucky allergic reactions of hives on her belly to the mix, and let's just say mama and baba aren't getting all that summer sleep we were hoping for. No matter, though. Just want her to be in harmony with her surroundings. The hives are new, and the only connection we can find is contact with a dog right before they appeared each time. The first time she had the hives was in Port Townsend, and its newness prompted us to take her to the doctor. Unfortunately, it was the day we were without a car or a phone. I went to a neighbor's house, and she drove us to the emergency room where we were greeted by a wonderful staff who took good care of us. The comical part was walking the mile back to our house with Sojo and a carseat in tow. Did I mention we live at the top of a rather steep hill? Gotta love the commitment to walking this summer!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TV

We're not anti-TV in our house; we just don't have cable and therefore don't tend to watch much more than movies and Backyardigans. Imagine my surprise when we discovered Curious George on cable and the joy that brought to Sojo. Somehow, one show led to another and before I knew it, 90 minutes had gone by, all taken up by pretty decent shows. I now get how you could plop your kid in front of the TV and get some things done. Like this blog post, for example. Dangerous! We're calling it a summer vacation treat.

Watching TV isn't the only thing we are doing lately. A new wagon and helping gong gong feed the birds have kept us busy. Also this week we are going to visit an international school right here in Tucson. I read about it recently and am so curious. The concepts I love about international teaching--multiple languages, teachers from around the world--right here in the Old Pueblo.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm a Baby Giraffe

There is this very sweet phase going on in Sojo's life right now--she pretends to be a different animal for most of the day, and she wants you to refer to her as that animal. She'll simply announce, "I'm a baby porcupine fish" or "I'm a baby giraffe." I'm thinking it's a developmental thing b/c we went to dinner last night and met another girl who was pretending to be a horse. Love it!
Life in the desert is lovely. Blue skies, manageable temperatures and it's wonderful to reconnect with family.

Plus, Sojo has been waiting for some time for her cool new robot pajamas that were waiting for her here. I've been waiting for the groovy new slippers I ordered for her from this site--fair trade, felt and fabulous for the cold floors of Washington.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

All the Cool Kids Have One

One of the first items on our agenda in our new town was to get a library card. I mean, all the cool kids have them, right? The library is just a short walk from our house, and we headed down there to get the card a few days ago. The sweet librarian even let Sojo sit on the counter and do some stamping. Sojo loved it, but I realized quickly that she only hangs out in my library and usually after hours, and I don't mind that she runs around and does her own thing, usually involving noise. Um, not really what you are supposed to do in most libraries. Oops! After telling her numerous times to be more mellow, she had a tiny meltdown, we made a quick exit to chat about how to behave, and then we were back on track.

Left with lots of good books and one that is cracking her up-- The Doghouse. Must order this for the Bangkok library.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Spoiled Rotten

Sojo was in the pool within an hour of arriving in Tucson. First time off the diving board and a fun afternoon hanging out with the family. Welcome to 10 days of fun in the sun and being spoiled rotten! I see some extra sleep in our near future...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

All is Well

All is well in our funky and fabulous new town. The cynic in me thought that towns like this didn't exist anymore, and I stand completely corrected. From the mailman who came to introduce himself while I was reading on the porch to the new neighbor who offered to loan us her car until we get ours, it is simple and sweet and what more of life and living and community should be like. It feels incredibly nourishing for the soul.
Things we are loving so far:

Playgrounds within walking distance. A funny part is that there is a lot of bark chips used in Washington, so when Sojo saw it for the first time, with her shovel and bucket in hand, she announced, "This sand is kinda weird!"
Walking, walking, walking. It's a walking town, and I love that no one looks at me funny with my cloth bags and trolley in hand. Sojo is a big walker as well and has no problem hoofing it with me and Dale all over the place.
After leaving the land we lived on for the last 4 years, we were afraid we'd miss nature a bit. Imagine our surprise when we realized we have seen more deer in a week on the streets of our town than in 4 summers in the woods. With the deer and the ocean just a short walk away, we're just fine. Off to Arizona tomorrow for ten days with popo and gong gong. Take off the fleeces and pack the sundresses!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And That's A Wrap



First year in a new country done!

First time ever being organized before midnight on the eve of a flight!

We're ready for a bit of cooler weather, a lot of family and friends, and some serious Sojo time.

And since we are Seattle bound tomorrow morning, here is a link to cool video of a song called Hello, Seattle.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Wanderings

I adore that we have/choose a walking/biking existence in Bangkok. In order to break up the days a bit on the weekend, we often take a walk to the small grocery store in our compound. I mentally plan for a lot of time because I don't want to rush Sojo, and it's the closet thing we have to a nature walk. We look at the bird nest nestled in the branch overhanging the lake, the seed pods littering the ground that look like skinny washboards, and there's usually a centipede or a squirrel sighting. Then I buy whatever I need and we head home. By that time I'm sweaty and hot and carrying groceries and would rather get home quicker to the a/c, but Sojo is still at her own pace. It teaches me patience and appreciation every single time, even as the sweat rolls down my back. To make the destination even sweeter, we have a new all-natural smoothie shop right by the grocery store. Really, there is not much in our neighborhood so I can't believe our luck to find our kind of shop. Smoothies of all flavors, popsicles, muffins made with no sugar or eggs and it's all delicious. Something else cool in our neighborhood is this cute guy, known as Guitar Dale. He's got a bi-weekly gig at a restaurant, and the owner asked him to send a poster with dates. When Dale arrived for the first gig, he saw his more than life-sized poster of him. Wow! That's a lot of Dale, but still pretty cool. Off to our U.S. walking/biking existence in about 5 days. Looking forward to lots of nature walks in this beautiful place. image taken from http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/7/2/2/5/8/ar123586526985227.jpg

Monday, June 01, 2009

Groovin'

Look who's got some new dance moves. An end-of-year dance show at school has left Sojo feeling inspired.