Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kanchanaburi Getaway

We are determined to explore more of the country this year now that we are more settled, and Kanchanaburi being so close was a perfect first stop. The train was great--basic and clean and local--and the scenery was spectacular. I am in love with tropical countryside, and I never get tired of seeing rice paddies and water buffalo and palm trees passing by. Throw in a mild tropical rain, and the open windows of the train made me more than a bit nostalgic for my Ecuador days. Thailand is so very much like Ecuador in many ways--warm people, gorgeous countryside, but thankfully much safer and tamer.

Highlights of the trip

Lots and lots of watermelon shakes

The discovery that Sojo HATES flowers on her food (these purple orchids come with everything here)

and rattan rocking horsesEven thought the train ride was fun, we still opted for an air-conditioned mini-van on the way home. Comfort beat adventure, and comfort was almost always lacking while traveling in the Ecuador days.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

L-A-Z-Y

Seems I've been too lazy to even pick up a camera these days. We've had bouts of fever and overall back-to-school tiredness, and the days have just swum by. But we're back on track and back in the blogosphere.

The good news is that Sojo not being allergic to eggs is opening up her food world a bit. We tend to stay away from processed cookies, but we took the plunge and gave her a Fig Newton the other day. A simple thing, yes, but to a kid who doesn't get this stuff, it was like manna from heaven. She asked, "It won't make me itchy?" and then literally did a kick in the air showing her joy. "Kanewtons" are her favorite new snack.
We are excited to head off on an adventure this weekend to a nearby town called Kanchanaburi. Making it more of an adventure is the 3rd class train we are taking to get there. Mind you, I've had my share of 3rd class everything in traveling and am more than happy to choose another class, but 3rd class is our only option on this train. I had visions of train travel in India, which can be pretty intense, but I found a youtube video of the train and it looks just fine. Good part is the price is $2.50 to get there. Next up--pics from the river cottage in Kanchanaburi! If it's fab, we'll have a great trip to take when my parents and bro/sis get here in October.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Watching the Clock

Sojo is having a devil of a time sleeping through the night for the last few months, and her parents are feeling very, very tired from getting up so many times in the wee hours. So on a whim the other night, I took down the clock and started talking to Sojo about how she goes to bed when the small hand is on the 7 and gets up when it's on the 6 (I don't think we're ever going to see any number bigger than 6 for a wake-up until she's a teenager!). Now she's interested every night in taking down the clock and going over the drill. I can't say there's been a huge improvement, but I love her eternal optimism--it doesn't matter how many times she has woken us up during the night, when it's finally light outside she is incredibly proud that she "slept till the birdies woke up."

The plan is to order this cool alarm clock for her and have my parents bring it over in October when they visit.

The only bright spot with lots of midnight wake-ups is the snuggling that takes place. There really is nothing like a child's hand resting on you. The trust and love spoken in that casual resting is one of my favorite things about being a mom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why?

We're still here! And we've entered the interesting and somewhat repetitive stage of "Why?" Seriously, it was like a light switch went off about three days ago when Sojo started asking "Why?" after everything. I must admit it's kind of a cute-sounding why as she tends to drag out her words like a Southern belle.

For example, at dinner tonight:

Sojo: Look at the straw. The smoothie comes up.

Whaaaaa aiiiiii?

Then Dale messed with her a bit and explained the entire scientific process of a vaccuum and hydraulics. She looked a bit lost. That'll teach her to ask why again.

*allergy update: the tests came back off the charts for dustmites and smaller allergies for milk and peanuts. Looks like eggs are no problem, but I'm basically an expert at making things without eggs now that I feel weird going back to them. Our big challenge is finding ways to eliminate dustmites. Sadly, most of our 'fuzzy friends' (stuffed animals) are being donated to the orphanage. On the bright side, Sojo is a bit odd in that she will gladly snuggle up with a plastic screwdriver any day of the week. Whew!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School


Preschool started again, and Dale was able to take a prep period to go with Sojo for her first day. Having a new teacher this year and a new classroom was pretty darn exciting. It was a great first day; that is, until I got a call from the teacher saying that they found a long white worm in her poop. Yea, pretty mortifying, but part of me had to laugh just because those things tend to happen to teachers. Of course, we were properly concerned, and the teacher did some research and said she thought it was a whipworm. I did an image search and then started laughing aloud. Seeing that worm on the computer made me remember that we had a stir fry the previous night where I added some Asian straw mushrooms that are really long and skinny and white. Sojo ate tons of them, and we even joked that she was eating worms. Ha!
And after suffering more than a few bouts of hives, we decided to bite the bullet and have Sojo tested for allergies. They drew blood, which was heartbreaking to watch (smart nurses wrapped her like a burrito with only one arm sticking out--Sojo sobbing, "no, everybody!" over and over is burned in my memory). We'll know soon enough and hopefully will find some lurking allergies that are causing such havoc.
Before we left for the summer vaca, we ordered a couch we saw at a market and kept thinking about. Dale and I spent about a month saying, "Hmmm, wouldn't it be nice to be sitting on that brown couch right now?" and then decided to go for it. Not only it is super comfy, but the turquoise walls we didn't quite love before are now my favorite in the whole house.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Back in the Saddle

The flip-flop tans (pic of me, the bros, Cathy and Dale) are fading as we are back to work, and we are finally back in the swing of things in regards to sleep and routines and blogging.
Upon returning to Bangkok, we met a new little friend living right next door (and I mean like two feet away in our teacher apts.--just perfect for popping in). His name is Morgan, and he and Sojo are just two months apart and hit it off immediately. The first time they played, Sojo kept walking over to him and petting his hair before heading back to her own play. So adorable.
And one more thing discovered when we returned...the baby in Sojo is gone. Disappeared in the wind somewhere this summer and was replaced with a little girl. A little girl who is also starting to notice literacy in her world. She spies the "Sojo letter" everywhere lately, and I love her genuine awe when she stumbles upon an S or the "mama letter" of T.
And now she has a cool place in her room to practice writing and drawing. Dale and I have a running joke that he is forever offering to modify furniture in our house by sawing the legs off of something. It's a bit of a wacky fixation of his, but this time his dream came true when he modified Sojo's bulky easel and put the pieces on the wall.