Friday, December 31, 2010

Tea Party

My mom is all about tea parties, and for some time now, she has wanted to have all the girls in the family go to high tea together. It was definitely a sequined event for Sojo as most everything is during this vacation, even if she did remove all sequins after entering the building. We drank the most delicious tea and had a great time chatting and eating.
Sojo helped everyone pick out their special tea cups and got her own pot of pink lemonade. We decided this should be a tradition every summer when we come home, which is the perfect excuse to continue buying sequined accessories!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was a blast this year, surrounded by family and an incredibly mild and gorgeous Arizona winter. Sojo cracked us all up on Christmas morning when she opened almost every present and exclaimed, "It's exactly what I wanted!!" One time, she didn't even know what it was she was opening, and she still said it!
The ever-observant Sojo noticed that Santa had a really big tummy and wondered why. We had a conversation about how lots of kid leave him cookies and maybe that's why. Her suggestion was that Santa should eat some healthier food like fruits and vegetables, so we left him some carrots and clementines instead. Couldn't help but be incredibly happy that the healthy eating message is sinking in.
It truly is gorgeous here in Arizona. I've been running outside in the freshest of air in shorts and a t-shirt.

And this stunning girl just about knocked my socks off on Christmas eve with this outfit. She chose it herself (actually RAN to the shiny clothes in the store), which I must say was a brilliant way to get a kid who doesn't love fancy stuff to choose something that made her feel fancy and fabulous. Again, I can see glimpses in her face of how she will look when she is older. Such beauty.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Magic Hat

Lately, this sparkly hat has been often seen on the head of one cute little Sojo. From making Christmas cookies to doing magic tricks to even using it as an accessory at swim class, it's a funky accessory.
Even when sitting in a colander??
On the plane to Arizona tomorrow! Sojo loves when we leave super early for the airport because we scoop her up out of bed. It's a scoop morning with a 4:30 a.m. van pickup. Can't wait to be in my parents' house tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Sojo

Every time we sit down to create a story with the ready-made books, I say I'm going to do it more often. She has so much to say that giving her the chance to put it on paper is priceless, plus I love documenting her writing process.

Here is the latest creation called I Love, by Sojo

Things worth noticing

*Um, we don't have a unicycle, nor does she ride one.
*The whole 'don't throw it in the garbage' idea is something she is mentioning lately. I think it comes from the last Toy Story movie where the toys get thrown in the garbage. She just told me this morning that she loves me very much but doesn't want me to go into the garbage can.
*Most of the riding pictures are done from the side perspective. Cool to see that.
*The green bench makes the coolest background for just about everything.
*I Love...books are tons of fun and easy to do with kids.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Show #3

This was our last holiday show at Sojo's preschool, and it's our favorite time of the school year. This time around, she was a reindeer, which probably explains why that has been her character of choice the last few weeks at home. The only bummer this year was that she wasn't as bubbly as she normally is on stage. Most of the time, she looked a bit sad and serious when she is normally jumping all over the place. Seems the itchies are ruling her life lately, which kinda breaks this mama's heart.

No tears with Santa this year, and she was in heaven after the show because there were mini hot dogs. Not a normal fare at our house, (yuck!) but she could eat piles of them.

There's the girl we know and love. The ham in her came out only after the show was over!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Parents were allowed to watch the yoga class today. What a gift to see this braided beauty in action. Namaste.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Books & Cookies

Sojo always comes to the library on Tuesdays before yoga, and she usually finds a book or two to take home. Last week, she found a book on robots called Ricky Ricotta by Dav Pilkey--a book kids go a bit nuts over. She wanted to have some extra time in bed one night just to look at the pictures, and it made me think of me when I was a kid. Doing anything I could for a few extra minutes of reading.
And this picture makes me smile every time. I love those braids so much, and it is still her daily hairstyle of choice. Our teacher housing had a cookie decorating party this week, and we partook in the fun. Yum.
One week until Arizona!

Monday, December 06, 2010


Thanks to the King's birthday, we have an extra day off this week. Just perfect for a family who is ready for the long upcoming holiday--we practiced by doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, almost nothing--we did make popcorn balls and had a first viewing of The Grunt Who Stole Christmas. Sojo can't seem to remember the word Grinch, and she is fixated on the fact that his heart was two sizes too small.

Best practice for the upcoming holiday--nap time. Sojo made this cool floor nap area while I just crashed on the bed.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Girls' Day at the Doctor

For some time now, we've had Sojo on a big dose of steroid cream for her eczema. Unfortunately, it's taken a toll on her pigmentation, and so the doctor told us to take her off it completely. Only problem then is that it appears that all the eczema that has been suppressed by the steroids is now on the surface, and the poor thing is just covered with red, itchy, leathery skin. Worse than ever before. Blah. So, I took a day off work this week, and we bounced from doctor to doctor in search of a solution. First stop was our pediatrician who really had no solutions other than telling me that she will learn to scratch less when she is older. She's also been complaining of blurry vision, so we dropped in the eye section of the hospital and had an eye check. Just to give you an idea of how efficient this hospital is, I had no appointment and the assistant was still apologizing to me that I would have to wait 10 minutes to see the doctor. Sojo LOVED having her eyes checked, and although she has a slight vision problem with one eye, it's not enough that they want to get her glasses at this point.
The hospital is always like a miniature United Nations with people from everywhere. Sojo met a lovely woman from India and was fascinated with her bindi. The lady wound up giving her a handful from her purse and she wore it all day.
Our last stop of the day was at a wellness center in a different part of town. We met with a homeopath, and it was hopeful and validating and unlike any other doctor experience I've ever had. We talked for 90 minutes about Sojo--her personality, her food cravings, everything. We've put her on a new homeopathic medicine and are feeling positive. Within an hour, she was scratching less and seemed to be feeling a bit better. Fingers are crossed. Our time at the various appointments had us waiting and waiting for about 7 hours, which makes a long day for us both. At one point, over pastries and a latte, she turned to me and said, "It's a good day, mama." Indeed, sweet girl, indeed.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Under the Lights

Every year at this time, when we put the lights on the tree, Dale tells me of his fond childhood memories of actually sleeping under the tree just to watch the lights. * Since it's not as comfortable to do this in your 40's, we did the next best thing and brought them into our bedrooms.
That way, each of the sweeties can sleep under the lights.

*I have since been told that Dale did not sleep under the lights like I thought I was hearing all these years but instead on the couch to watch the lights. Still sweet as heck thinking of my man as a little guy loving the Christmas lights.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Better Late than Never

A few weeks have passed, and somehow I haven't posted about our big "feed the animals" trip with Aimee to Safari World. Aimee has this thing where she loves to have her picture taken with animals, so our big day out was to feed the giraffes at Safari World before she left Thailand. It was so worth the trip as there was a whole gaggle of giraffes waiting to be fed and to be photographed with her. We ordered buckets of fruit and leaves to feed them, and they were nothing short of magical. I remember being completely in awe of their grace while on safari in Kenya--they seemed to float across the savannah while galloping along. I can't wait until Sojo asks to go on safari.

In true Asia style, we found this sign as we entered the park. After using the toilet, no one could figure out what actually made it win the award.
One of the highlights of Aimee's trip for me was watching these two together. They met for the first time and bonded like superglue. It was gorgeous to sit back and watch a cherished friend and a cherished kid love the heck out of each other. Made my heart so happy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas and Such

This is the girl we are seeing more and more lately. One who gets herself ready to go to Starbucks on the weekend, the girl who grabs her magazine to read, and who adds her groovy purse (it really is groovy-made entirely of plastic bags!) before heading out the door. Her independence is growing by the day. Case in point is that after dinner lately, she skips out the door on her way to her friend Stella's house. Makes me smile every time.
And we are starting to get into the Christmas spirit a bit here. Our neighbors bought a bunch of poinsettias, and they happened to be placed right around Sojo's favorite stump, Stumpy. (every kid has a favorite stump, right? this kid cracks me up with her love of inanimate objects!) Perfect for a little pre-Christmas photo shoot.We'll be spending the holidays with family in Arizona this year, and our fingers are crossed for some snow anywhere in the vicinity! Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


From the first time I remember recognizing a happy face in a picture to these new details she is adding to her people, it's such a beautiful journey to watch a child making art. Going to a Reggio Emilia-based school certainly helps as art is a huge part of the program. But, look at those feet attached to legs, the hair, the coloring in of the body, and the newest addition--the bellybutton. Too cute.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Qi Pao Cutie

Sojo's Chinese qi pao has definitely been used a lot by us over the years. Sojo wore it to the community Loy Krathong celebration yesterday. She then met me at school later in the day to attend some events at our International Day and then we went to the middle school drama show to see baba playing guitar. Good thing she has had a lot of use from this qi pao because I noticed that it is covered with stains (at least they blend in nicely on this material!). Might be time to buy a new one before Chinese New Year.
And this photo--wow! I love how it captures Dale's adoration. There's a whole lot of love between these two.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Soulful Connections

Long ago, when I started teaching overseas in Ecuador, I was blessed enough to meet a group of people who were not only dedicated teachers, but also good, good people. We are now all over the world, but some of us are working in Asia. Aimee, my dear friend with whom I have traveled so many times and in so many countries, came to visit from the U.S. and so we had a mini-reunion on the island of Phuket. It was nothing short of glorious. Since I was sans husband and child, I took advantage of napping, reading on the balcony overlooking the sea, and reconnecting with friends. We laughed like crazy over old memories and adventures, as well as talking education and life and love.
I'll give Aimee's visit its own blog post soon, but suffice it to say she is one amazing woman who is so generous of heart. We've had a great two weeks together.
Now, if only I could somehow arrange my life to make this my home. So lovely.