Friday, August 27, 2010

Chiang Rai

It was so good to jet out of town last Friday night and arrive in northern Thailand, an area of the country marked with chocolate rivers and stunning rice paddies.
We were hoping for cooler weather, but it was the same heat there as here, just prettier surroundings. Our big adventure on Saturday was to visit a Yao minority tribe village, and it was a bit of a bust. The former anthropology major in me cannot resist these types of trips, but most of the time they are not very authentic in this day and age. We did meet this one woman who was the only one in the village in traditional clothing, and she let us into her very humble house. Very humble.
So we relaxed, saw a new city and loved traveling with a pajama-clad kid in the airport. Not much cuter than that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Even though we had a lovely weekend up north, I am compelled to wait on that just to show the oh-so-adorable photos of Sojo's first day of official swimming lessons. We've been thinking that she needs the next step of swimming and a gentle push to really start to swim, and so we signed up and headed out this afternoon for our first lesson. There was some apprehension on everyone's part, but it was so much fun.

Her teacher was nothing short of gifted with these little ones, cracking them up and getting the kids to do all sorts of things. Dale and I sat on the sidelines filled with pride. Sojo was so good with her listening and following directions.
The prize at the end (actually more of a bribe to ease the apprehension at the beginning) was a bag of marshmallows. The most hilarious part was Sojo disrobing while in line to buy the marshmallows--I had to convince her to keep her suit on while we rode home eating marshmallows in the afternoon rain.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Small Adventure

Way back in March, a smokin' deal came online for flights to Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. I booked them for August, and somehow August is already here. Rather perfect timing actually, what with school having been in session for a few weeks and summer vacation quickly becoming a distant memory. New scenery, a river town and even a trip to a hilltribe village are part of the small adventure with my two favorite people.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We are taking advantage of the sunshine (even during the rainy season) by letting the light stream through the window and by moving our bed to be right under the window. I love looking up and out to see the trees and hear the birds, or sleeping at night during the fury of a tropical storm.

But it really doesn't matter where we put the bed, it's always a great place for Sojo to jump.
This girl has me captivated of late. I'm following her around with a camera, cajoling shots (jumping seems to be one she will always do) to somehow document how beautiful she is at this very moment. She's growing into herself so much, and I have these brief glimpses of what she will look like later in life. It is so beautiful to see.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Little Photo Shoot

Sojo wearing an adorable skirt (thanks, mom!) inspired me to grab my camera on the way out to the playground. This is her hanging out with her favorite tree, Tree-y, in our 'yard.'

Once we hit the playground, we worked hard on getting the perfect jump shot. I am always so grateful that our playground is basically right outside our sliding door.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

School Time

A few teachers at school switched their library times this week so I could take Sojo to school for her first day of K1. This will be her last year at the Reggio Emilia school before coming to the big school next year. Oddly enough, she was weepy and clingy, which is the exact opposite of how she normally is. The first year I barely got a hug before she took off running--the summer withdrawal is fierce this year.

But she was fine when I left her and claimed to have had a good day. I love the robot clothes for the first day, the fabulous shoes her aunt Gladys gave her (they light up when you stomp, so there is lots of stomping going on!), and the sassy pose.

One more random cuteness was when she came up to us tonight with a small globe in her hand and said, "I'm an expert on the Earth (actually, Earf to her). It goes around and there is green and blue. I'm an expert." I adore moments when Dale and I glance at each other and just smile at how lucky we are. This was one of those moments.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Corner of Happiness

We've been rearranging things in our apartment these last few days, and this scene is what I look out at from our bed. It's a corner of the room chocked with simple things that bring me happiness. The straw hat that I would wear every day if that were appropriate as a teacher, my brown corduroy hat that I bought in New York city years ago and goes with me everywhere, my mint green chair that reminds me of my sweet grandmother and the Chinese jewelry cabinet that was a big splurge but worth every yuan. It is the single most organized piece of furniture I have ever seen--drawers made bracelet size and ring size and earring size and scarf size.

And, of course, the gorgeous girl in the chair brings me the most happiness. I still spend many of my minutes in awe of her spirit.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Back in the Saddle

We're settled back in to our life in Thailand, and thankfully all of us are over the jetlag, just in time for school to start on Monday.

It feels good to be back, but I still can't help but hang on to summer a bit.

Some Sojo memories from this summer...

1. It was the summer her legs grew, and she told anyone who wanted to listen, "Look how long my legs are!"

2. A few invisible friends came and went but the newest member of the brood was Harfey, a dog. Since Sojo's allergies prevent her from petting most dogs, Harfey became the perfect pet. He came with us to the farmer's market, and he even cuddled on Sojo's bed while she read him stories at night.

3. This was the summer that Sojo stopped holding things in her hands all the time. She did at the start of the summer, but I just realized the other day that she has stopped. Wild since it was a part of her life for so long.

4. Thankfully, her quirkiness only increased over the summer. Not sure what I'll do if she loses that. She often asked us to call her Mr. Bendy Legs, and this is her robot dance. Wait-I see this picture now and realize that she did wear binoculars all summer long, so that must have replaced the holding in her hand fixation. As you can see from this picture, even her outfits are quirky. Rather perfect for our funky little town.

5. Dale worked on our small backyard and made it look so beautiful. We got married under this arbor 5 years ago, and it fits perfectly in our yard as a lovely reminder.

And now it's time for me to move on from summer and start taking pictures in Bangkok again!