Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Our Halloween was short and sweet. Since we live in an apartment building with only fellow teachers, we all meet on our common green space, mingle, take a group photo and then head off to trick or treat at the various apts. Sojo was so cute in her pumpkin outfit that we borrowed, and she only wanted to visit a few houses before taking off the costume and getting down to the eating part.
Also meet our newest carved Halloween fruit--Snotty the melon-o-lantern. Easy to carve and cute as can be, plus we got to eat tons of watermelon while making it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scary the Pumpkin

We've either hit an all-time low in regards to parent laziness OR just stumbled upon sheer brilliance...Introducing Scary the Pumpkin, our jack-o-lantern that was pre-carved at the grocery store. Although I struggled a bit with this concept, Sojo fell in love with "Scary" and wanted to bring him home. Needless to say, I didn't struggle for long and they did a much better job than we could have taking out the pumpkin guts. And just to redeem ourselves a bit, we will carve a watermelon (much easier to carve than the super hard pumpkins found overseas) tomorrow.

Sojo is smitten with Scary, though. So smitten that she sat and petted him for a long time and wanted to bring him on a playdate. We vetoed that idea but definitely invited him for stories on the bench--all about pumpkins of course.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Bit of the Zoo & A lot of the Beach

We headed out to our favorite kid-friendly hotel just a short two hours from our house. Finding that this is our go-to spot for a number of reasons:

1. The kiddie pool is big enough to swim around in, but shallow enough to allow her some independence
2. The salt water pools are such relief to eczema-ridden skin. There is some serious softness where normally there is not.
3. The waterslides are just a blast. She graduated to the bigger ones this time, and it was such fun to watch her.

This time, we stopped off at the Open Zoo on the way since it is right off the highway. I was pretty impressed with it, considering we are living in a developing country. There were lots of opportunities to feed animals, and so we bought a big bag of vegetables and fed a giraffe, deer, elephant and even a rhino (still not sure the rhino was a good idea).
Now we still have a few more days of relaxing, watching the World Series and hanging out together.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vacation Mode

We are in full vacation mode where the days seem to stretch out before us, and the week seems endless. Of course, around Wednesday, panic sets in that vacation is coming to an end, but for now, we are riding the wave. Sojo was kind enough to entertain herself for a really long time today (and yesterday) by washing her bike. It's really clean. All that cleaning gave me some quality reading time on the green bench while Dale watched baseball.

I love when she wears shorts. It's hardly ever because of her skin issues, but she is so darn cute when she does.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Some phases are so fun, while others we wish would pass quickly. This is a new one in our house--this frown face of disgust, disapproval and dismay when something doesn't go her way. If it weren't so annoying, I'd crack up every time I see it.

We're on a week-long vacation with our favorite cheeky little monkey. Headed to the beach on Monday-Wednesday with a sidetrip to an outdoor zoo on the way. We're off to our favorite salt-water kid pool hotel with the water slides. Delightful!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


There are days when I am simply apprehended by her beauty. Yesterday was one of those days. Actually, most days are like that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This man is so good. Like, falls in the category of wait-a-lifetime-for-someone-so-good. And watching him be a father is icing on the cake of my good fortune. We both adore him.
Dale celebrated a birthday last week, and Sojo really wanted to get him a birthday hat, some pom-poms and a pack of always yummy Tim-Tams. Of course, we had to pick up a magician's hat for her as well. Simple birthdays in our house, but we love them that way.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chillin' at the Book Club

We have this great teacher book club at our housing complex. Once a month we get together, and it's super easy. You simply bring a book off your shelf, eat and drink and chat, and then we go around the room telling a bit about why the book we brought is so great. Hopefully, people leave with a new book to read until the next time we meet.

I've been hosting the last few times, and Sojo likes to be a part of the gathering for a few minutes. I can hardly contain my pride when she decides which book she will share with the ladies who attend. This month, it was her Wild Wonders book, and she explained to them that she likes it so much because it tells her all about animals and she can learn things. She then heads to bed, hopefully with the seeds of literacy and a love of books planted ever so firmly in her little psyche.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Shindig!

It's 6:00 p.m. on Sojo's special day, and the birthday girl is currently crashed out in her clothes on the bed. She had no nap today, and after all the fun, she couldn't even keep her eyes open. We parents survived our first 'real' birthday party and are pretty wiped ourselves.

Some highlights of the day...

A special trip on the scooter with baba to pick up the balloons
The hit of the whole party for us was Sojo's magic show. She actually chose to come in a magician's costume instead of a dinosaur, and the disappearing act was hilarious. There is some serious drama potential in this kid. I love how this photo captured her utter joy (look at those tippy toes!) and my cracking up at reappearing.
And the official birthday pose
By the time everyone left, it was all she could do to shove some toast in her mouth (mostly to get something other than sugar in that belly) before she crashed hard. We call those her tired eyes. They crack me up.

Friday, October 08, 2010


School picture proofs arrived in Sojo's backpack today, and I have a few questions:

Where on Earth is this new posing coming from?

What's with the hip-hop pose?

And the hand-on-the-hip pose?

Has this child been watching America's Next Top Model without me knowing?

I'm telling you, it was those accessories. They gave her some serious attitude.

Still chuckling every time I see these pictures. Priceless. For the record, she chose the entire outfit. Including the socks with shorts. Yikes.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More Preparations

A birthday package from Popo and Gong Gong arrived yesterday, complete with an amazing, homemade birthday banner to be used for many, many birthdays. My favorite part is the addition of photos from each of her birthdays thus far printed onto the fabric under the number. That instantly brought tears to my eyes to see how much this amazing kid has grown. We put it up right away because it's too beautiful to only have up one day a year.

And then there's Sojo, getting ready for her party on Saturday. One of the activities she wants is to do tricks, so we thought we'd help her do a little disappearing magic act. To get ready, we set up the stuffed animals as the audience, used a bedsheet to cover the stairwell and I practiced disappearing (aka crawling up the stairs out of sight while abracadabra is being said). Simple and fun, and I have a feeling lots of the little ones will want to be 'disappeared' on Saturday.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Party Planning

A certain someone is turning 4 next Saturday, and although we have successfully avoided the kid birthday party thus far, this year there will be one. So, we sat down and planned out what she wants it to look like, and it was so cute to hear the ideas pour out of her. Her vision is something like this:

* Lots of Christmas lights and balloons that float to the ceiling for decorations
* We'll play, do some tricks, have a rhyming game and blow bubbles
* Kids can come in costume because Sojo will be wearing her dinosaur costume that day

As for the cake, I bought the most sinful Martha Stewart cupcake book at our book fair this week, and there are tons of cute cupcake ideas. Sojo and I went through it, looking at all the monster cupcakes and dinosaur cupcakes and everything else. Her final choice, adamantly so, was the Hannukah Sparkly Star of David cupcakes. Blue stars it is!

Today we made the invitations, which was great fun. The message she was writing herself was very involved and had to do with what kinds of presents she wanted the guests to bring ('no robots please--it can be a porcupine, but don't forget to bring a present!'). Good thing she can't write with any sense right now or she might appear a bit greedy!
Although we'll be missing my parents tons this year (first bday they will not be here for--sniff, sniff), this mini-event will hopefully go off without a hitch.

Friday, October 01, 2010

School Visit

I scheduled some time this week to head to Sojo's preschool to read some books to her class. Two books that are simply magical for little ones are Pete the Cat and Little Owl Lost. Both were big successes--so much so that at a playdate later in the afternoon, one of the girls from school who barely speaks English saw me and starting singing the Pete the Cat song.

Since I had made the bike trip over to her school, I decided to stay a bit and observe the class. They are studying movement and how they have changed as they are growing, so each child has brought in some baby pictures of them doing various movements. Sojo had her walking picture and eating picture and got up to tell everyone about what she was doing. Oh, it was cute! So cute! Like, even if she weren't my kid, I would have thought she was adorable telling us about how she was eating carrots.

Now I wish I could peek into her school day more often...beyond excited that she will be with us at our school next year.