Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why Fathers Shouldn't Be Left In Charge Of The Children



As the picture of above shows, it all starts out simple and fine ... but put a dad in charge of a kid for a weekend, and this simple photo shoot of Sojo finding my afro wig in my classroom quickly deteriorates to this:



I'd like to say of thirty or so photos we took with my Mac's photobooth program, this nose-picking was her idea ... but it wasn't! She started making silly faces, which were moderately funny, but I had to assume my role as her father and show what would be REALLY funny! (Yes ... it's a role I take seriously!)

Sojo and I are doing fine this weekend, having lots of father-daughter time and missing mama while she's in Japan. But, we'll be happy to have her home tomorrow! We've been sending kisses into the sky so they will travel all the way to Japan this weekend. In 18 hours the kisses will be for real.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Konichiwa from Japan

Hi Sojo and Chamo! Quick photo this morning--the cliche noodle pose. More on Japan later...miss you two tons.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homegirl

I really am a homegirl, in the sense that I love to be in my home with my family. As a child, I had the hardest time leaving my home, even to go somewhere cool like my best friend Jeanie's house. Now that I'm all grown up, I still get an empty feeling in my belly when I have to leave anyone in my family. However, the chance came up to go to Nagoya, Japan to see one of my favorite literacy teachers, Debbie Miller. Couldn't pass it up, and so I am off on a redeye flight tonight. We have one day to explore Nagoya before the conference begins, which should be fun. Plus, I get to actually not be sweating since it's cold in Nagoya!

This is what I am taking with me. A sweet memory of our dance and music party this afternoon. I'm hoping it will make the homesickness a bit easier to manage.

My Vantage Point

This was the scene on the playground the other day. Seems we're moving away from parallel play to more interactive play, which translates to mama actually sitting and reading a book on the playground and even having an adult conversation or two while the kids play. Everything lately is on her own, from dressing herself to going to the bathroom to playing. Sweet, sweet, sweet to see.

And at school, it was international day. Having this sort of day at an international school is like a UN gathering of small people. Watching all the kids in their home country outfits makes me tear up at a moment's notice. The special day gave me the chance to pull out my Cameroonian bubu. I mean, where else am I going to wear this gorgeousness? When I put it on this morning, it reminded me of a lovely lady named Rose in Cameroon. She loved when I wore bubus, but she hated that I wore flip-flops with them. It was high heels or nothing for her. Her philosophy was (and how I wish I could convey the African accent of a strong, deep warm voice here)...

"When I walk out the door each day, I don't know if I'm going to get hit by a bus. If I do, I'd certainly want to be looking good."
Wise words from one heck of a woman, but I am still wearing flip-flops today at school.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All in a Day

Such a great Sunday that some documentation is in order...
Met some friends, Dan and Susan from Shanghai days, downtown for brekkie. We realized that Sojo is getting really good at going out to eat and entertaining herself enough to let us catch up with old friends. The courtyard at the restaurant was awash in some amazing morning light.

Post-nap, we hit the mall as we usually do on Sundays because she loves it. This blue scooter thing is her current favorite toy in the department store. They have a sample that she rides around for a while. Even though she looks pretty bored in this picture--on the contrary. She's a zooming fiend on this thing and we have to sometimes jog to keep up with her.
Sojo's newest favorite dinner place is Sizzler. Yes, Sizzler. They have a tom yum gai soup (spicy soup with chicken and broth) there that she loves. Plus we can stuff her with veggies.
On our way to buy a new sketchpad, we discovered these cool headphones. And Sojo's favorite, Shakira, was on the sample. Such fun for her to rock out a bit.
Home in just enough time to crack open the new sketchbook before pajama time. One of the first pics was of an orange car with stripes we saw on the way to the mall. I love the color orange, so Sojo told me she had enough money now to buy the car for me.
Kinda wish every day were Sunday. And I kinda wish I did have an orange car.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Be the Change...

Be the change you wish to see in the world--Gandhi

The Carrotmob gathering was a big hit in our small community. People were everywhere, lots of money spent at the grocery store and it just felt good. Two women who helped organize the event are parents at our school, both European and fabulous, and they say that this concept of no bags is a no-brainer in Europe. Here's hoping someday we say the same.
Ran into our friend Melissa while shopping. What is up with Sojo's newest photo pose?

And bizarrely, we had a huge downpour of tropical rain...right in the middle of our dry season. The tropics are pretty routine in their seasons, and lately we've had some storms that are typical of serious rainy season rain. Same with Arizona having tornado warnings--just weird. The leader of the event today said it's not global warming (perhaps an overused word?), but instead something called climate instability. The term intrigued me enough to do some research.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Carrotmob in Bangkok


This is one of my favorite pictures of Dale. Someone took it unbeknownst (what a great word that is...) to him and it captures how he feels about guitar. Plus, he just looks really cool!

So, he's playing tomorrow at our local small grocery store on the day they stop giving out plastic bags to customers. Yes, all customers must now bring their own bags. Woo hoo! But the reason he's playing is so cool that I have to share. It's called a Carrotmob, and the basic premise is that instead of protesting a company to get what you want, you turn it around and give that company tons of business if they make socially responsible decisions. Win-win. They are expecting about 500 people to show up tomorrow, and the idea is to spend lots of money to show our support to the company that is choosing to go green. It's the first of its kind in Bangkok, and I'm so excited to be a part of it.

A whole different kind of activism. Love it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Year of the Tiger

For the year of the tiger, we headed down to the same venue as last year to watch the lion dance. Maybe it was the heat (hot season is approaching), maybe it was the novelty worn off, or maybe it was the crowd of very small people, but we didn't stay long this year. It still was great watching Sojo wear her beautiful Chinese qi pao (same as last year!) and thinking of all our memories of living in China during this awesome time of the year. My heart always melts when she says, "I'm a Chinese girl." She has such pride in that.

Can you believe how big she is? Those french braids are the only style she wears lately. Can't take credit for the cuteness there--her nanny is awesome at putting them in everyday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Going to the Doctor, a.k.a. "The Screamfest"


We're not big on going to the doctor in this family. There's no real reason except that ailments usually work themselves out and we're not big on medication. But, Sojo...well, that's a different story.

The wee one came to us behind on many of her shots, so her first few visits were nothing but shot after shot in each of her chubby thighs. It didn't take long for her to associate the two, so she did nothing but scream at the top of her lungs the minute we walked into the office until the minute we walked out. I mean, every minute of the visit. Not fun at all. Thankfully, she wasn't sick very often at all.

Then we moved to Thailand and the hospital has the amazing tube slide and movie screen and coloring pages, so she was distracted enough that she was almost happy to meet her new pediatrician, Dr. Somyod. Smooth sailing for a while there, even on days she needed a shot.

Cut to last summer in our new town when she got a horribly high fever, and we had to rush her to the emergency room in the middle of the night. One rectal temperature later, and we are now right back to her paralyzing fear of anything related to doctors.

The normally tough-as-nails Sojo just falls apart and sobs, even when they just want her to step on the scale. The only thing that saved the day last week was the small playroom she discovered at the clinic. Mind you, this was post-screaming and running away and all that other fun stuff.

At least lizard got good treatment at the clinic. You can see in the photo that he is not crying during his exam.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Headed to the Ball

The couple who rarely leaves the house (and quite happily so) got invited to a ball! Our school sponsors the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, and a group of teachers were invited to sit at the ISB table. It was a great excuse to get gussied up and have a nice dinner. Since the ball consisted mainly of the business community, it made me realize that we teachers tend to mostly socialize with other teachers. Needless to say, we were very quiet when the live auction took place and lots of very high bids were being thrown around by the big wigs.

The highlight of the evening was listening to the funny, funny speech by the American ambassador to Thailand. We were then asked to raise our glasses to the President of the U.S., which was the first time I've been asked to do that. Felt good. And listening to the national anthem outside of one's own country always makes me weepy.

p.s. I am taking a break from the gray that has exploded in my hair lately. A fiery red that I haven't had in years. Love it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Living and Loving

Snapped this gorgeous photo this afternoon while hanging out on the playground. A noticeable lack of itchiness has made Sojo feel comfortable enough to wear sleeveless dresses lately. Seems our vigilant fight against the evil dustmites is paying off! That being said, she did have quite a grody case of the head itchies/white scalp for a while. So much so that I felt compelled to write to her teacher and let her know that we actually are washing her hair. A bit of medicated shampoo is doing the trick, and the doctor said to use it on her skin as well to get rid of the thickness. So far, so good. Might be our new remedy.

Adoption update: Zip. Zilch. Nada. Still waiting for the U.S. fingerprint clearance to make its way back to Thailand. All the paperwork is sitting in the Thai gov't waiting. Not stressed out, but just ready for the next step. Hoping that if I write this update, we will then somehow get an email tomorrow saying that they arrived.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We're Back!


One crashed hard drive + one lost camera battery charger= zero blogging. But we are back on track...and getting so tall! She is now exactly the size of the stairs.

At this point, there is an entire menagerie of animal friends (invisible to our eyes) walking around with Sojo at any given moment. She has become quite inquisitive in wanting to know what all these animals eat--so far there's Donkey, Crocodile, Sprinkle the bird (only one with a proper name for some reason-maybe because she was the first?), Cat, Snail and Ghost. I was stumped on what ghosts eat, so I told Sojo that maybe they eat marshmallows.

And the robot obsession continues. She is now in the process of planning out an entire robot show, complete with songs, dances, being in costume. Best part is that she wants to have Pop-Tarts as the treat at the show. Love it!

I leave you with a quote from a child of a blogger. Sojo drew a quick picture of the family tonight on her white board. She then turned to me and said, "Maybe this should go on the blog." No joke. I cracked up. She is a funny kid.