Saturday, February 28, 2015

Twofer


Not the three-hour, White Stag nap Whim and the boys experienced yesterday, but I'll take it.

Long enough to tiptoe downstairs and mix up brownies in the rice cooker.  M woke up after less than half an hour, but he's already settled in with a Tintin comic and L is still safe in the Land of Nod... for now.

The eyes have it


Seems innocent enough. One eye a little more alert than the other.  You could almost argue that it's just a jaunty look.  I'm so used to his eye swelling being a sign of accidently eating additives that I chalked it up to our Mexican dinner the other night.

But no.  It's actually the start of a week-long mandated break from school for eye infections.  Yes infections.  As in both of them.  Why do they always both get sick!?


Gross.  Sorry.

I would love to get in on this mandatory week-long vacation, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The introverted mother: a Cautionary Tale

I love that in the last few years, the introvert/extrovert concept has gotten so much airtime.  And by airtime I mean eye-catching articles about introverts shared on Facebook.

I love reading about myself, especially when it's illustrated with pictures of quirky, cute leading ladies.  I'm in good company!  We're all mad here.

Here's the thing though.  Being single and living alone is the perfect setup for an introvert.  You control all interactions with other people.  When you want to be alone, you are!  Those were the glory years.  It can only be downhill from there.

Being married to a musician is the next logical step for the thinking introvert, though.  You have your spouse that you love, but he is often away in the evening, leaving you lots of downtime.  When you get up in the morning to go to work, he is still asleep.  There are still long hours of silence and "solitude" in your life, but you don't have to worry about dying alone. (Joking.  But kind of serious, right?!)

When you start having kids, that's when your life really changes.  They have no boundaries.  And they can't even read, so those "How to Love Your Introvert" articles won't do you any good, either.

If you are blessed with a stay-at-home husband, there is still hope.  Your alone-time will look different now. You will learn to cherish your commute to work.  The backseat of the taxi becomes your own little world, where you recharge and process.  It's 20 minutes of peace.

It may not be perfect, but it works.  Until. Your child turns four and starts coming to school with you.  The following year, your other son joins you.  Once a zen chamber of silence. your taxi ride soon becomes just another medium for questions. No, I don't know how far the next nearest star is from the sun.  Yes, I can search it up.  No, I don't know if the word destroy comes from word stroy; I've never heard of stroy.  Yes, it does make sense... Yes, I can search it up.  No, I don't know why the driver has so many hairs growing out of that mole.  Actually I do.  But I'm so tired I can't even think of how to answer.  You know how sometimes moms of babies feel "touched out"?  I am questioned out.  I love that I have curious children.  They just require a level of on-ness previously reserved for final exams and public speaking.  All the time.

My mind is only fully functional when it's calm and quiet, which means that basically I have been running on reserve resources for the last six years, with the last year and a half pretty much on E.

I love my kids!  I love my life!  But I cried real tears of joy when Whim said he was taking the boys to church today so I could rest.  One morning alone and I feel like I can conquer the world! I tidied the whole house while they were away, and still had time to watch the first half of my favorite movie before they got back.

Yes, I can answer that question!  Yes, you can make a volcano. Yes, yes, yes.


I love this picture that Whim took of me so much that I made it my Facebook profile picture, even though I'm practically scowling in it.  It was months ago, and it still makes me happy when I see it.  Just me, alone, thinking, while the boys were having piano lessons.  I need to be better about grabbing those moments of solitude when I can get them.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Children's Discovery Museum

Today Whim is selling records at a charity event.  In a rare and uncharacteristic attempt to be social, I made plans with some friends and took the boys to visit the new Children's Discovery Museum, here in Bangkok.

If we had gone there only to build with the larger-than-life Legos, it would have been totally worth it.  They were awesome.



If we had gone there just to visit the dinosaur exhibit, it still would have been totally worth it.  The kids entered through the T-Rex's ferocious jaws, dug for fossils, dressed up as dinosaurs, and even fed huge anamatronic dinosaur heads.







We didn't come close to seeing everything there was to do, but everything we saw was engaging, well-executed, neat, and safe.  I think I heard something about a spacecraft area (for M,) but we didn't make it this time.  There was also a cooking class for kids, art classes, and hands on science experiments.  I can't imagine anyone could do it all in one day.





Before we left, the boys went wild on the *outdoor play structure and then cooled off in the splash pad. 

Again, either one would have been worth the trip in and of itself.  I've never seen such a huge playground, and in the heat of the day, that splash pad was so enticing! It was one of the best family outings we've found in Bangkok.


Especially since the museum is free to the public!  It is a sad reality that public parks and works deteriorate rather quickly in Thailand, so we will be sure to visit often while it is so nice and new!

*Bonus: I have lived in fear of playlands and playgrounds since L was first able to toddle off into one.  Even though he rarely has seizures now, I hate to think of him being up in one of those child-sized tunnels and needing help where I couldn't get to him.  This playground could hold adult weights and the only tunnels there were slides!




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Life I love you, always groovy

loved our resort.  The atmosphere was so relaxed- it felt like we were a million miles from the city, instead of just a quick hour's drive.



We spent nearly every minute of our waking hours there outdoors (and L and I definitely have the pink cheeks to prove it.)


We ate all our meals by the pool or by the river.  We hammocked and kayaked and explored and braved the icy pool again (much nicer in the heat of the day!)


The boys both screwed their courage to the sticking-place and bravely jumped several feet from the boardwalk to the cool river below... then climbed the ladder and jumped again and again for the rest of the afternoon.  Whim and I even indulged in luxurious outdoor massages.

The whole time I just marvelled at how easy it was.  The boys were mellow and they had room to explore and play.  The atmosphere was very kid-accepting, and I never felt like I had to hover over the boys and make sure they weren't bothering people.


This sign was perfect.  Number 10 says "Silence.  Don't disturb the peace.  And don't eavesdrop on other who are disturbing the peace."  

I'm always amazed at how refreshing and fun a quick weekend trip can be.  This weekend was particularly wonderful because every time we turned around people were commenting on how well-behaved and self-reliant the boys were, and asking what we did for them to be so articulate and confident and independent.

Seriously!  I wanted to pinch myself!  It's like Someone saw inside my harried, frazzled, often-cringing, always-worried mother heart and knew what I needed to hear most of all and arranged this whole weekend as a special valentine blessing just for me.

We're almost home, but I'm bringing these good feelings back with me.