Saturday, August 29, 2015

Spirit Night

Sports at my school are nothing like what I grew up with.  First of all, we don't even have the same sports (no American football, yes boys' volleyball, no tennis, yes badminton?, yes basketball, but also swimming and soccer, of course.)

But more than that, the community/school spirit vibe is so different. Hardly anyone goes to the games, the gym is bare, there's no cheerleaders or dance squad. No music. There's no 50/50 raffle, no halftime half-court shots, no cake raffle... no kids running around under the bleachers, ignoring the game but loving the excitement.

Last night was spirit night, though, (a double double-header: soccer and volleyball) and let me tell you, it felt like home. 

Everyone dressed up in school colors and cheered.  They had pompoms and noise-makers.  The pep band was playing.  The boys ran off to cheer and play with the other kids and I felt like we could have been in any old high school gym back in eastern Washington.

Whim brought dinner, so we didn't mind skipping the pizza.  I think next time I'll make popcorn!  I wish every game night was this fun.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I am a genius

The other day I made a huge parenting discovery.

As much as I want my interactions with my children to be gentle and loving at all times, I always seem to find myself exasperated and on-edge in the morning, snapping at the boys to hurry up.

The obvious answer is to wake them up earlier so they don't have to rush, but it already feels like a crime to wake them up at 5:15 am to be out the door by 5:45.  I'm not getting them up any earlier.

We have already gotten into a nice routine of laying out clothes, making snacks and lunches, filling water bottles, etc the night before.  It turns out I'm less crazy and snappy when I'm not running around making quesadillas and finding socks 3 minutes before we're supposed to be out the door.  Go figure!

But that's amateur level.  Everyone knows that.  My life changing discovery that has forever protected my children from being shouted at by a mad tyrant at 5:47 is to have them put their shoes on before breakfast.  

Seriously, think about it.  Shoes with laces, in the hands of five- and six-year-olds, have the power to take you from on time to late.  Or from a little late but still ok to pulsing vein in your neck late.  Or from amazingly, totally early to... late.

And you don't want to do it for them because they need to be independent.  And you don't want to sit down and get comfortable and wait nicely because it's just putting on shoes!  They should be done by now!  So you stand there and seethe.

The genius thing is that if they take forever to put shoes on before breakfast, then they eat something they can carry.  And we walk out the door happily.

But if they are quick, they sit down and eat calmly at the table.  And we walk out the door happily.

On Friday, we had the perfect morning.  No wailing.  No scolding.  We were early to wait for the taxi, and look at the sky we were greeted with.

L prayed, on the spot, that every day could be like this one.  Man, amen!

Disney Jr. Videos

We saw our Disney Jr. videos last night!

This video has several clips of the boys, as does "Time for your checkup" (Bonus-Whim!).  

We are also briefly in three others: "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse hotdog dance", "DJ shuffle", and "Jake and the Neverland Pirates."

All our videoes can be accessed from the "related videos" section below the first video.

Obviously, I was cringingly embarassed before we watched them.  But the shots all change so quickly that I'm off screen before I can even really see myself.  Whew!

Inside Out

I'm always a little behind the lastest news, but this time it wasn't my fault.

Inside Out (finally!) began showing in Bangkok on August 12th.  But we were there on opening day.  I had heard wonderful things about it from friends in the states, and every one was true.

It would probably be even more perfect for a family with a pre-teen, who might be going through some of Riley's same struggles.  Even so, I felt like it could give any family tools to use to talk about emotions more openly.

M loved it, and I could just see the gears spinning in his head... that everyone has these complex thoughts and feelings, not just him.

I would caution that L cried at more than one touching/emotional part.  He liked it overall, and there was a good portion of fun and absurdity to balance out the sadder parts, but just a warning that very emotional kids will feel it.

But the biggest difference in our lives after seeing it?

The boys now slide down the bannister every day on way to school.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ch ch ch chia

Just a few years behind the trend (as usual) I have finally tried chia seeds and I'm about as pleased as you can be about something that doesn't taste like anything.

But doesn't this just look refreshing and delicious? 

And totally unlike something a person who was scolded heavily by her doctor for being fat and "eating too much tasty food" would eat, right?