Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Now let's go eat together

The boys have a book about a little rabbit who doesn't want to go to her first day of school.

On her way there she meets a bookful of characters who each tell her about one wonderful part of school: books to read, friends to play with, things to learn, kind teachers and even good things to eat.

It's in Thai, but basically when the rabbit asks if he likes going to school, the pig says:  "Of course I like it!  At school they have lots of tasty, nutritious food.  Now let's go eat together!"

Tasty, nutritious food?!  Tasty? Ok.  Most of those things look pretty tasty to me.  But nutritious?!  Banana cake, coke, doughnuts, fried rice, custard, tea, a sandwich, strawberry lemonade, coffee, a jar of marmalade, an eclair, and green tea. 

It honestly doesn't bother me that the book shows all kinds of food including junk food.   I don't live under a rock - I know people eat junk food every day and that it's normal.  I just don't like the sloppy use of language.  Why did they have to say tasty, nutritious foods?  The word nutritious doesn't apply to all food.  It's an adjective meant to describe certain foods that are high in nutrients.  Otherwise what would be the point of the word?  It it was applicable to all foods, it would be like saying foody foods.  By definition, only some foods are nutritious.

You could say it's not important and that no one would ever even notice such an insignificant detail.  But I only noticed because yesterday as Whim read, M asked, "Are those foods really nutritious?" 

Whim just said that some were and some weren't and kept on reading, but I keep thinking about this book.  Thai kids typically start school around 3 to 3-1/2, so that must be the target audience for this first-day-of-school book.   Why on earth would someone want to tell 3-year-olds that coke and doughnuts were nutritious?  I'm not saying that a 3 year old should never have a doughnut for a treat, and I'm not here to judge what other people feed their kids.  It's just that we owe it to our kids to teach them what real nutrition is, and how treats fit in to the balance with other actually nutritious foods.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Keep calm

What do you think of my bulletin board?

Or are teachers supposed to pretend we aren't counting down?

I always love summer, and I have an annual tradition of crying for an hour the night before we go back to school.

I'm sure we'll all enjoy this summer as much as always, but I'm already looking forward to the fall, too, since M will be starting school this August.  And even L will be starting preschool!

Hopefully by then I will have found a clever new Internet meme I can use for my back to school board.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Remember in Bridget Jones when she went to a fancy dress 'Tarts and Vicars' party and nobody else was dressed up?

At least we weren't wearing bunny tails...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lovely Anita

This week's listicle was 10 favorite characters from TV or movies.  But when it comes to the small screen, one woman alone has stolen my heart: Anita.  Anita, from Jillian Michael's 30 day shred. 

Like every other muffin-topped woman sweating her way through the shred every morning, I love to hate Jillian.  It's kind of fun to think of snarky comments to say to her as I huff and puff.  But when it comes to Anita, my love is pure and true.  She gets me.

I love her so much, I wrote her a song ( the tune of Lovely Rita). 

I dedicate this song to Anita, and to the Beatles.

Lovely 'Nita workout aide
Lovely 'Nita workout aide

Lovely 'Nita workout aide, nothing can come between us.
When it gets tough I'm on your side to stay.

Stare at Jill' and want to beat her,
when I get a glimpse of 'Nita.
Smiling as she worked out while my poor muscles shook.

In her sweats, she looked much older,
but the muscles on her shoulders,  
made her look like a little like a shredded wo-man.

Lovely 'Nita workout aide, may I inquire discretely?
How will I ever live through level three?


Tried her out, she's sure a winner.  
She can help, to make us thinner.  
I will never workout with Natalie again.

Thanks to 'Nita, I have made it.
Now I have to serenade it.
Exhausted on the floor with a dumbbell or two.

Oh, lovely 'Nita workout aide, where would I be without you?
Pushups and planks will make me think of you.

Lovely 'Nita, workout aide.
Lovely 'Nita, workout aide.
Lovely 'Nita, workout aide.

I asked Lennon what exercising looks like.

Good form, bud!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Seizure stories

Seizure count: one last Saturday, one last Sunday, and one Thursday evening.

Thursday he slammed his hand hard in the door at our friends' house. No charming story, just a bummer.

But Sunday there was something sweet. L had a seizure during Sunday school (always!) and M gave him his own shorts to wear for the rest of the lesson. He said it was ok since he was wearing boxers. I guess we have had to ask him to do that before when we were out without spare clothes. "I will always wear boxers," he reassured me, "so L can always have my shorts."

You do have to get creative. Last Saturday, L had one on the way to soccer. I washed his pants on the side of the road with a bottle of water, and they were dry by the time we got there!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Do you think L liked the faux Nutella we found last weekend?

Candy addiction

I know candy isn't good for you, so I held out as long as I could.

It was no use.

I've been Candy Crushed.

I thought I was in control. I could stop whenever I wanted.

Then I started seeing candy patterns everywhere I went.

Have you ever noticed that if you swapped the space between your son's eyes with his nose, it would make a three in a row?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crying tiger

Last Saturday M went to his first ever sport practice.

Actually, to be more specific, he cried through his entire first ever sport practice.

One of our friends teaches soccer on Saturday mornings, and we've been wanting to bring M for a while now, but it seemed like every time we'd go, the practice would have changed to a different time, or someone would be sick, or it would be cancelled and we just never could make it happen.

Last Saturday, it finally worked out.  Well, except for the bawling part.

M is not usually a big crier, so I have to admit I wasn't expecting that.  Honestly, I think he was confused and overwhelmed: I was kicking that ball, why did he take it?  Why is everyone running?  What does that whistle mean?  He was way, way outside his comfort zone.   It took a pretty hefty portion of self-control not to run out to the field, scoop him up, tell him that soccer sucks and we don't have to stay here, and take him out for ice cream instead.

But of course, I didn't. I want him to learn to be brave and try new things.  He needs to give it a fair try.  Plus, I've got my fingers crossed that one of these days sports are going to be an outlet for all that energy...
So, at the first water break, I told the coach not to coddle him and to do what he had to do.  He was kind and said not to worry, they'd take care of him. 

I wish the story ended with a musical montage of M pulling it together, having a change of heart, maybe scoring a goal, and being carried out on the other four-year-olds' shoulders.  But he just pretty much kept crying the rest of the practice, with interspersed moments of non-crying fun. Oh well.

I'm not a tiger mom, but I do know that sometimes things are hard and scary before they are easy and exciting.  So I don't feel bad that we're bringing him back again next Saturday.  One of these weeks it'll click.  

There was one moment that perfectly captured M's struggle and his four-year-old innocence: M was laying down face down in the middle of the field, crying.  A coach went over to check on him and Miles moaned miserably, "Why is everybody yelling?"  Coach pulled him to his feet and explained that no-one was yelling at him, and convinced him to get back in the game.  As M ran to join the others, he yelled something like, "Atta boy, M, go get that ball!"  And M dropped to his knees, looked up to the heavens, and broke down, "You're yelling again!"

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sonny day

Monday we met with old friends for the first time.

I've been following Chelsea's blog "Our Sonny Life" almost as long as I've had my own blog.  I wrote about her sweet family a few weeks ago, on Trek's day, and on Monday we all had the chance to meet as she and her sweet family were passing through Bangkok on the way to Cambodia.

We met for dinner at Mega Banana, and it really was like meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen in years.

Mega Banana went all out decorating for the occasion!
 L was just a little under the weather that day, perfect for snuggling.  He fell in love with Auntie Chelsea at first sight, and I don't think he let her out of his sight for the rest of the evening. 

I swear Conner was having fun, too!
M fell in love that day, too- with Peyton and Conner!  He thought they were the two coolest kids he'd ever seen.   Can you even imagine how fast he was scrambling to get his shirt off as soon as they had theirs off after dinner?  And of course L is going to do whatever M does, so it wasn't long before all four were running around bare-chested and happy!

Look at him!  I have no idea where he got that pose, but he stayed like that for ages, so he definitely thought he knew what he was doing.

And bonus, I had the chance to order Jarrett's book "Following After Trek" in person.  I'm watching the mail,  guys....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sweet treat

Can you recognize this additive-free treat?

I didn't think to get a shot of the peddler's baskets, but he was balancing honey combs on one side and bottles of honey in the other.

We got some of both. :) Complete with a few bees.

Monday, May 6, 2013

My boy my joy

It's only 10 am and L's had 2 seizures already (who knows, we had cake yesterday, maybe that?) But I'm still on top of the world because M LEARNED TO READ LAST NIGHT!!

You'd think as a teacher that moment might be dulled to me, but it's not. I couldn't believe my eyes. The switch just flipped and he could read. He's been able to sound out for a while, but it didn't click. Cuh-ahh-tuh never became 'cat'. Then yesterday he read 9 pages of a book we hadn't read before and I could have cried.

Sorry for the crappy picture but whim heard him reading and came over and took a video. I don't have a picture, so this is screenshot of the video.

Actually I do have one cute reading picture.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Three more for the records

Yesterday L fell out of a chair at a restaurant and hit the back of his head and had a seizure.

Today he had two RAS episodes, but neither developed into a full seizure.  One at the pool when he looked around and didn't see me (this seems to be his most frequent trigger these past few months) and one later at home because M crumpled up his puzzle.  Both times with help he was able to take a breath before the point of no return, but they "count" nonetheless.

I don't know if it even does any good to record them like this.   It's depressing.  But sometimes I look back and see patterns, sometimes I notice things.  We used to go several weeks between seizures, now it seems we have at least few every month. They come in clusters, two or three in a span of a few days, then a few weeks of reprieve.

At some point, hopefully, L will outgrow RAS.  But even then not really, because those who are no longer said to have RAS can still have an average of one episode a year, or more.  Some go years without a single event, only to have it come back again full strength as a pre-teen.  I was talking about that with one of my coworkers earlier this year, how in a sense it will always be there in the back of my mind, and I actually don't like how the name isn't really used after children reach elementary school aged, since they do still have them.

She didn't get it and asked why I 'needed' the name.  "If M wet the bed once a year, would you say he was a bed-wetter?  No, you'd call it a fluke and think nothing of it. When L gets to the point of having one a year, you have to stop."  Stop, what exactly?  Stop caring that my kid has seizures?  Not likely.  Stop trying to do what I can to reduce the likelihood. Why?  Can you imagine someone saying something like that to a parent of a child with epilepsy?  "Why do you feel the need to call your child epileptic?  He only has one seizure a year.  You need to stop this whole epilepsy thing."  Maybe RAS just needs more awareness.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Could have been

I had all kinds of career aspirations as a child.

For a long time, any time someone would ask me, I'd say that I wanted to be an artist.  I couldn't even draw a horse head like every other self-respecting girl in my second grade class, so don't ask me where that came from, but that was my answer.

As I got older, I wanted to be an astronaut.  I still think that would just about the most amazing job in the world (or out of it, whatever the case may be) but I guess I temporarily forgot about my astro-dreams when I was in high school because I decided to study engineering and then become an elementary school teacher instead.

It doesn't even matter because clearly I have missed my calling.

I was born to be a baby hairclip maker.

I went to a baby shower this afternoon.  Normally, I don't even like baby showers, because it's awkward and I don't like activities and the games suck.  But this was the best baby shower I've ever been to because while everyone was sitting and chatting they had laid out all these ribbons and buttons and things to make barrettes for the new baby girl.

I made one other, a giant pink one, but I didn't get a photo of it.

It was the perfect thing to keep the conversation flowing at the table- everyone oohing and ahhing, and "please pass the glue gun"ing.  We didn't have to pin the tail on anything or dress anyone up like a giant baby.  We just visited and ate snacks and made amazing hair accessories for two hours.   Is there not a position available somewhere where I can do that full time?