Saturday, January 31, 2015

Field day success

Last week was field day at school, which always includes a class cheer and costume competition.  L's classmates were zoo animals, M's class was teeth, and my students were superheroes.

In the past, I've raised the point that the standard "pizza party" reward for best field day cheer and costumes might not be the best way to reinforce the PE department's goals of fitness and health for the children.  [Not to be a killjoy, but it's not actually just once in a while.  With 20+ classmates' birthdays, holidays, rewards, and food-related lessons, junk food at school can be a weekly issue.]

This year, the reward was a pool party!  What a good plan- fun for the students, easy to prep, low-cost, and no unnessary junk food.

I'm sure they changed it for their own reasons, so I'm not taking credit.  I'm just celebrating the step in a healthier direction!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Things he doesn't do

The other night when I was writing about how I have used my blog to analyze M to oblivion, I realized that I don't always follow up with specific issues. 

As I'm working to understand xyz about him, I blog about it, he gets it/matures/moves on, I ... don't blog about it.  By then I have probably moved on to a new worry and am too busy thinking about that.

My blog needs a disclaimer: People in blog may be more normal than they appear.

So, just for accuracy's sake and kicks.

Things M doesn't do anymore, or things that never turned out to be worth the worry in the first place:

Repeat himself 
Count his syllables/words
Lick his hands or arms
Get time out every day at school
Fuss about shirt tags/socks
Fuss about lights/noises
Carry a note in his pocket to remember to notice people's countenance
Have trouble making friends.

It's hard to know what was additives, what was asynchronous development, and what was just being a kid. But poor guy!  All those little things that make parents wonder: "Is this normal?" are probably all normal.  

And lucky L, born second to a mom who has already stressed herself to immunity on most issues before he ever reaches them.

M, you are perfect.  I wouldn't have changed one thing about you, and that includes the licking!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Piggy things

I didn't tear up when my boys said their first words, took their first steps, or blew our their first birthday candles.  I cherish those memories, but they don't bring tears to my eyes.

So why was I getting misty when L learned Pig Latin today?  Something about those mixed-up syllables brought me back to my own childhood, and made me see L through a different lens.  Less the boy of my very own, more a boy of his very own. 

I remember having that same moment with M.

It was around this point last year that M asked for a haircut. L's still holding strong.

I may not have any babies left, and I can handle that. But please L, please never take those perfect, curly piggy tails away from me.

Monday, January 26, 2015


M doesn't know it yet, but he's playing hooky tomorrow.

He and Whim are headed to NASA: A Human Adventure.  I'm a little jealous that Whim gets to be the one to take him.  He's going to flip, and Whim gets to see it firsthand.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another word

I have used a lot of words to describe M over the years.  Scampy.  Wild.  Clever.  Sensitive. Funny. Intense. Quirky.  

Writing about him here has helped me process and make decisions.  I picked him apart, analyzing things that made him seem different, and have found that by writing about him, I always end up understanding him a little better. 

At the end of last year, we found another word that helps describes him.  Gifted.

Words are funny.

'Quirky' rolls off the tongue.  
Gifted falls like a rock.

'Wild' makes connections, inviting other moms to open up and allowing us to laugh together about our crazy kids.
Gifted... doesn't.

Clever, funny... Well, what mom doesn't think those things about her child?
But gifted?  It smacks of "...and your kid isn't."  And all kids are a gift.  But when it comes to being gifted, well, it's statistics.  They don't call it the 100th percentile because 100% of kids are there.

On the one hand, I didn't necessarily want to write about that part of his life.  I don't want my blog to turn into The Life and Times of My Special Snowflakes.

On the other hand... It pretty much already is, so... why not?  

M is gifted.  And scampy.  And wild.  And clever.  And sensitive.  And funny.  And intense.  And quirky.

Nothing's changed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Book and a rant

If you ever have two bedridden Kindergarteners to entertain, The Book With No Pictures is just the thing.

Yes, the boys are back in the hospital.  Yes, I am slowly going crazy.

I have figured out why staying at this particular hospital always renders me completely incoherent and twitchy within a day or two.

Last night, after the boys fell asleep (7:30 pm) the nurses proceeded to come in, flip the lights on, wake them up, and check on them, dragging machinery and speaking at full volume, SEVEN times in the next five hours.  And then at least once an hour for the rest of the night.

I realize you must know their daily bathroom tally, check temperatures, check blood pressures, and administer medication.  But do they all have to be done at different times?  With the lights on?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Charmer For hire

For one reason or another [namely: jetlag and laziness, followed by some rushed mornings and then capped off by food poisoning (me) and a mancold (Whim)] the dishes have really piled up over the last few days.

Then this morning I ended up on the couch with a blanket at two am, followed closely by L.  Suffice it to say, it wasn't shaping up to be a good morning, and the last thing I wanted to do was wash all those dishes.

Enter: my knight in shining armor.  M cleaned up our exceptionally messy kitchen with nary a peep of complaint.  Voluntarily!  Just to be helpful. I tipped him 100 baht and it was probably the best money ever spent.

Do you think I could hire him to unpack the suitcases? (Yes, two of them are still on my bedroom floor.  No comment.)


My (Not) Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler... errr Kindergartner.

I don't know where he got his sense of style, but I love it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jet lag

Jetlag hit L harder than any of us.  And that's saying something because I felt it pretty bad this time.

Arriving in Alaska was ok, it was the return that killed us.  The idea of staying up past 4 pm was both inconceivable and heartbreaking, yet unquestionably necessary.  

But! The one good thing that came from that time was the invention of L's new catchphrase: "I don't even like right now!" (Initially, wailed though tears at the prospect of eating dinner. Now, rapidly adopted by everyone in the family.  It's useful for all kinds of frustrating situations)

In the perfect twist, it pays homage to his first-cousin-once-removed/auntie T, whom we just saw in Alaska, whose childhood battle cry was, "I hate today!"

Big news for the 6 and under crowd

First tooth.  It's a pretty big deal. 

That tooth has been hovering above the gum line for days, root completely exposed but tooth somehow hanging on for dear life by the tiniest of threads.

I could not understand his laid-back approach.  My fingers itched.  When I was a kid, a loose tooth was headline news!  I couldn't wait to pull it. He played it cool, opting to let nature take its course.

Then, without preamble, he suddenly developed an interest and brought up the door knob trick.  One swift kick to the door (thank you L!) and it was done.

He's so proud.  This is right up there with the time he discovered he had *grown a nosehair.

(He's done the close-lipped, wide-cheeked smile for so long that he doesn't look any different unless he's showing you.)

So his tooth is safely under his pillow.  But of course, it will still be there tomorrow morning when he goes to collect his money, otherwise how else will he be able to throw it up to the roof to ensure the next tooth grows in straight?

 I love the boys can grow up with double the traditions. Here's to the first tooth!

*Unverified.  It may have been a loose eyelash, but far be it from me to deny my boy his moment in the sun.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

One last check

We had our fingers crossed that we'd see the Aurora Borealis before we left Alaska, but like anything really special, there's no guarantee.  We kept watch every night and thankfully, we lucked out our second-to-last night in Palmer. 

Whim braved the cold and got these gorgeous pictures, while I periodically left my blanket cocoon on the couch to peek out the front door.  We even woke the boys up to "see", though L's memory of it all will be a little misty.

We're back in Bangkok now and couldn't have asked for a better trip.  The northern lights were the last checkmark to the perfect trip.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fluffy bundles

There's just something about seeing my tropical boys bundled up in winter gear- hats and snowpants look so adorably novel.  

In just a few days, these pictures will seem unreal again, as they run around shirtless and barefoot.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking back

We were welcomed into Alaska with a beautiful, white snowstorm, and now as our trip is wrapping up, the flurries have returned to see us off.

We had some gorgeous, clear days in between (like the day we went flying) along with a couple of dreary ones, too.

One wet day Aunt C suggested an outing for the boys that she knew would be right up their alley.

It's almost like they had extra energy to burn after being cooped up inside for a few days...  ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Adventure is out there!

The one thing I asked, as we planned this trip to Alaska, is if there was any way we could see a glacier while we were here. 

What a once-in-a-lifetime opportinity for us.  Today we flew over the Knik glacier and took in the sights from above.

L and I flew first, in the little three-passenger plane, with Whim and M following us for the second flight. 

While L and I were flying, Aunt C took Whim and M to the second-hand shop to kill some time before their flight.

Then, after their breathtaking, incredible flight, M came bursting through the door shouting...

"We went to a second-hand shop and got a new book today!"  That's so him.

Thank you so much, Uncle T and Aunt C, for this amazing opportunity.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


First s'mores - check!

First candy cane - check!

First "Oreos" - check!

Double check!

First eggnog- check!

I think we must have managed to squeeze two short lifetimes full of special sweet treats into this trip!  The only question is how I'm going to squeeze back into my clothes when I get back home.

Happy New Year!

We all made it to midnight this year.  Even me!

If these past two days are any indication, 2015 will be full of family, laughter, and delicious food.  

Happy New Year!