We had a few rough spots during this week, namely: Tuesday. It was not a great day. Jack and I were not on the same page. I think my kids are really just still recovering from the holidays, and I have realized that being back in school, as much as he loves it, has really worn Jack out. He's been WAY more tired this time around than ever before for some reason, and I don't think I've been aware of it enough. Anyway, in contrast to our rough day on Tuesday, Wednesday was extremely nice. Not too crazy, but still full of fun things, and most of all, each other. It was a nice day together, and not too unusual as far as things we saw and places we went, so I thought it would be a good one to document. The pace here is just so different in a way that's hard to explain (maybe just for me), but I don't want to forget it. Some days I really do just long for a car, fresh air, Target, or a guarantee that I can communicate easily if I need to. When I have days like this where I get to walk through the streets, see all the smiling people, talk with random and wonderful people in the park, play with my kids, and partake of the uniqueness of Bangkok, it makes me want to just soak it all in and never forget it. So, here's a typical (if you can ever call a day typical) day for us in Bangkok.
5:30 - I wake and head to 4th floor gym, watching CNN all the time to follow the Michigan Primary.
7:05 – Back upstairs, wake up Jack for oatmeal (his favorite), and an orange he never finished peeling. I think he was more interested in using the orange peeler he discovered in the drawer yesterday.
7:10 – Jane wakes up pleasant, sits down to her new favorite, honey cornflakes.
7:15 – I get showered and dressed, not really getting ready because I know it's swim day.
7:35 – Jack's violin time. I was so proud of myself for reminding him to go to the bathroom before we started because this is always an issue as soon as he gets it under his chin.
7:36 – Jack needs to go #2. Lovely. I get Jane ready, Jeff's getting ready and everything's packed for the day.
7:55 – (really, it takes him FOREVER!) Jack's ready to practice, and possibly without a struggle. This has been a big issue lately, so it was nice to have Jeff as an audience this morning to help encourage. It's always a HUGE bonus when we can do this in the morning.
8:15 – Jeff's off to work (late, because he was helping with practicing), Jack dresses, brushes, and makes his bed (hallelujah!).
8:25 – We're out the door, down the elevator, and looking for our tuk-tuk. Not there. We head out for the street.
8:30 – Get a taxi, thank goodness, not easy this time of day!
8:37 – Arrive at Jack's school, greeted by the smiling staff, and the kids head for the playground. Jane climbs on the castle, while Jack shows off his new found skills on the monkey bars, plays with Scarlett, and digs in the sand box.
8:45 – Bell rings, kids run to classroom, but Jack lingers for Jane and I to walk him to the door. He's a bit hesitant, but anxious once Kazuya arrives to get seats together. Jane wishes she could go too!
8:50 – Jane and I set out for the park, about 1.5 km away. We buy some pineapple, yum.
9:15 – Arrive at Benjasiri park, Jane's thrilled to see other children playing with sand toys (of course, I didn't think to bring ours). And I get to eat my delicious pineapple.
9:25 – The little boys have hidden all their toys except the shovel and pail they have let Jane use, much to their Nannies' dismay. I visit with the Nannies a little and discover the boys are both from Canada and only speak French. Neither of the nannies speak French, but their English is good. They were very nice, and adored Jane.
9:45 – Jane and I swing on the very “not safe” swings and feed the birds the only thing I could find in my bag: fish strips. They love them, and Jane thinks this is hilarious.
10:05 – Time to head home, but I'm feeling lazy and don't want to haul the stroller and Jane up the stairs, so we decide to go through the mall.
10:10 – Maybe just a minute inside the bookstore.
10:45 – Worried that Jane's book, saying, “Maybe someday my dreams will come true” for the 30th time in a row will drive everyone in the store nuts, I get what I need (not that book, no worries) and head out.
10:50 – Decide to walk home because Jane's in good spirits and we have time.
11:00 – Buy Pomelo from my favorite fruit truck on our soi, but find out (from her daughter) that my favorite Pomelo lady is not feeling well.
11:05 – Buy Som Tam for lunch later (this woman is another favorite, she always washes out the bowl especially for me so it's not too spicy!), and sticky rice for a snack for Jane.
11:15 – Arrive home, get in swimsuits and head around the corner for Jane's swim class.
11:30 – Jane and Pound (a new little boy) are the only ones in class today. I'm astonished people pay money and don't show up for classes!
12:15 – After Jane loving every second of her class and some extra play, we head back for a shower before Jack arrives on the bus.
12:45 – Jack gets home chatting away about Tae Kwon Do day and his new friend on the bus.
12:55 – We eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches, and I surprise Jack with my splurge on grapes with NO seeds (he's even more excited than I am), and he tells Jane and me all about school.
1:10 – Jane goes down for her nap after reading Cinderalla, her favorite.
1:20 – Because violin was done in the morning (yay!), we get to enjoy some extra time reading a book from school all about space. Jack finds out he's fascinated with gravity (should I be nervous about this one?).
1:50 – Jack goes into quiet time to play with his Spiderman Leap Pad book and to make paper money for his wallet.
2:00 – I get MY time to write emails, read blogs, tidy up the house, and read. Ahhhhhhh...
3:15 – Jack finishes quiet time and wants to play a computer game.
3:30 – Jane wakes up and asks to watch Sleeping Beauty. My favorite. We watch as I finish putting away the last of the Christmas décor, finally!
4:30 – Turn off the movie and get ready to leave.
5:00 – After Jane attempting #2 (at her request) for 30 minutes, I trust it isn't going to happen and we head out.
5:05 – Tuk-tuk is available, and he takes us to Sukhumvit road where Jane points out the elephant on the sidewalk waiting to impress the tourists. Always interesting, but very sad. Elephants shouldn't be in the city.
5:15 – I'm once again amazed at my kids capacity to climb stairs, stay with me in a crowd, and have SO much fun together (I had to ask them to stop hugging so we could move out of people's way!) as we go into the Emporium to enjoy the Lego Exhibit.
6:15 – Leave the Legos, much to Jack's dislike, to meet Jeff for dinner. Jack was quite taken with the construction pieces at one Lego table, and Jane loved shoving flowers, fruit, and guys in every Lego window and door she could find on the existing masterpieces.
6:20 – We eat at a food shop on the way home. Kids share khaw men gai, I order veggies and rice, and Jeff gets egg noodles. The smell of good food, sound of traffic, and chaos of motorcycles and trucks driving by an arms length away all melt into one great atmosphere.
6:45 – Head home in a truck taxi, and Jack suddenly notices that the moon is following us. Jane also finds this fascinating as they watch it all the way home, by laying their heads back on the seat of the truck.
7:00 – Traffic wasn't great, it would have been faster to walk!
7:15 – Kids are putting shoes away, settling in, and we're brushing teeth.
7:30 – More Cinderella for Jane, A special Daddy story for Jack, plenty of songs, and they're ready for bed.
7:50 – We're all happy to say Goodnight!
8:00 – I'm loving that my kids are the kind that need a lot of sleep.
8:15 - Jeff heads down to the gym. I clean up the house, then get to sit down at the computer to work on my Hong Kong video, send some emails, and write about my day, because it was a good one.
Here are some of the few photos from the week:
Does anyone else agree that Legos are the best toy ever? I love seeing my kids so engaged with these toys!
One day last week, I was feeling extra productive and had a few extra minutes and decided to take care of Jane's hair which has been driving me nuts. I cut it. Do I know how to cut hair? Nope. It's not the best (especially when parts flip out when the rest is flipping under), and it's shorter than I intended, but she's still darling, and it really doesn't drive me or her as nuts as it once did. So, mission accomplished? This time, yes, but I think next time I'll take her to someone that knows what she's doing and isn't feeling the "get everything done today" rush.
Since we borrowed "Sleeping Beauty" from a friend, the kids have loved it as much as I do. A few nights ago, I heard Jack and Jane laughing hysterically while they were in the shower. I went back to find them dancing around together, Jack carefully instructing Jane on how to hold her "dress" out with one hand so it twirled around with them. I was happy they kept the dancing going later when they actually had clothes on. Have I ever said how much I LOVE to watch my kids love each other?
I've had a few ask about why Jack's always wearing underpants. This kid won't sleep in clothes. He's got some of the coolest pajamas around, but he choses to wears them as costumes. He gets down to his underpants for naps and nighttime, so it's pretty common for him to be prancing around in just his underpants if he hasn't bothered to put his clothes back on after a nap, or if bedtime is getting near. I've decided it's not a battle worth fighting!
Jack and Jeff enjoying dinner.
Jack was so excited to see Hanni after the holidays and tell her how he went swimming in Hong Kong. He's really come a long way with the water this last term. He's getting more comfortable with swimming with his head down, and shocked us all by jumping right in to Hanni without hesitation. He can even paddle his way to the side with confidence now. I'm just happy he's finally learning to enjoy the water again! This is Hanni letting them each talk in the "microphone" (noodle) about what they saw at the bottom of the pool. I think Jack saw 500 moons or something.
Yes, another birthday party. It was Mikaila Lee's 2nd birthday party this week, and it was really nice (she's the short blond in the middle). We all just met at the park for a picnic and played on the toys. The kids were loving it, and I loved meeting some of the Lee's friends from the embassy. We know the Lee family from church. They just moved in a few months ago, and are from Idaho, but most recently from Germany. I've really enjoyed being with Rachel (not pictured), and it's been fun to get together for the kids and ourselves! Notice Jane coveting the shoes she just gave Mikaila!
Watching the moon on the way home.
Favorite moments of the week:
1. Jeff coming home from work and saying, "Happy Anniversary". He surprised me by buying Hairspray for me, which he's been trying to do since long before our Anniversary. We've been waiting for this to legally come out in English, and it finally did! We sat down and watched it that night, and he loved it too, and much more than he expected even after me talking it up! Definitely up there with my favorite musical, Singing in the Rain. Now, Jack has also fallen in love with it and is walking around singing all the songs. I can't get enough of it.
2. Sally came over last night after we put the kids to bed. Jeff and I got to go out for a quick Mexican dinner (Mmmmmmm...) and the best live music in Bangkok. Heather introduced us to a very classy part of town. Okay, maybe not classy. Alright, it was pretty much a part of town that gives Bangkok a bad reputation, but knowing how blissfully naive we are, she warned us to put our blinders on and head straight for the bar where Jim's band was playing. Honestly, it wasn't as bad as we were expecting, and it was worth it to see Jim do his thing again and be out together in a place without a kiddy menu. Leave it to Heather to inspire adventure! Gotta love this woman!
3. Jane and I went to Carrefour for a BIG shopping trip (meaning more intense than what 7-11 has to offer). Our usual Customer Service representative wasn't there, so I had to fill in our address myself for the delivery, something I haven't done for months. The nerve! Our regular delivery guy came, whom Jane loves, and he snapped a photo of Jane with his phone. A few hours later, our usual sweet girl from Customer service calls me to talk to Jane because she had seen her photo from the delivery guy and missed her. Really! She said she was worried that we moved back to the U.S. because she hadn't seen us in so long. Shocking, but very sweet!
Favorite Jack quotes as of late:
Sitting down to dinner, Jack randomly says, "let's all talk about things we love about Jane! I'll start. I love that she says, 'woopsh'!" (she says that instead of oops and we all love it) He proceeded to let us each have a turn and he just kept coming up with reasons why he loves his sister. Jeff and I were in heaven.
To Jeff tonight, "you know what I have? Strength! I'm the King of tough!"
In church today, another little boy gave Jack gum. I really don't like my children to have gum (yes, make a mental note everyone). We told him to put it in his pocket. He says, "I can't put it in my pocket, my pocket is full of cornflakes!". Sure enough, full of cornflakes it was.