Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I guess we’ve been here long enough to make a few things permanent. We have two credit cards we can’t use here without international fees and even when we visit home we have another card available. I called today to cancel those two credit cards but had delayed the call for weeks and weeks because I hate the typical high pressure script they read to try to get you to stay a member, offer new cards, entice you with junk.
Today I had the perfect get out of the call fast and efficient solution. I began the call by simply explaining I have been living overseas for a year and can no longer use the card. I also do not get paid in US currency so I won’t be using the card. Only question she asked is if we were returning soon to the US. I told her not for many years. Done. Over. No pressure. No “let me just let you talk to my manager about this decision” excuses or delays. She just cancelled the accounts and I was off the phone! I may be using this excuse the rest of my life no matter where I live!!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Ben: "Mom Jake is trying to stand up potty!"
Maddie: "That's okay. He has a p____ so he can."
Jake: "Yep. Sure do! I go like this."
Maddie then interupts him running in the bathroom and proceeds to try and teach him how to do it. At this point I had to intervene. From what deep well of knowledge and experience is she drawing in order to qualify her as the teacher?
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
When we got back to Ben and Maddie in the theatre I tried hiding the drink from Jacob. He searched. So I swapped his for an empty cup. He popped the lid off and ate ice for a few minutes before he wiggled down off his seat and went to trade Maddie for her drink, which was nearly full. All told he had a super successful potty training day!
I was heading on the BKE to the PIE when the GPS said take the SLE to the CTE. Of course there was more heavy rain and a big accident at the SLE-CTE-TPE interchange. Finally we got past the CTE onto the AYE and on to Plaza Singapura but instead of having time to shop we went strait to the movie. This is the first sit down movie for Jake and we are potty training. No success before we went into the theatre. We'll just have to see how this goes.
This overseas stuff throws a wrench into everything “normal” I try to do. I thought I was doing great. Got our family pictures in October. My friend who took the picture designed a custom card in November. Check out her website – she’ll be here for another year, then back in Utah. Then I had to write the letter with updates on everyone in the family.
Finally I tried to print our holiday cards here in Singapore first of December, but that cost plus international stamps gave me heartburn. I considered. I waited. I found a cheaper option (stamps go on sale here). I patiently waited for the stamp sale to start. Then I find out people who used sale stamps the last few years have the cards arrive in the US in February. Plus delivering the cards to me IN Singapore FROM Singapore cost nearly $50 and took 3 weeks! Seriously? How big is this island? Or a “rush” delivery still takes 5 days but costs $100.
So I shopped online in the USA to have things automatically stamped and mailed. Headache. I have a custom card ready to upload and no one will take it without adding their own border/holly berry/snowman/ribbon/text on top of my already designed card. Eventually I went into denial mode. If I wait a day or two things will get simpler/cheaper/easier/better, right? And here we are…Christmas in a week. Nothing ordered. Leaving tomorrow on a short trip tomorrow while our kids are out of school for holiday break.
I finally ordered the cards this morning for bulk delivery on Saturday. Then I sent off an email seeking slave labor from my nephew and maybe his siblings to stuff the envelopes. Not really slave labor I guess, since I’ll pay them. He’s trying to earn money to go to Washington DC on a school trip. Of course we lived there six years and he goes after we leave…but still, he’s going to go see a pretty cool place and I’m all about helping that happen! Don’t worry, Brian’s mom will do it if the kids won’t. She’s great like that. So they may be late (my fault), but they will arrive, hopefully by New Years. For now, here’s the preview of the card.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
It is genuine surprise over what a boring adult would call a highly predictable bell? Is it excitement over who they will stand by in line? Who will be the line leader today? Is it joy knowing they are off to another fun lesson inside? Or is it just releasing one last voluminous yelp because in the building they know they can't run around like the wild monkeys that they are? They are so free to express themselves. When does the desire to be cool supersede the natural instinct to be loud and wild and crazy?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I’m having a rough day. You see, Brian found a corn dog on July 2nd at the Navy Base Independence Day celebration. I wanted one so bad, but I’d already gorged myself on an incredible heaping plate of Pilipino food and just couldn’t eat another bite. I’ve been on a hunt ever since.
Saturday night we were at Tanglin Mall and after we got on the escalator going up the little snack stand on the side had two sitting right there. We were heading to Chili’s for a fun family dinner, but I was so excited I turned around really fast and exclaimed while pointing, “LOOK!! A corndog!” Unfortunately for the woman who chose to insert herself in the middle of my family got whacked in the face by my hand. I was a bit embarrassed, but still, A CORNDOG!! I almost chose to forego the amazing Chili’s quesadilla for a cheap corndog.
So any expat can now understand why I’m having such a hard day. I need a corndog! Today I’m half way wishing I had the corndog on Saturday night. It might be time to swing past Tanglin Mall today for a quick errand.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Maddie spends hours creating and has a great imagination. Her skill is really developing and some days I think she is better at art than Ben despite him being two years older. It's probably also because she tries so hard to make things perfect and he rushes through to be done with it and do something else as fast as he can. The other day she used up almost an entire ream of colored paper making gigantic flowers with full sheets of paper glued in circular shape. They were all about fifteen sheets big and she was so proud. Her life is just like those flowers. Colorful. She loves spice in her life. Variety. Change. Mostly she loves beauty.
She has told me lots of times lately that I'm the best mom is the entire world. When I ask why she always says its because my clothes are so pretty that day. I think she is a big fan of my maternity wardrobe. I admit it's a nice step up from the old, worn T-shirt selection I am otherwise found wearing. Maddie loves pretty clothes, dishes, jewelry, art, toys, shoes and everything else. It's fun to have someone notice and appreciate when I do put extra work into making something special. We love her in our family.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Brian’s been gone all week working in Malaysia. Phone woke me up at 4am this morning after I was up doing cub scouts until 12:30am. I’m tired so it’s pizza night. I logged onto Pizza Hut to get delivery and saw a new pizza option for the holiday season, “Jolly Glee” pizza. Curious what this holiday offering was I clicked. Tell me if you are salivating…
With a cheese-stuffed crust sprinkled with parmesean cheese, the Jolly Glee Pizza is baked on a bed of mashed potato and cranberry sauce. Topped with turkey bacon, roasted chicken, capsicums, pineapple and onions, it comes with cheesy pastry strips and juicy cherry on top.
Yikes! I’ll stick with a the Hawaiian or maybe a supreme. Even supreme has some interesting additions (and a few sad subtractions – we miss American pepperoni). Actually, those are the only two pizza flavors I will order here. Makes selection pretty quick when you don’t want Chicken Curry Pizza, Ocean Catch Pizza or Chicken Supreme (chicken ham and spicy chicken chunks with onion, capsicums and mushrooms).
Oh yeah, we tried the stuffed crust pizza last weekend in Malyasia. Imagine a tube of velveta off the shelf. Open packet, squeeze the rubbery wanna-be cheese around the pizza and fold over the crust. Don’t need to try that again!
Fourth time around but it still gets me. Just how long is pregnancy? And how far along am I?
Pregnancy = 40 weeks
Month = 4 weeks
Therefore pregnancy is 10 months, right? I know, the 29th, 30th and 31st ‘s of the months throw off that simple calculation. Plus you’re not actually pregnant the first two weeks and I’m delivering two weeks early this time, so this time really is 9 months. Still, here is where I have trouble.
I just finished my 24th week. I’m showing. People are asking, “How far along are you?” And, “How much longer do you have?” Well if I’m 24 weeks then I’m six months, right? But if I’m supposed to answer how much longer then I have to say 16 weeks and that’s four months. And it’s depressing to have four months left.
I noticed three days ago, Dec 6, that I’m three months from my scheduled delivery date of March 6 (two weeks early because it’s the fourth c-section). Boy did that ever make my day! There will be an end and it’s in sight.
I thought, for the kids sake, that I wanted this baby to move like Ben did so the kids could feel him/her and get excited. Maddie was turned wrong so she kicked my pelvic wall and bladder. Jacob jabbed sharply at my rib cage and upper body for months on end.
Well, he/she is properly aligned to entertain the siblings. And sometimes it’s a bit obnoxious. I’d forgotten that part after eight years. My laptop gets kicked (effectively pinching my skin between the baby and the keyboard) and I see my belly move out of the corner of my eye sometimes and it catches me by surprise.
What a wiggly baby! I sure got what I asked for so far. The kids are totally connected to this baby. They hug and snuggle and kiss my belly and talk about how to make it happy when it “comes out.” Ben is still quiet and reserved when talking about it. Maddie plans things for the baby. Jacob tells me all the things he will to “to make my baby happy.” I didn’t realize how excited they would really be and it makes me happy.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Maybe I need to cross stitch the rules and hang them on display.
1. Lift the seat.
2. Flush the mess.
3. Wash your hands.
4. Wash them again because we both know you didn't use soap, you little punk. Love you.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Today we were reading Chris Patch's blog about their family adventures in Nepal and showing the kids who we will be spending a few days with in Cambodia in two weeks. We were noticing all the things that are different there and I thought to ask the question of Maddie what she is enjoying about Singapore. She couldn't immediately think of what she likes (as opposed to the USA) so I began suggesting things.
This is the face I got, accompanied with a dramatic eye roll, when I asked if she likes the squatters.