Friday, July 30, 2010

A Change of Pace

We are no longer in South Asia. We are now in the beautiful kingdom of Thailand. For a country that is so close, Thailand couldn’t be any more different, and we are greatly enjoying those differences. We are here, of course, for the birth of our second child, and we have come here to take advantage of the far superior medical facilities. We had a doctor’s appointment last Monday, and we were greatly encouraged by the whole experience. Besides the beautiful and clean building, world-class equipment, and knowledgeable staff, the most shocking divergence from our last experience in South Asia was that people were smiling. The staff was smiling and helpful, and the patients seemed happy to be there as well! There was even a sign in one area that said, “If you’ve been waiting more than 15 minutes, please see a staff member.” Needless to say the appointment instilled a great deal of confidence in us.

We are also enjoying a few other comforts of home, too, not that there aren’t some challenges that come along with those. Well, I say a few comforts, but there are actually many of those here that have made this first week and a half a much needed recharge for us. Here is our top-ten list so far:

10. Pasteurized milk (Lizzy’s contribution)
9. Burger King (P.J.’s contribution)
8. A Target(ish) supercenter
7. Cold-cut sandwiches from our fridge
6. Delicious Thai food
5. Having a car
4. Swimming in the pool every day
3. Never losing electricity!!!
2. A beautiful beach just minutes away
1. Air conditioning

Top these all off with the fact that there is a 7-Eleven nearly every block of road—sometimes 2—where Slurpees and strange barbeque pork buns, which can easily be confused with minced pork and fermented egg sandwiches, abound.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Early Bird Beats the Traffic

Lately, our little one has taken quite the liking to this little ride-on toy car she has in the house. She will happily return to ride it around the house at least once an hour. She was sick yesterday, but she still was keen to play on her car. Although she normally sleeps until about 8 every day, she woke up this morning at 4:30 feverish and hungry. After taking care of her and sending her back to bed, all the while struggling to keep my eyes open, all was calm and quiet--until the wheels began to turn.

Sure enough, at 5 o'clock in the morning, this sick little girl decided to get a move on the day to beat the busy city traffic. Part of me was so tired I didn't care if she wanted to play in her room quietly, but when the driving moved into our room it didn't quite work. I woke P.J. up, and we both just started laughing through our grogginess thinking the whole incident was actually pretty funny. She seemed to think it wasn't the least bit strange to be riding around the house on a plastic car at 5 A.M.

Funny as it may have been, we hope she does not choose to do any early morning traveling again any time soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Strange and Wonderful Daughter

She is beautiful, sweet, and incredibly smart. She melts our hearts when she runs up to us to deliver an unexpected kiss or throws her arms around our necks to give us the biggest hug a 21-month-old can give. She can count to seven, knows all her colors, and can name at least a dozen different animals. She surprises us on a daily basis.

Lately, though, she has mainly been making us laugh. She is definitely one of the funniest kids I have ever known. Let me give you some examples:

She is a little monkey who loves to climb anything and everything. She can go from the ground to on top of the kitchen table in about seven seconds. So now, when she gets hungry she thinks she can just help herself. If she is quiet for more than one minute, then she is most likely doing something she isn't supposed to be doing. If she is in the kitchen, and quiet for more than one minute, then she has most likely found something she would like to eat and is eating it. Twice in the past week Lizzy has gone into the kitchen to find Naomi sitting on the table, mango in hand, biting straight through the mango's hard skin to get to the goodness inside; just like a monkey. She has also helped herself to a tomato in this same manner.

Speaking of things she likes to eat, she loves all the usual suspects: bananas, sugar, candy, chocolate, etc. She also loves onions, raw. If one of us is chopping onions for dinner, she wants a piece. The first time I thought, "Oh this will be funny," as I handed her the onion waiting expectantly for a disgusted face, but she likes them. We don't like her breath afterwards!

Today we went to the zoo. Our little girl absolutely loves animals. She loves to pet dogs and cats. She loves to look through her animal books and tell us the names for all the animals and the sounds that the animals make. So, I thought she would love the zoo. She couldn't be bothered. There were tigers, leopards, monkeys, and rhinos, and she thought they were all lame. We went to see the elephant, which she knows the name of in two different languages. We were standing eight feet from this huge majestic animal with no gate or fence to separate us. She was more interested in the swings nearby. There was one animal she was very happy to see which is not found in many zoos in the U.S. The one animal that caught her attention? The Guinea pigs. Squeak, squeak.

Monday, July 5, 2010

You Know You Live in South Asia When...

You watch a DVD, and when it ends, there aren't any credits--just a trip back to the main DVD menu.

The DVD menu background is stretched and way out of proportion.

The DVD menu background is the cover of Entertainment Weekly with the film characters on it...literally!

That was hilarious!