Five for Friday #16: Late again!

June 30, 2015

I'm terrible at getting these "week in review" posts up on time!  I cheated and back-dated the last one but I'll just 'fess up here and tell you that I just didn't manage to carve out the the time to write this one and get it published by Friday. 
  This week was a quiet one and I only got pictures of three of my five for the week.  I'll start with the photo-free memories first:

Swimming lessons ended.  Both Sky and Fire are much more comfortable in the water, Sky started learning a few of the basic swimming strokes, and both kids had fun.  I'll call that a win!

The plane tickets for Fire's medical referral came through!  They're leaving for Hono next Friday, which will give them the whole weekend to spend with our friends there before his appointment.  We'd been worried that they would fly out on Monday, which would have left D taking Fire to the appointment right after getting off the plane.  Between the issues that United has been having lately and D's inability to sleep on planes, we really didn't want to cut it that close and luckily, we won't have to.  We'll miss them but I'm glad that Fire's hernia is being taken care of so quickly.

Rainy Day Fun

June 29, 2015

Monday was a rainy, rainy day- it would have been a great day to sleep in but since the kids were up at 6:30, D and I were too.  We had originally planned to head to the beach with some friends for a beach-brunch morning but it was just too wet and chilly for that to be fun, so after a little mom-coordinating, everyone came to our house.  The kids played for hours on the slip n' slide and in the big mud puddle in the alley while the adults had brunch and coffee (and stayed dry under the patio!).

The pictures below aren't in any particular order but you can get the idea of the crazy amount of fun that all the kids had.  We're so lucky to get to have these kinds of mornings with our friends here!

Sugar Fast: One Week Down

June 27, 2015

    Holy cow, how is it that I've only been doing this fast for a week?  This is so hard, harder than any diet I've tried, and I've tried a few.  I'm not restricting anything but processed sugar but that's all I seem to think about.  I'm drinking Taylor's Irish Breakfast Tea with milk in the morning instead of my coffee with creamer and it's doing the trick but after dinner, there's just no substitute for dessert.  I've tried having fruit, making popcorn, and ice water and none of them make me want it less.  You want to know how desperate I am?  In a moment of weakness the other morning, I drank the milk from Fire's bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, just because I knew it would be sweet! 
  I think it would be easier if I were seeing some benefit from it but I haven't yet.  My weight hasn't changed and neither has my energy level.  A downside is that I'm having enough trouble keeping my water intake up since I'm not putting Mio flavoring in it anymore. 
  Five weeks to go.  I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do this!

Five for Friday #15: Father's Day, A Movie Recommnedation, and Another Adoption Update

June 25, 2015

High Five for Friday!  I can't believe we made it through another week- not that it was a bad week but we're officially in the Big Wait (adoptive parents, you know why I used capital letters on that!) and while every day brings us closer to our new one and to whatever comes afterword (that move isn't off the table!), some days are longer than others and it can be hard to push on through.  This week was a good one, starting with Father's day and full of family time through out.

Happy Father's Day D!

Questions for Sky

June 22, 2015

  My cousin posted this on f@acebook the other day so I thought I would give it a try with Sky (I bet Fire's answers would be good too but he's not quite verbal enough yet for something like this!).  She's five and half now and her answers are in italics.  We did this just before bed time so some of her answers are sillier than they would have been earlier in the day.

Without any prompting, ask your child these questions and write down EXACTLY what they say. It is a great way to find out what they really think.

 What is something mom always says to you?
 Nana  (which means bad or naughty in Marshallese)

High Five for Friday #14: Hurray for Antibiotics

June 19, 2015

I would give you a high five right now (because it's Friday, yay!) but it would hurt, so let's just nod and smile at each and save the high-fiving for a few days.  Why would it hurt?  You're sweet for asking.  Let me show you:

  I turned the color way up so you could see the red streaks.  All that, going all the way up to my elbow is from a tiny infection in a cut on my thumb.  I cut myself at work on Wednesday and this was how my arm looked Friday at dinner time.  Because of the heat and humidity here, small wounds can turn septic very quickly and this one gave me a dose of my own mortality.  Without antibiotics, something like this could kill a person.  Luckily, I do have antibiotics and they're already working.  I still don't have the full use of my hand but it's on the mend.

An International International Adoption, Four Years Later

June 17, 2015

Almost four years ago to the day, I wrote a post musing on we could possibly raise Sky to still be Marshallese while she lived in an American home.  This is the link but to save you the time, and because the original post was pretty short, I'll copy it below:

Fish for Us, Fish for the Sharks

June 16, 2015

We had a true Kwaj experience the other day:
A friend posted on f@cebook that her husband was going to be arriving at the marina shortly and that they would be selling some of their catch of yellow fin tuna since they'd had such a great day fishing.  I just happened to walk by the computer at the right time to see the post come up and since it's been a long time since we had good fish,  I immediately grabbed some cash and Sky and we headed out to buy some.

So far, that's pretty special but not specific to Kwaj.  The part that made the experience unique is that we walked to the marina, bought the fish, and then walked home with it.

After Technical Difficulties: High Five for Monday

June 14, 2015

  Thanks to our internet at home being down for several days, this is a High Five for Monday post instead of the usual High Five for Friday.  Since I'm already behind on blogging, let's get right to the five for the week:

It looks like Fire is going to need surgery to repair an inguinal hernia.  D and I suspected that he had one based on some symptoms that we've seen but we were actually able to get some photos (side note: on the list of things I never thought I'd have to do as a parent, taking photos of my son's junk, even for medical documentation, is at the top so far) that allowed the doctors to diagnose it.  We should hear from the hospital this week if he's going to be sent to Honolulu for surgery. 

Sky lost another tooth!
Do you remember how she sold her first tooth do D for four dollars?  Well, she sold this one to him for five!  D had better look out- Sky has some mad negotiating skills and lot more teeth left to sell.

Saying Yes and Finally Being a "Fun Mom"

June 10, 2015

  Friends, I love my kids but I am not a "fun mom".  I'm the disciplinarian in our family, the one in charge of saying no when it needs to be said.  I do try to say yes when I can and recently, a great opportunity for saying a big, exciting yes presented itself.
  It was a rainy morning and the kids were just about to explode from pent up energy when I got home from a run.  They were literally starting to climb the walls and I suddenly remembered a post on one of my favorite blogs from a few years ago about jumping into piles of pillows.  I had the kids get every pillow in the house and make a pile of them on the floor.  I pushed the coffee table to the side and told Sky and Fire to climb up onto it.  Being me, I had to make a few rules: only one kid jumps at a time and you have to pile the pillows back up after your turn.

  And then I said those magic words: Yes, you can jump.
And they did!

Speaking Up

June 9, 2015

  I don't watch the news anymore.  The AFN that's broadcast here mainly carries Fox News and that's not my cup of tea and even if it were,  I don't really have time to watch TV on a specific schedule.  I read the BBC news page and Al Jazeera English for my world news but for the most part, what happens in America passes without my notice and I'm okay with that.
  I had some time to listen to NPR's Morning Edition last night while I was doing the dishes and that's when I first heard about the pool party video that's gone viral and which highlighted, yet again, the underlying problems of race and racial assumptions in America. 
  After reading about it on two blogs that I follow (We, A Great Parade, and No Bohn's About It), I finally made myself try to watch the video.  I couldn't do it.  I know I should but I can't.  I just can't.  I made it through about half of it and what struck me the most (beside the glaringly obvious way that pretty much everything about the situation was mis-handled) was that no one tried to stop it.  Yes, there was one white man following the overly assertive police officer around and yes, when he drew his gun on unarmed teenagers (did I just type that about middle class American teenagers in suburbia?  I can't even believe it), two other officers stopped him.  But neither the white man nor the other officers stopped him from what he was doing.  No one stood between him and tried to de-escalate the situation.
  I know it's easy to judge from afar (and I know I'm very far away) and that it all happened very quickly.  But if things like this are going to stop, people in and around these situations when they happen need to speak up quickly.  It is our job as fellow human beings to stand in front of injustice in whatever forms it presents itself.
  I myself let a small opportunity to speak up pass the other day.  I've written a little bit about the latent racism that exists here against the Marshallese.  You'll hear people say that they're lazy, that they're too dumb to take care of things, that of course the country is mis-managed, they can't even (fill in the blank).  There is a huge cultural divide between us and if the Marshallese are judged against our cultural standards, they will always fail.  That happened in front of me the other day and I didn't say anything.  There was a moment to speak up and I let it pass.  Just admitting that makes me so angry at myself.  I want to remember that feeling and have it nag at me.  To stay silent in the face of racism, in whatever forms it takes, is to accept  it.  The only way to change those attitudes is to challenge them. 
  I need to be convicted by this failure so that I don't miss the next chance I'm given to speak up.   If I want things to be different for my kids, I, and all of us, need to speak up and stand up now.

My babies won't be babies forever and if it could happen to another child of color, it could happen to mine...

See where I'm linking up here

High Five for Friday #13: Books, TVs, and Cheese Sauce

June 4, 2015

  High Five for Friday!  I can't believe it's Friday again!  With less on our family's calendar the week went by pretty slowly but now that it's over, I feel like it zoomed past.  You know the saying, "The days are long but the years are short"?  That's on my mind a lot this week and it seems to be reflected in what I chose for my Friday Five:

Sky graduated from Pre-K!
For some reason, this graduation feels huge to us.  Maybe it's because Sky is our first, or maybe it's because we know how much she had to overcome to get to something "normal" like this.  It's probably some of both along with the regular old joy that comes with seeing your child succeed at something, even if you never doubted they could do it.  We celebrated our big girl this week and are looking forward to her transition to Kindergarten in September.

Sky's Pre-K Graduation

June 3, 2015

We celebrated Sky's Pre-K graduation this week.  I know I've been saying this a lot on the blog lately but how did she get so big?!  This year she has turned into such a little person.  I feel like we spent years working through big feelings, difficult to manage ( but understandable) reactions, and delayed (but again understandable) language development and that it's all coming together for Sky now.  She's very clever, is a good problem solver, and is completely ready for school to start.  I think she'll thrive with the higher level of expectations and the routine and structure of a school day.  I'm not one to push academics too soon but I almost wish there were a mid-term Kindergarten she could have joined because she seems that ready. 

Dinner on Ebeye

June 2, 2015

  Until recently, there were three places to eat on Ebeye: the JJJ (for fast food), the Little Mermaid Restaurant at the Ebeye Hotel (for Chinese food), and Sit 'N' Eat (for local food).  Unfortunately, the Little Mermaid has a had a tough time being able to provide the dishes on their menu and Sit 'N' Eat burned down a few months ago.  You can still eat at both of them (and the fried chicken at the JJJ is great) but that's not quite the big-night-out experience I was looking for when my friend Heather and I started planning a double date night.
  I'd heard about a new restaurant called Enno opening up and had walked past it a few times.  Everyone had great things to say about the place and we'd been told that it was shabu-shabu restaurant, which is always fun.  I'm very happy to be able to write that Enno, which means "yummy" in Marshallese, really is enno.  The restaurant was clean and bright, with new furniture and menus.  There was a full staff and they had everything on the menu that we ordered, including spare ribs, shrimp, chicken, and pork.  The prices were reasonable, the service was excellent, and the food was delicious.  If you live in the atoll and are looking for something new for date night, give this place a try!

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