Thursday, May 30, 2013

And then there were more ants.

Day 66:

Wednesday, I'm typing the day of the week for my own benefit, so I can remember what happened.  Sorry I keep not blogging, call it laziness or depression. Just teasing MOM, I'm not really that depressed, I'm just adjusting to a new normal.  Usually when I get a wild hair to run to the store I invite Alicia to go along.  So when I did that Wednesday night, I tried to remind myself that she might would have been busy or too tired to go, maybe if I pretend that's the case, I won't cry in public. Okay, I might be dramatizing a tad. I haven't been weepy since the day after she left.

Kora has been running a fever and we cannot figure out what's wrong with her. She seems angry about her teeth, like they are hurting her, but her fever seems too high for just teething and she's been sleeping a lot...if you know Kora, you know this is strange!  And she likes to snuggle a lot more when she's sick I've realized. Which I will never complain about, although it is HOT and it makes us both sweaty, I'll gladly take what I can get when I can get it!

In other news, Kora hasn't been eating very well for me for a few weeks now and because there's a weird balance my children must keep, Kees has been eating a lot more.  Has anyone else noticed this with sibling, they have to be different and even the score.  If one is sleeping, the other one is starving or has tons of extra energy to burn. They can't be tired at the same time, or hungry at the same time, or heaven forbid plan bathroom business in a way that would make it easier on road trips.  So, after breakfast, (Kees had eaten a WHOLE bowl of oatmeal), I was snuggling Kora and she was sleeping.  It had been 20 minutes since breakfast, but Kees was hungry and wanted malt ball (that oatmeal power ball stuff I make). He kept asking if I'd make some more and I told him 5 more minutes.  He's at the age where he's just figuring out how clocks work and about time.  So he watched the clock for 5 minutes and then helped me make the malt balls.
How long does 5 minutes take...because "I'm starving, mother, really I am!"

Making malt ball

After the malt ball he had yogurt.

Then he played trains for while.  This is one of the few toys that we brought with us to Thailand.
Making the sounds!

When we moved here we had 3 large suitcases, 2 large tubs, and carry on luggage. So we didn't bring a ton of stuff with us.  Kees's toy collection started out with these take along Thomas trains and cars.  It's insane how much he has now!  We've gotten a lot of packages from home, and when Doug's mom visits she always brings the best stuff (and even makes sure it's what I think will be durable in the humidity here).  So when Kees pulled these trains out it made me nostalgic for when we first arrived here!  Crazy to think he was just 18 months old then, and now he's 4!
This was right after we landed in Chiang Mai at our hotel room.

After Kora woke up from her nap, Doug found some Yo Gabba Gabba on youtube for the kids to watch. He always picks the one about not biting since Kora does that a lot.  It's catchy and fun!


I decided to make tortillas in the afternoon and guess what I found...
I was getting water from the hot pot for tortillas and all these ants came out of it!

I may have eaten about 3/4ths of all the grapes we had while I was making dinner, and I don't regret it.

It also rained quite a bit, and I ran over to the little shop that was about a block away from our old house to pick up a few things we needed for dinner.  I saw all our old neighbors out talking and stop to visit with them a little.  Both of our kids were napping. In fact Kees took a 4 hour nap!  And went to bed just fine at bedtime too.  Love that kid! I love Kora too, despite her sleeping hiccups.

Old neighbors

Love how things look all glisteny after the rain.

This weekend we are hosting our good friend Amanda, and as I was planning the meals I realized we have a busy couple of weeks coming up and I wanted to get my shopping done. We have the baking class this Sunday. And then next Friday is our day to volunteer at the school for kids with special needs. We usually play a game and pass out snacks.  My evaluation is Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and I was worried if I didn't get my shopping done ahead of time for Friday I might forget.

So I ran out to the store and bought all the stuff.  I may have a hoarding problem.  The store had buy one get one free and I bought 6 packages of baby wipes and a bunch of granola bars.  I was super thrilled with the deal I got on baby wipes.  They aren't cheap here and people don't use them as often so the variety is slim.  I made sure I explained to Doug that I needed him to act excited about my wipes purchase and he played along better than he usually does, but I think that was because we had friends over. They are moving out of the city this week and we won't see them for 5 months or so.  We didn't even realize it was the last time we'd see them until they were leaving and we realized the dates they'd be "in town", we will be in Phuket and then before we get back they are headed back to the states to have their first baby.  Guess I'll be a pro at good-byes before it's all said and done.
At the store, checking out the prices of Crisco spray going to compare with the baking shop next time I go.

Day 67:

Pest Control day! We hired pest control to take care of our ant situation.  When they come we have to leave for 3 hours.  We decided to go to the mall and were able to catch up with some old friends to Doug, but new friends to me.
At the mall

We went to this nice place that had a salad bar.  Kora was really fussy because she's not feeling good and she was wanting to sleep. I forgot to grab a paci and had to run to a store to buy one.  Let me just say that today was not a banner day for parenting.  I was so flustered and hot and sweaty.  I was wanting to be able to talk and get to know our company better, but I just kept feeling scattered and HOT.  Once I got the paci for Kora, she slept and I ate with my one free hand.  I guess in all the hub bub of trying to get Kora to sleep without a paci, and incessant and insane amount of fussing and me having to leave the place to go track a paci down, I wasn't paying attention to Kees.  He had a glass of water that was full the brim and was plunging things into, thereby soaking the table and his food.  I passed to glass over to Doug so that he could keep away from Kees, but when Doug was gone to the salad bar he got it back. Yikes!  Not to mention, I think it was supposed to be my glass of water.  I had a cup I brought in from home that had a tiny bit of water in it, but by the time we left I was so thirsty and the water that should have been mine was wasted because Kees was playing in it.  Now everyone should know why I hoard spill proof cups. I'm swearing to myself and all of you that I will not be letting Kees have water in a glass like that (in public anyway) for the foreseeable future.  Then Kora woke up, slobbered watermelon ALL over the place and dropped a glass dish, which made a loud noise but didn't break, but that's okay because not two minutes later, Kees dropped one and broke it. 

Needless to say I was tired, had a terrible headache, and was in need of a nap when we got home.  Fairly certain my headache was just a bad sinus thing, but I did have a lot of tension built up in my neck and shoulders after all the charades at the restaurant.  I never wanted to be one of those parents who never went anywhere, but sometimes when we go out, I seriously consider staying home for the next 7 years or so.

After my nap, I cleaned house and made a cinnamon coffee cake. That's the recipe I'm planning to teach at our baking class, but I wanted to try it out at home again to make sure what all the steps are and make sure the recipe makes sense.  And then we can eat it with our company!  It didn't come out of the pans very well, but it's yummy!  No pressure, our guest just went to pastry and baking school or some nonsense like that.  She's actually got a ton of helpful hints and we all know I need some help in the kitchen, cause if I'm not careful I explode things in my oven.
Sick baby girl.

We had a nice chat with Amanda, now everyone is sleeping and I am blogging, THEN sleeping. Hope you're having a great the states.
This one is for Kristee!

I saved the "Happy Milk...It's your happy time" poster for the end. When I saw this it reminded me of my sister because she LOVES milk. When we were growing up it was one thing we could not run out of and I was almost afraid to drink milk because I didn't want to make us run out because she loved it so much.  I'm sure my mom would have loved for me to drink as much milk as I wanted, but I think I might have been a little famous for pouring a big glass and not drinking it all.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Ants Go Marching All Over My Sanity.

Day 65:

Whew! Finally a day that begins and ends with all of us together, it's been a whole week since that happened!  Thankful to be getting back to "normal".

Today has been a test in sanity or insanity.  You be the judge. There are ants all over every thing!  Kees has been asking me to make pudding for over a week and actually I think he may have even asked me a few weeks back and I never made it.  Until today, Doug went out to get groceries for me because Kora has a fever and I'm not feeling very well either.  Hoping a little rest will keep me from getting too sick.  When he got back I decided to go ahead and make the pudding for Kees.  My Mamaw is famous for banana pudding, which is actually a vanilla pie filling recipe with bananas and nilla wafer.  We don't have nilla wafers and Kees wanted chocolate.  So that's what we made.  It's yummy!  Unfortunately, there were so many ants in the kitchen and they were all over my CLEAN dishes in the dish rack! What???  Doug had to de-ant the place after I went on a little tirade about how they're everywhere.  I should also mention that Doug called pest control this morning, so they'll be out later this week.  And wouldn't you know, after all the ants that I've dealt with lately, I found them inside my washing machine!  What could they possibly want in there!
Okay, I lied about yesterday, I DID have this one picture of the ants, and I wasn't going to share it, but I felt it would help you visualize my frustration.

Guess what Doug brought home for lunch!!!!


Both kids needed a nap today, and Kees said he needed music to fall alseep.  He's so funny.
Kees and his music box.

Doug and I had a nice long chat while the kids rested. It was nice, it's the closest thing we'll be getting to a date, so we'll take it.

Here and There and Everywhere

Day 63:

I went to church with the new friends Alicia introduced me to before she went back to America. They drove me to the Thai church we usually go to, so I got to show them around.  It's weird to be the "veteran" anywhere in Thailand.  I still feel like such a newbie.  I gave myself a pep talk before I left, trying to convince myself to keep trying to speak as much Thai as possible.  It worked for the most part, which is nice, cause the other day I confused our cleaning lady and she thought the kids and I were going back to America for good and Doug was staying. I was trying to tell her Alicia was going back to America for good, but I DID figure out she misunderstood me and was able to clear up the misunderstanding.  So that's good.
Kees hiding his popsicle from Kora

Playing with play dough

Kees put all these straws in his play dough and made birthday cake.

Kora kept testing this limit. She's not allowed to go outside.

Ice cream!

While we were at our church, Doug was visiting a church in the Northeast.  He loved it.  I'm trying to convince him to do another guest blog about the conference he attended and his trip.  Y'all can bug him about it on Facebook for me, pretty please!


 Sunday afternoon we played in the yard and went swimming.

Day 64:

Monday dragged and dragged.  Kora was starting to get sick and I was so ready for Doug to be home.  I was still coping with Alicia's departure and in a bit of a funk.  So, no pictures, sorry. :(

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Indulging in pizza and Dr. Pepper is always a good idea.

Day 62:

Another lazy Saturday. CHECK!  Trying not to dwell on Alicia leaving and Doug being gone, so we've been watching kid shows and I even ordered pizza for dinner.  And I cracked out my pity party drink of choice, that hoarded Dr. Pepper from the other day.
Kora discovered this new bath mat and fell in love. It's one of the many things Alicia gave us before she left.

This girl loves taking a shower.

Kraft macaroni from my parents. I've been saving it for a day like today.

Dinner!  I'm ashamed of my junk food diet today, but not too ashamed to tell you.  Isn't admitting you have a problem the first step...

We are taking a break from teaching English for a while because our pastor is wanting to make posters and get more people enrolled in the class. Trying to enjoy a whole Saturday to myself, but I really did love being able to teach again.  So "Que Sera Sera", hoping we will be able to get back to it again soon. Also, I need some suggestions for what to make at my next baking class, ready, set, go....inspire me!

Friday, May 24, 2013

And then there's "good-bye"

Day 61:

The last friend day with Alicia. :(

Our hotel did not include breakfast this time, but there was a jacuzzi tub, so I think that cancels itself out.  So we walked down the road for breakfast. Doug was already back at his conference so it was just Alicia, myself and the kiddos. We found a place that served American breakfast.  Alica ordered a Monte Cristo and I had an omelet, bacan, toast and coffee.  Kees got peanut butter toast!  He loved it!

Kora was quite energetic and a little difficult to say the least.  She is such a fighter and so stubborn.  If she doesn't want to sit, she will let you know it and she won't let up until you walk her around or find a way to distract her.  I often wonder why I even bother going in public.  So I was hot and flustered and I kind of felt like I was ruining the ambience for Alicia, but she was very gracious about it, as always. :)

Once they brought all our food out, Kora and I struck up a conversation with the lady who cooked our food.  She was happy to entertain Kora and I was happy to eat in peace. I scarfed my food down as fast as humanly possible because I never know when Kora will be handed back over.  So I have to make good use of my time.  Kora picked flowers, played the guitar, tried to drag the guitar to the street and the cook lady had to follow her out the front door, then she looked at some magazines and books.

We walked back to the hotel and I sort of caught up on the blog from the previous day and checked out of the hotel right at 12.
We headed to the mall because Alicia needed to cancel her internet and pay her bill and we had movie tickets for 4:30. It was also Alicia's last Thai food in Thailand and the mall has EVERYTHING!  She had moo satay, sticky rice and mango and Thai tea. Fabulous choices!  We also met up with Alicia's friend from her home town. Her and her husband have been in Thailand for a few months now and Alicia wanted to introduce us so we could get to know each other. They are going to pick me up and take me to my church on Sunday since Doug is out of town.  Looking forward to having the kids play together, they have a 2 year old little boy.


Then we went to the movie and watched the Fast and the Furious 6.  In Thailand, they play the King's song before the movie starts, but it's usually after all the previews.  Everyone stands up for the song and it's very important, you absolutely would not stay seated for this, it's extremely disrespectful. Both of my kids were on my lap and they were both asleep before the song. Yikes!  I had to stand up holding Kora and Kees...who sleeps through EVERYTHING, stayed asleep in the seat.  He missed the entire movie, Kora caught the last 20 minutes. When Kees woke up, he was very upset that he had missed all the cars racing.  Whoops!

The plan was to go back to my place for Alicia to re-arrange her luggage and get ready to go catch her flight.  When we got home Doug was hiding, no lurking in our school room and scared the fire out of me.  If I had drank much more, there would have been a wet seat on the driver's side.  I yelled at him and threw my keys at him.  I was so mad. Then we went to go in the house, Doug assumed I had the keys, but I didn't, so wouldn't you know, we were locked out!  We have a cleaning lady from our church that comes and cleans on Thursday.  She irons our clothes, something I don't do.  Anyway, we only have one key to the padlock, and you have to use the key to lock it.  I found a combination lock and showed her how to put in on before we left, but I guess she misunderstood.  Doug's phone was dead and I was FRANTIC.  I had been emotional all day and teary, trying my very best not to mope or ruin my last friend day. This was the final straw and I blew it, big time.  I was crying and turning over everything on our porch hoping she had left the key somewhere. Doug's phone had died and he had no charger, so I had to track down the charger in my suitcase.  There are so many things to be thankful for, but I couldn't think of them right in that moment. For one thing, the school room was open, for another, we have electrical outlets outside our house, and the charger wasn't IN the house, it was with us.  Doug charged his phone, tracked down our cleaning lady, we call her grandma, she's so sweet to our kids. And then he went and picked up the key, all took less than 30 minutes, but I felt just awful.  Like I ruined Alicia's perfect last day because I can plan for every contingency and not only that, I way overreacted. Again, she was so gracious.

After she left last night, I just kept thinking, why did she even want to be my friend.  I'm so scatter brained and almost every time we hang out my kids are all over the place.  She's been such a good friend to me and I can't help but think I let her down so many times. When she came back here I wanted more than anything to make things right for her and I failed.  But the truth is, she's the best kind of friend.  She has seen me at my very worst, more than once, and she still wants to be my friend and CHOOSES to see the best in me.  And that's all I could have ever asked for, such graciousness and love.  I have never once felt judged by her.  I always felt like she understood exactly where I was coming from and knew I was trying my best. God answered my prayers in such a HUGE way when he put Alicia in my life.  I hope I never take that for granted.

I cried many many times last night. Right after she turned that last corner, on my way to truck, on the way home, and even more after everyone else was alseep.  I couldn't fall alseep, but I knew if I blogged, I'd paint a very negative picture and I didn't want to let my feelings completely take over, even though they kind of were anyway.  I took a hot shower, but the tears kept coming.  I wandered around my house, but everything reminded me of her and all our traditions and outings together.  I didn't want to stay up, so I wouldn't let myself sit down, I just wandered around.  Then I dug really deep and told myself I HAD to find a way to calm down and get some rest. Doug left at 5 this morning, so I'm the only adult responsible for my kids for the next few days.  I don't have time to have a melt down, I have to sleep so I can take care of my kids.  So I wrote a few emails and a little after 1 a.m., I finally fell asleep.  When I woke up this morning a lot of the sting had subsided and I'm settling in to my new reality.

I wish I could somehow describe the hurt I feel and why it's so difficult. Being away from home and all your family puts you in a very high stress situation.  We've seen so many people go home.  I've been to that airport and said "good-bye" far more times than I would have liked. Each "good-bye" reminds me of all the ones before, and re-emphasizes my bouts of loneliness.  But no matter what, I have a friend.  I have God. As I was crying last night, I told Kees, "Mommy's just really sad right now because Alicia was my best friend and mommies really like having a friend to talk to, but you know what, we can always talk to God, and he's the best friend we could ever have."  I hope he learns that lesson sooner and better than I have. It's hard not to close yourself off to people after a hard good-bye in a string of good-byes. It's emotionally draining.  I kept thinking last night, "It's better to have had a great friend for 8 months, than to never have had one."  It didn't make me feel better, but I'm hoping in the coming days it will.

Okay, sorry, this is a big fat bawl baby post, but this blog is a place for me to process through things.  A place for me to feel like, in some small way, my voice is being heard.  It's mostly for me.  For me to keep track of my days and make sense of things.  So bear with me when I hit these hard times, I'll be back to my sarcastic humorous self in no time. Thanks for reading and doing life with me, it encourages me more than you know!