Friday, July 26, 2013

The balloon bandit

Day 123 (Thursday):

The second and final thing on my non-creative Thailand bucket list was to visit the new mall, the Promenada.  It's grand opening was at the beginning of the month, and 3 weeks later, I'd say there's still 1/2 to 3/4 of the place yet to be finished. But the parts that were open were really nice. They have an import store here, called Rimping, and there's one inside the new mall. It was very well done, pretty upscale...which makes me feel weird to be in there. We also went to see a movie in the new theater. We paid for a ride to the mall with a van that sits outside where we've been staying. He said we could just get a taxi to bring us back. After walking around the outside of the mall we finally found a taxi and they wanted to charge almost double what we'd paid to get there, so we decided to call our original driver back and wait. Well, we waited 30 minutes, and he never came, so my American pride was bruised a little when we had to go back and pay the taxi guy anyway.  All that waiting made us late for dinner at the retreat place too.  Just by 10 minutes, so I guess it'll slide.  After all that, I was worn out, and spent the evening chatting with family, then went to bed fairly early.
Leaving to go to the mall, I quickly regretted these wafey pieces of hair. Not sure what made me think it was a good idea in the first place.  No worries, I fixed them about 7 seconds after I took this picture.

Kees and Daddy racing to the van.

Doug is in the background arranging our ride. Kees is running back to us, so we can chase him.

So ready for this phase to be over, so I can strap this kid in a carseat again.

The new mall, the kids loved those giant balloons.

Kees covering his ears because....

They were popping these balloons one by one and he hates that sound.

Doug thought these wires hanging everywhere were pretty funny.

The mall has two buildings and they are adjoined by these bridges.  The kids loved riding over the construction crew.
One of the main reasons I wanted to go to the mall was to buy Kora new shoes, none of the stores that would sell her size shoes was open yet, except the Crocs store and those were nearly $60. I refuse to pay that kind of money for shoes, especially knowing she will likely outgrow them in a matter of months.  So we came home shoeless.

As many pictures as I do take, there are quite a few times I'm so busy wrangling or chasing Kora that I miss stuff, like the way she got this balloon. The optical place at the mall had them hanging outside their store, Kora ran over and ripped one off the wall, then cried, when I taped it back up and told her she couldn't have it.  The next time we walked by, one of the employees gave it to her.  She knows how to work people, look at that face.
Kees entered the mall with shoes. He kicked them off twice and I told him if he did it again he wouldn't be able to wear them.  Hear me out, some kids would love that, but Kees does not want to have to walk without shoes on. So, we carried him into the taxi (his shoes were in my purse in the trunk), then when he asked for them on the ride home I reminded him why he got them taken away. When we got back to the retreat center he asked very nicely if he could have them back and I gave them back. Hoping he'll remember this next time and not kick his shoes off. :)

Took this one while we waited on the van that never came.

Day 124 (Friday):
Today, the only thing we had scheduled was to pack and swim with some of our friends so we could say good-bye.
Sleepin babies.
 I spent most of the morning, packing, weighing, unpacking, repacking, and weighing our stuff. Most of our stuff is set to go, but the stuff left in the room we are staying in, we are trying to fit into one large suitcase, one rolling carry on, and a back pack.  (Oh, and when Doug was getting the scale out of the truck he found Kora's other shoe, glad we didn't buy any yesterday!)
There are two tiny Tomlinsons hiding under that blanket...giggling.

Watermelon at lunch! We love watermelon, and I feel the need to say the coke was not Kees's, but next week I know Mamaw will be giving him a 44 ouncer if we don't watch her.
Kora went into the kitchen to talk to the ladies that work here.  She also investigated a few things.

Giant wok filled with delicious Pad Thai.

It was nice that our friends came today because I was able to give them some of the stuff we won't be able to take back with us.  I keep reminding myself, we're almost there!  Just keep doing what you can when you can. Doug ended up being able to go run some errands this evening, getting money exchanged and transferred, delivering a few more things, etc.  So that'll make less work for tomorrow.  Okay, there's more pictures, I figured I better throw these in before ending this here they are:
Poolside nap.

Walking around the pool.
Eating our ice cream on the front porch.

Tell you don't want to hug her and I'll call you a liar.

Pudgy hands with drippy chocolate, these are the moments.

She knows how to turn it on, she says, "eeeze"

She loves feeding people.


That puddle keeps growing..

She loves her bubba.
She got the full treatment after that sticky mess, Kees had me keep her in the sink longer so he could prepare the spaceships.

Those are spaceships in those trees. It's Kees's job to land them, and then Kora's job to destroy them. He made this game up on his own and found a way to include Kora. Giving her the job to destroy is always a good idea.

She's satisfied with her work.

Kora destroying dessert.
Kees was so tired at dinner, he kept trying to eat the noodles, he was just really slow and kept his eyes closed.
Silly sleepy boy

Yep, he's making his point.
I'm thankful we are staying at the retreat center because they provide all 3 meals and have been doing our laundry...even ironing every. single. item.  I've been able to focus on packing, processing, praying, and reading.  I thought this week would drag on forever. Hard to believe, this time tomorrow we'll be sitting outside our gate, ready to board a plane to leave.  This was a mutual dream for many, many years.  We never thought it would end after only 2 1/2 years, but we know that stepping out in faith and trusting God is never wrong. I've come to terms with us leaving, but I don't think it will make it "easy". There's still a lot of emotion involved with saying good-bye and a time of transition, seeking God's direction for our next steps.  There have already been so many encouraging things and confirmations.  Each time I struggle or doubt, right around the corner, God lifts me up. He has provided just what we've needed when we've needed it and I know he's not about to stop. He's just getting started! Feeling excited and hopeful.  Ready to hug so many of you that have been with us every step of the way!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apparently HOME is where Richard Gere is...

Day 122 (Wednesday):

I was gonna wait and just do two days worth of blogs tomorrow because that's what I've been doing the last week or so.  I figure I've got a good excuse since I'm moving internationally.  But my mom sent me this...
I could make so many jokes about this photo, but I'm censoring myself, I hope you appreciate that MOM!

How could I pass on an opportunity to share this gem? I could not sleep until I knew this was brightening YOUR day.

Do y'all remember my "home" magnet I said I lost, guess where it ended up? (If you missed that post, you can check it out here.) I guess I took it "home" to my parents house when we had Kora and it never made it back to Thailand.  Not sure why Richard Gere gets top billing, but I guess he ranks somewhere in my mom's world with Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, and Elvis Presley. I think it's because of the movie "Shall We Dance", but I guess Richard Gere is kind of old and there's a good chance my mom "liked" him before I was ever born. (Not gonna lie, I googled him to make sure I was spelling his name right, that's important when you have a name that's often misspelled, anyway, apparently he's the guy in Pretty Woman...who knew?)

Moving on, today, we checked something off my Thailand bucket list, which is actually rather short and not that creative.  One of the two things I was wanting to do before we left was take Kora to the aquarium. We've taken Kees a couple of times and I'd been wanting to take Kora.  So, today we went. They had made a few changes since we were last there and we had such a fun time.  The ride there and back was nightmarish. We borrowed a friend's truck since ours sold already, but after Doug's need for sensory deprivation and general feelings of stress, we decided to just hire a driver so Doug wouldn't have to navigate the crazy traffic.  What he didn't count on was having to navigate the crazy Kora.  You'll have to ask him which is worse. 
Before we left Kora found lipstick, didn't notice she got some in her EAR until later in the day.

I'm gonna leave all my funny observations from today in the comments under the pictures, so be sure and read them. Wouldn't want you to miss all the good stuff.
Notice Doug is holding her shirt so she won't climb up front.

Batman. He wore Superman underwear, can't decide if that makes me an awesome parent or a terrible one.  I'm leaning toward terrible, gonna have to do better about getting the right super hero underwear with the shirt next time.
She has one pair of shoes and we lost one in the move.  Hoping to fix that problem tomorrow.

Getting on the van to go to the aquarium. It's inside the zoo, but we only paid to go to the aquarium, so they drove us straight up there.

The boy.

Kees was excited to find this "magazine" in the van. He kept it. Notice Kora pilfering through stuff in the background.
We stopped to let another family on the van and Kora wanted to jump out so bad.

Do you see the crocodile?

Checking out the turtles.

She tried to stick her hands in the water.


Glad we stopped her. (I'm a little bit teasing, this was a different fish tank, I don't think the other fish would have bit her)

There was a group of ladies behind me that wanted Kora to acknowledge them, that's why Doug is doing the dorky wave.
No matter where we go, Kora is always the main attraction.  I'll miss that. (I think she'll be the main attraction at a few grandparent's places, so at least she won't completely forgo the royal treatment)
She looks too big!


Eating live maggots, highlight of my day.

Checking out a horned toad.

Kora had adverse reactions to 3 things: the spider, this snake, and the sharks.  And before everyone starts claiming it was in response to my reactions, I didn't react, at all, to any of them.

Fact: I love jellyfish, they're gorgeous.
Trying to get a picture...

I love Kees's expression in this one.

I am not even making this up: Kees was afraid because there was a HUMAN in the tank with the fish. What?!?  We explained that he was a friend of the fish and he was feeding them.  He is so funny.
Oh no, it's a human!

This guy is wearing a Dallas Cowboy shirt. If you knew me in junior high and early high school, then you probably know I was a huge fan back in the day. My room was decorated with Dallas Cowboy stuff: curtains, sheets, posters, the works.  Don't track with NFL at all anymore because I'm too busy being a Sooner fan.
Don't eat my babies!

Lady baby.
Outside the aquarium waiting for the van to pick us up. Kees is building up his tolerance to orange soda in preparation for spending time with Mamaw. (That's my dad's mom who lives with my parents, she might actually spoil our kids worse than our parents, but it's hard to say).

The Furama hotel, we stayed here for a few nights after my surgery when I was pregnant with Kora.  They had a bathtub and easy access to lots of food options.  I waved good-bye.

Kora wanted to drive so bad. Doug kept telling her no, so she settled for jabbering and patting the driver.


After we got back, we went to lunch at a duck soup place, one of Doug's favorites. Then, we hung out in our room a couple hours so Kora could nap. After that, we went swimming and our friends the Stewarts came over to hang out one last time and say good-bye. 
At lunch, Kees had to go to the bathroom, can you guess what's behind door number 1?
Kees said, "Oh no, a squatty potty, only Daddy likes these. I don't like this kind!" (When I told Doug this, he laughed)

My noodles, I had pork not duck, but based on the dog's reactions, I'm hoping it was indeed pork.

Doug's duck soup.

Yeah, that's not suspicious.

This restaurant doubles as a barber shop. Lunch and a haircut!

Like father like son, Kees put this mask on and wanted to hide in the dark cabinet. Guess he was wanting a little sensory deprivation too. :)