Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sports Day

Simon's school had Sports Day this week. The parents were told to make sure they saw the opening ceremony at 9:00 a.m. I had an appointment at 10, so I told Simon that we could see the opening ceremony or some sports later. He told us he wanted us to see some sports later, so that's what we did.

After my off-compound appointment I drove my work car back to work and got in our personal car with Johnathan. When we got to the school we had to park on someone's yard because there were cars everywhere.

When we got into the school we found Simon in his blue team shirt with blue paint in his hair and a 2nd place ribbon on his shirt. He told us he got it for playing football (soccer). He almost immediately started asking for us to take him home. It was a really hot day and he was obviously tired. We told him we weren't going home.

The school really went all out for Sports Day. There was a snacks vendor with cakes, cupcakes, and snow cones! We had a cherry snow cone, and it was horrible. Johnathan loved it, though we ate less than half of one. I resisted the very strong urge to have a cake or cupcake. That was not easy at all.

Simon found a shell and wanted to wash it and go to the bathroom. At the end of this long ordeal, I heard the head-teacher calling out for Simon so we rushed outside and he entered a potato sack race. The poor guy was so tired. He did get third place, but I feel like he would have done better if he wasn't so hot and tired.

After that there was a long time that Simon didn't do anything. Johnathan and I decided to go to lunch. I'm not a huge fan of being really hot, or super loud crowds of people. So to have those two things at the same time made me eager to get out of dodge. Simon repeated his desires to leave, and we had to tell him we weren't going home. As we were walking out of the school he was walking to the playground, so I think he ended up being fine.  I wish I had a picture of Simon at Sports Day. I thought I took one with my phone and can't find it.

Then we went and had sushi at Roe, a nice-ish Jamaican restaurant. We need to go again because they have rice-less sushi. It's wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber. We're gonna have to check that out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The big 5!

Last month Simon turned 5!

Johnathan and I agree that 5 is a big year. We wanted him to have a great time, and we asked him what he would want to do. After Malachi's birthday in November, Simon really wanted a Lego Movie party. We told him that he had to do something else. After some consideration he decided that he wanted an Alien birthday. Some friends of ours asked us what movie to show their daughter because she didn't know what an alien was. 

Keeping that in mind, and the fact that some five year old's parents wouldn't even say the word "dead" in front of their kids, we made a kid friendly party. Johnathan designed the party around the idea that the kids were the aliens and they crash landed on Earth. They made eye scanners and then they had to go to our yard and find the parts of their ship that fell from the engine. Then they had to rebuild the engine. The kids had a great time at the party and just like his brother's friends, Simon's friends were disappointed when the games were done. 

Simon's last year was pretty great for him. He finished out his time in the Philippines and enjoyed his summer break in the  U.S. Then in the fall of last year something major happened. He started pre-school! He's really enjoying it too! He's made some close friends, and is enjoying learning. It's amazing what he's learning. He has brought some homework home lately and one of the (hand made) pages that the teacher sent had multiplication on it. 

He's enjoying Jamaica. He loves going to school, and can't wait to go to the big school with his brother in a few months. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bad Mommy

I have been a bad blogger. That, I only feel a little guilty about. But one thing I've been fairly good at on this blog is chronicling my children's birthdays. However, last November someone turned 9 and I failed to document the occasion.

As I sit here and consider the fact that my first born had his last single-digit birthday I get a bit weepy. I so clearly remember much of his early life. His birth was quick and fairly easy. I bawled for 20 minutes straight on his 1st birthday, he thought that was quite funny. His second birthday was surrounded by friends his age, and friends our age. His third was our last in Dallas, though we didn't know it at the time and he had a balloon filled time with his friends. His fourth was our first in the Foreign Service and he loved his fish pinata. His fifth birthday was his first in Costa Rica and surrounded by friends from multiple nations. His sixth celebration was a spy party; he and his friends loved their mission. His seventh party was a haunted-house party that he and his friends delighted in. His eighth birthday was his final in Manila and he celebrated with friends at Lazer Xtreme.

His last single-digit birthday was his first in Jamaica and was a Lego Movie party and movie night. Johnathan did a great job of planning games that the kids really loved. In fact, after it became apparent that we were done with games the children protested. They were not satisfied! Malachi really enjoyed it and that's what matters most.

Malachi had a big ninth year, and an amazing start to his tenth. He finished out second grade at International School Manila. He had a great year with Mr. O'Neel; we all agree that second grade was a major success. He quite enjoyed his time in the US visiting with many friends and family, and enjoying lots of great American food. The move to Jamaica wasn't overly easy, as he was missing his friends in the Philippines. But it wasn't overly hard. This is possibly the easiest transition we've had. His new teachers and principal noticed some difficulties he had in school that other teachers and principals have noticed. We went forward with some testing and figured out how to better serve Malachi in his educational endeavors. His second semester this year has been amazing. He's doing so much better in school, his teachers and principal have only good things to say about him. It's been so great these last couple of months.

In November he's going to be ten. TEN!!! I can't believe my first baby is soon leaving his single-digit living. I'm going to ignore this part of my life as long as possible. Starting right now.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lame title

So, we have been busy. We're a busy bunch (too busy to think of a good title)!

We've been here for five months now. Five months, you say?! That's right! We've now been here a week over five months. It's hard to believe that it's been that long already. In one month, we'll already be done with one-sixth of our time in Jamaica. The other five-sixths have potential to go by very quickly.

So, in case you're wondering what's up...

Out of the six of us, there are only two at home during the day.

Johnathan has been busy managing in the Consular section. He enjoys his job, his co-workers, and his local staff quite a bit. He's continually making me jealous of them because he cooks for his team meetings. His current team isn't very big, and he wonders what he's going to do when he moves to a bigger unit in the section next year. He has an amazing garden growing in our backyard. We're constantly using tomatoes, lettuce, dill, and other things from our garden.

Sara (yeah...I do third person sometimes) has been busy with her Housing Assistant job. For a month, her coworker was on a well-deserved vacation, and she handled the job of two people. Sometimes she did it like a rock-star, but there were times where she wanted to just give up. She's learning that being in the GSO section is hard work. She's learning that she prefers to not work in Management section jobs, but is going to make the best of her situation. She's been playing Dungeons and Dragons on a monthly basis with some friends.

Malachi's second semester is going very well. He's been enjoying school more, has more friends, and is even enjoying math this semester (this kid really gets fractions!). This semester his after-school activities include Lego-Yuh Mind Robotics, and he's continuing his private drum lessons. He's been rocking the Skylanders game on the Xbox, as well as the Lego Movie game.

Simon is killing it in pre-school this semester. He brought home some homework last week and was so excited to do it. In fact, on Monday he asked Johnathan to make him some homework (I think he wants to be like his brother - we'll see how long this lasts). His birthday is coming up soon and he'll be five - yes, five! As crazy as that sounds, it's true. He's asked for an alien-themed birthday party. So we're trying to trying to figure out an alien-themed birthday party for kids who may not know what aliens are.

Coen stays home with Lucy and chills out with her. He plays on his own, as well as helps her in the yard, or in the house. He loves to help anyone with their task. Last night he wanted to help me with dinner, but I was dealing with a very hot pot of food, that was splattering. The answer was no. Poor Coen. He's so excited to go to school this fall. I had been worried about him and going to school. He has introvert tendencies, and at someone's birthday party wouldn't sit at the table to eat with all the other kids. I thought - how is he going to go to school?! But I think he'll do well. He's been wanting to go for so long, that I think he'll jump right in.

Lucy is doing well. She has a church community that she likes, and she has two close friends. On Sundays sometimes she goes to the mall with her friends for lunch and shopping. She's also often on the phone with friends in the Philippines. She seems to be happy, and I really hope she continues to be.

Everyone has been struggling with allergies and colds to some degree. I hope that as the rainy season ends we'll have fewer sicknesses (and fewer mosquitos!).

We're liking it in Jamaica and are looking forward to the next five-sixths of our time here (sorry for the lack of photos - we're too busy living life to take them!).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Routine Stuff (mostly)

So, every week I'm in a meeting for my section at work. It's the unit heads in the section, plus a few other special people. I'm not a unit head. Apparently I'm special. When we're at the meeting and someone doesn't have anything to contribute they usually say something along the lines of "Just routine stuff."

And that's how I feel about my blog. Our life is mostly routine stuff right now. This is part of the reason why I haven't blogged much lately. The other reason is that we're busy. We're really busy, but it's with work, and school, school activities, and seeing friends, and day-trips to the beach (today we went to a beach that's only about 45 minutes from home, it's not super-nice, but I've been to worse (and it's only 45 minutes from home!).

We did something that is both routine, and not routine. John and I went to Negril (the farthest resort town from home (only 3.5-4 hours away, seriously...if you love beaches, you must live in Jamaica)) to celebrate our anniversary. Last week we'd been married for 13 years (we've been together now for over 17 years - what?!). It's amazing to me that he's stuck with me for that long. This is not routine, because it's not common for us to ask my in-laws to come down for 10 days so that we can go away for six nights. It is routine because we have celebrated the last five anniversaries on an island. True - the last two have been on an island that we've lived on, but they're still islands! 

My  view on of my days.
Most other days looked similar to this.

Another thing we're doing right now that's not routine (but still sort of is), is Malachi getting his Epilepsy testing done. This year we're doing blood (routine), EEG (routine), and MRI (not routine). We've taken the blood ( it was actually pretty torturous for him), and we did the MRI yesterday - yay for Saturday hours! This was his third MRI, and the first I've been in. He went under for his first one - and I was pregnant. John went in for the second one - because I was pregnant. This time I wasn't pregnant, so I went with him. I expected the noise, but I wasn't expecting him to have a hard time with it. But the machine is big - and really, really noisy. He had ear plugs, and then two layers of padding outside of his ears. He got really nervous, and about ten minutes in he started crying from the ear plugs. He said they hurt. The technician (who was amazing with Malachi), fixed him up and Malachi made it the last 40 minutes like a champ. He was so brave, and mature. I was so proud of him.

Tuesday he's going in for the EEG. We have to sleep deprive him, so he'll sleep. The sleep deprivation won't have to be too strict. This kid falls asleep almost every morning on the bus.

Other than our vacation, and Malachi's somewhat routine Epilepsy testing, life is "just routine stuff,"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Awesome Weekend

Satruday we went to John's boss's house for a party they were having for some (all?) of the newcomers. It was a BBQ/pool party. We brought the kids' swim stuff and let them get in the pool. Unfortunately for the people who were there for the BBQ it started raining - hard. It did stop long enough for most of us to eat, but then started up again. I sat at the table that the Deputy Chief of Mission (currently the Charge d'Affairs because we can't get our Ambassador confirmed) and her husband sat at. It was fun to talk to her, it was all very easy, she's nice. It's so nice to be at a smaller post again where the mood is calmer and less formal. We left the party after Coen (the youngest) pulled a candle down and got wax all over his head. Well, we left after the Consul General's wife, Lucy, and I cleaned most of it out of his hair. But of course, it was raining. So Malachi started crying because he didn't want to get wet after he'd dried off from swimming in the pool. We were a tired bunch at that point. :)

Sunday we all got up and moving early. We had a plan to go to a beach at a resort called Frenchman's Cove. There was a large group on a bus, but we decided to drive. And I'm really glad we did. Our drive was about half the time of the bus. On the way Coen had to poop, so Johnathan stopped and took him to the grass on the side of the road to poop, but Coen just cried and wouldn't poop. So then we got back in the car and when we were about 30 minutes from our destination Simon vomited. We thought this might happen because he did it on the way down from Baguio (a small city in Northern Luzon (the island we lived on in the Philippines)). So we came prepared with bags and wipes. However, Lucy couldn't get the bag to Simon quick enough because she was holding Coen who was sleeping on her. Luckily for us (less so for Lucy), Lucy brought a blanket and it caught most of the vomit. Eventually she got him the bag, Johnathan stopped and he finished in that. We cleaned him, Lucy, and the car up a bit and then made it to our destination.

I couldn't help myself. 

And it was wonderful. The beach at the resort was small, but beautiful. The sand was white and fine. There were only tiny little shells that didn't hurt to walk on. It wasn't a rocky beach, only some seaweed toward the shore. Beyond that, it was glorious. Next to the beach was the mouth of a river. The river runs right to the ocean, and at the mouth of it, is another little cove with very shallow water (except a tiny spot that's deeper than I am tall), that was perfectly calm and perfect for the kids to play in. So that's what they did. They spent hours in the mouth of that river. They loved it.

The dark part under the tops of the trees is where
the mouth of the river was. 

Since we were at a resort, there were waiters and we had access to their restaurant and bar. The food wasn't half bad, and the rum punch was good! We were there with quite a few friends, and it was a really good time. The bus left and then we left, and we took a different route home. The kids all slept for a while, and then after waking up I was scared that Simon would get sick. He didn't though! He lasted the whole way home and the whole evening without vomiting (woohoo!). I felt especially good because I was the one who drove home.

Look at the beautiful colors! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Busy, busy, busy

My silence the last three weeks is not due to being unhappy (my usual reason for staying quiet), but for actually being very happy with my schedule. We're definitely in the swing of things in the Roy home.

Have you seen or heard the Pharell Williams song called Happy? If you haven't you're missing out. The overall message of the song is perfect for me, and I'm clapping along right now, for sure.

My alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m., our ride gets here before 6:30, and we get home between 4:30 and 4:45. Some days I don't take my lunch 'til after 2:00 because work is so busy. My job is great, and I'm so happy I have it. Being able to work is one reason why I'm so happy these days. I love feeling like I'm contributing to the family this way. I'll be honest with you here, I'm a much happier person when I work. The time I spend at home after work is much more quality than if I'd stayed home.

Malachi has after-school activities almost every day of the week. Those days his ride and our ride arrive at almost the same time. I give him a bit of time to play and then he has to start his homework. A break from that for dinner, and then more homework. Then shower, maybe time with us to chill and then it's bed time. I usually have time to watch an episode or two of whatever John and I are watching at the time and then it's time for bed.

And I've been happy. Very happy. I felt like smiling on the way home from work on Friday. It would probably have freaked out the motor pool driver because I was the only one on the shuttle that evening, so I didn't, but I could have. I've been that happy.

On a side note: I just entered "happy" as one of my labels for this post and was sad to see that it's the first time I've used that label in the almost seven years I've had this blog. Maybe that should change. (sings) Because I'm happy...