Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I think I’m going to get used to disappointment here. I hope I become better at taking it than I am now.

I hate it when I make plans and they get cancelled. No matter what the reason, I really hate it.

Today I was going to go out at 10:30, drop off the littles at a friend’s house and bring Malachi to the Medical Unit for his school physical. After I dropped him off with the same friend the littles were with, I was going to join John at the Consulate and have lunch with him, after which we were going to go do our GSO and CLO briefings.

But it’s rainy season in Manila. And there is a lot of rain lately. And apparently last night there was so much rain that the area by the Embassy is flooded.

After thinking that my husband was at work I got a call from his office sponsor and found out that the Embassy is closed. I waited for John to come home. But instead he called to say that he was at his desk because they weren’t informed that it was officially closed on the way to the office. In order to get there, they got out of the their car and walked. They ran into flood water, so they walked around the flood water and got into the Embassy by going through scaffolding and a construction area. That’s when they were informed that it’s officially closed.

The ride that I assumed I had, I no longer had. So, even though the building that the Medical Unit is in was in an area that’s not flooded, I no longer had a way to get there. Also, the briefings that I was going to go to, were surely cancelled.

So, in one ten minute phone call, my day unraveled. As previously stated, I hate when that happens.

I know I’ve only been at Post a week (it’s one week today), but already I wish I was getting out more. I was very much looking forward to today (my hair and makeup were done before 8 today). And now I’m disappointed.

There’s no one to blame. It’s no one’s fault that the rainy season takes its toll on the ground here. But it sucks. And it sucks for my husband who will have to walk in-land (the Embassy is right on the water) and then catch a taxi. And it sucks for him that he got the brunt of my crabbiness because I didn’t want to throw it at my kids, and he was the nearest target.

I hope his shoes don’t get ruined.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The boys at home in Manila


Sorry about the poor quality. My flash was only on for one photo. The boys are still really cute though!

Coen: Oo! A camera!

Oo! A camera!

I’ll come play with it!

I'll come play with it!

Simon: Come here, Brother!

Coen: um…

Simon: Come here! Coen: um...

Coen: Ok, I guess.

Simon: I love you, Brother!

Coen: ok...I guess. Simon: I love you brother!

Coen: Your love hurts!

Coen: Your love hurts!

Coen: That’s better.

Simon: TV.

Coen: that's better. Simon: tv.

Coen: I wonder if that’s finger tastes as good as he’s making it out to.

Coen: I wonder if that finger tastes as good as he makes it look.

Malachi: Yeah…I know I’m awesome. I’m totally

rockin’ the hair.

Malachi: I know I look awesome.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 4

So I’ve had some fun writing the first three days in different styles. I was feeling creative yesterday when I woke up at 2:40. One of the first things I thought was, “She woke up at 2:40 a.m.” That’s when I decided to write it that way. The entries are long though, and now that I have internet I have less time to spend writing such long entries. Also I’m sure that for anyone but the ladies in my family it’s boring.

So, for my first Saturday I’m going to do a quick (as quick as possible) summary.

Woke up at 4:00 a.m. rejoicing that I slept that late, did the math, only slept 5 ½ hours. I hope I can sleep longer  tonight. I laid in bed for 40 minutes trying to go back to sleep and give up.
Malachi got up at 5 and the littles at 5:30. Everyone slept in! I let John sleep in and he gets up at about 6:30.

I skyped with our nanny from Costa Rica and my mom. After breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast, we head to the pool. We enjoy the pool for about an hour before going in so I can warm up.
Coen goes down for a nap and we get ready to head to S & R. I call the maid that came over the other day to see if she’ll come watch the kids so John and I can go together. She says she’ll be over at 11. 
Our sponsor says he’ll be over at 11.

11:00 comes, as does 11:10, 11:20, 11:30, and 11:40. We don’t have our sponsor’s phone number and when I try the maid’s number I can’t reach her. At 11:43 our sponsor shows up in a taxi because his car is being worked on.

We decide that we want to go together and bring the kids. After arriving and getting our membership, $25/year, we thank our sponsor for bringing us and watching the kids and release him since we’ll take a while. We weave through the store doing conversions and dropping our jaws to the floor when we realize how expensive things are. We start making a list of things that we’ll have to buy online.  

The kids become unbearable, so I take the littles to get lunch and get us four slices of pizza and a hot dog. John finishes the shopping and checks out. During the shopping we were concerned about putting all of our stuff in a taxi and getting it home. It was a lot of little stuff (S & R has normal sized items!). I was super excited to see that S & R has bags! We spent $450. It’s expensive to fill a home with stuff.

We get home, and while John unloads the taxi, I put the littles down for their nap. I putz around and then set my alarm for 4:30 and go to sleep. At 6:30 John wakes me for dinner. Either I slept through my alarm or my phone died. 

John has made spaghetti, which was a big fail. Not due to his cooking, but due to my choice in Spaghetti sauce. Philippino sweet style sauce in the bag was so bad I didn’t eat it, Malachi was gagging at the smell in the kitchen, and Simon wouldn’t touch it. John tried it and didn’t like it. Coen ate it, but he’ll eat almost anything, especially if it’s not good for you. Malachi was sent to bed when he couldn’t even be in the kitchen and not gag.

I cleaned, John did something, and the littles played. At about 8:00 they went to bed. Since then I’ve been doing laundry, writing for my blog, and putzing around. John’s looking online for ideas for furniture to be made. Besides the super stressful visit to S & R it’s been a really good first Saturday at Post.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Her 3rd Day

She wakes up at about 2:40 a.m. for the second morning in a row. She thinks to herself, again, that she needs to try to stay up later that night so she can sleep later the next morning. Getting about six hours of sleep is normal for her, but waking up so early takes a toll on the body and mind.

Her oldest son, who is six, wakes up at 3:00 a.m. and sneakes into her bedroom, scaring her. She whispers to him to meet her in the TV room and as she slips on some yoga pants, he runs quietly down the hallway that is beautifully made of Philippino wood, down the only two stairs in the house, and into the room currently being used for the TV. She grabs her magazines and laptop and after closing her bedroom door to allow her husband more time to rest, meets her son who has already started a movie.

At or around 3:30 a.m. her middle child awakens crying desperately. She runs to him to try to let her husband sleep and find out what is wrong. She picks him up and hugs him instead of trying to comfort him in bed. She also notices that her youngest child is moving around in the tent that is being used as his bed until a crib can be delivered to her house. She brings the two of them into the room with the TV and closes the door again.

After the first movie finishes, she starts a second one for the children. After what feels like quite a while she opens the door and goes to the kitchen to find the sippy cups for the two younger children, who she affectionately calls “the littles.” She notices on the oven clock that it’s 5:27 and after a few more minutes in the TV room sneaks into her bedroom and finds her husband awake.

After checking with the husband she showers in the bathroom that the littles share because she still doesn’t have a shower rod in her bathroom and the first bathroom she used wasn’t working out.

She joins her family in the kitchen for breakfast and helps her husband organize a few things before going outside to sweep some of the leaves, flowers, and grass off the short driveway and out of the car port. She notices that though it’s not a hot yet, the humidity is causing sweating for her and the littles who have joined her outside.

After her husband leaves for work she spends her time occupying the kids and playing referee. 

Everyone in the house is getting to be crabby and by 9:00 a.m. she decides that the littles are both going down for a morning nap instead of just the youngest. Then after the oldest child is disappointed that his new friend can’t play he starts crying, and can’t stop, she decides that a morning nap is a good idea for him as well. 

She reads her magazine and waits for the doorbell to ring indicating that someone is there with a crib or there to install cable and internet. She decides that she’s going to fall asleep if she continues this way and gets up to write her blog. One of the men from the cable company calls to indicate that they’re on the way and will be there in thirty minutes; ten to fifteen minutes later they arrive.

As she writes, she realizes that in five minutes she needs to wake up the kids, and thinks that this break has been too short but if she lets them sleep long in the morning, then they can’t sleep long in the afternoon. She knows that she wants them to sleep long in the afternoon, so she can get a bit of a nap as well.

The doorbell rings. She runs to it excitedly, eager to see if it’s the crib she’s been waiting for, or if it’s the cable guys. It’s the cable guys! She shows them where she wants internet and cable and lets them work. After 10 minutes the men from the embassy come with a crib, a fifth chair for the kitchen table, and a microwave.

The cable guys can’t get the TV to work in the living room. They tell her to call customer service about that. They get the TV to work in the room the TV was originally in. She patiently waits for the internet to start working.

The internet starts working two and a half hours after they arrive at the house and she rejoices unabashedly and starts connecting with family and friends again.

After feeding the kids lunch and putting the kids to sleep, she cleans up and lays down to read. Her oldest son decides that he doesn’t want to nap and lies to her and says that he already has. They go to the TV room together and she uses the internet again while he watches the Disney channel, or some think like that.

The rest of her afternoon is a bit of a blur because she’s so happy to have internet and TV that she’s not counting every minute any more.

After her husband gets home from work she gets ready to go shopping with her middle child. She has asked her friend from DC if she can borrow her friend’s driver and car to go to the store. She loads the middle child’s car seat and the child into the car and sets off for the first time since arriving at Post.

She’s proud of herself for the trip, but is overwhelmed by the amount of people that are there. She goes home later than she wanted, but quickly feeds her son his sandwich and chips and puts him to bed. She enjoys the internet more while her husband is enjoying the massage in their bedroom. When he comes into the office with the massage drunk look, she heads to the bedroom in anticipation of a massage to help relieve stress from the last three months of travel and transition.

She enjoys the best massage she’s ever had. She considers this thoroughly as to not say it lightly and after considering it for quite a while, during and after the massage, she can honestly say that it’s the best massage she’s ever had. She schedules the masseuse once a week.

She enjoys some reading and falls asleep, two hours later than the previous two nights.

Reflections on Day 2

Written on 7/26/12

You don’t have paperwork for your new home alarm and you don’t know the code, so you alert the whole neighborhood to that fact. You call RSO and they have an FSN call you back and when you can’t work together over the phone to fix it, the FSN will come out and tell you that the batteries are low. You will consider asking if he replaced the batteries, or is going to, but decide not to and wonder why after he left.

If the smoke alarm goes off in your kids’ room at 4:30 a.m. they will wake up. You’ll be really happy the kids slept that late and wonder how late they would have slept until if that hadn’t happened.

You’ll allow your children to watch a movie after your husband goes to work his first day. Then another movie, and then they’ll start the first movie again. You’ll allow it because what else are they going to do when you don’t have much in your house except dangerous appliances and a few small toys they brought in the plane?

You’ll ask your sponsor if his maid knows someone who can come watch the kids while you go somewhere that has wifi. You’ll go to your sponsors’ house to use the internet (because you have a good sponsor within walking distance that gave you a key to their house and also sent his maid to watch the kids). You’ll forget to bring your wallet, so you can’t shop. You’ll forget to write down what you went there for in the first place, and you’ll rush home worried that something is going wrong at the house/with the kids.

You’ll put clothes on the kids, get them in the strollers, and go outside to go explore and then are approached by your sponsor’s maid with a friend whose employers are on R&R and can iron your husband’s shirts (because you are not great at it and don’t want to do it). You’ll ask said maid if she’d go on the walk first and then come to the house promising payment for as much time as you have her. 

Then you’ll look down the road to see a very white family walking down the road smiling.

You'll meet the other EFM and her kids who live about a five minute walk from your house, and are coming over to bring cookies and introduce themselves. You invite them on the walk and then are instead invited back to their house where there are toys and there is air conditioning (which of course there is not outside). You eagerly accept their invitation, and smile when you realize that your six year old is already talking excitedly with your new friend’s kids. You ask if it’s ok to bring the maid that now seems to be following you where ever you’re going to take her.

You'll go over to the house and somehow two hours go by in which your new friend has made lunch for you and your kids and you’ve bonded over shared experiences in the Foreign Service. You leave at nap time and bring the maid and your kids home. You finally set up the maid to iron your husband’s shirts and notice that she’s doing a much better job than you did at 5:30 a.m. that morning.

You'll put your kids to bed and then get some more organization done. You then sit down and start blogging and wonder if the first half of the day is taking so long to write about…how long will it take to finish the rest of the day?  

**six hours later**

You’ll let your children watch more movies after their naps (which you woke them from after three hours had gone by) to make sure everyone stays happy.

You’ll jump off the couch when the doorbell rings announcing the arrival of your husband from his first day of work.

You’ll discuss your days with each other and decide to order Hungarian for dinner after making the kids sandwiches. You’ll call City Delivery after many tries and wrong numbers and after calling the restaurant directly and them telling you to call the delivery service. You think you ordered the right thing, but you think it’s possible that the wrong thing will come.

You’ll put the kids to bed and then a few minutes later you’ll receive the order and not tip. Then you’ll wonder if you were supposed to tip and hope that the delivery guy understands that you’re a newbie. Especially since you didn’t even know what a centigram was.

You’ll pull out the Hungarian food to realize that you indeed did not make yourself clear and that your husband has less food than he wants. You will selfishly eat all of your own food only giving him one bite.

You’ll clean up dinner, and then watch as your husband starts to clean the pool and while getting him a towel decide to go in with him.

After swimming you desire a warm shower (it is rainy season here, and the pool is a bit chilly), but you almost flood the guest bathroom that you’re using until you get a shower rod for your shower and decide to forget it.

Then you sit down to blog.

No? You won't do all of that on your second day at Post? Oh…must just be me.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 1 (randomness from day 1 at post)

(written on Wednesday 7/25/12 at 8:00 p.m.)

We arrived at our house today. Doing a rest stop and two days of leave in Tokyo first was a wonderful idea. Though we’re not over jet lag, we’ve made a lot of progress and the kids napped shortly after we came from the airport.

The house is big! It’s by far the biggest that we’ve ever lived in. There’s a hallway that runs from the front door to Malachi’s bedroom that is the longest hallway we’ve seen in a house. Almost all the rooms are big, and the one that isn’t big, is still sizable. The kitchen has room for a table and we’re thinking of having an island made to make up for the lack of counter space.

There is a ton of storage space here! Every bedroom has a closet, and the office/guest room has a large built-in. There’s a walk-in closet in the kitchen as well as a fun pantry in the wall that’s a bit mysterious. There are even two large closets in the hallway! There’s no lacking for space for my towels in this house!

There’s no crib! Oops. This is my fault. I meant to request from housing to have a crib in one of the rooms instead of a bed, and I forgot. This is going to be one of John’s jobs tomorrow. Hopefully they can fulfill this request quickly. Coen isn’t a huge fan of the tent that we have (soooo glad we have the tent!).

The laundry room is outside. This bothers me, but hopefully I won’t be doing much of my own laundry after a little bit. I’m going to call the internet company tomorrow and I’d love to have internet before the weekend.

I gave a very short list of groceries for the sponsor to buy, and I know for next time to make it a bit longer. During the boys’ naps John went out to get some things at a store that’s within walking distance. Though it wasn’t overwhelming for him, it was a bit much, and unfortunately the store he went to didn’t have fabric softener. Bummer.

Our sponsor had us over for dinner. His wife arrives tomorrow from R&R so it was just him and his college-aged daughter. Their nice people and about a 3 minute walk from our house. It’s nice to have Embassy families this close.

There’s good security in the village (gated community) that we live in. I doubted it when I saw pictures, but I don’t anymore.

I really like my house. Though I would be even happier if there was one more room (family room would be awesome), it’s so much space and we’re very happy with it.

The kids were ready for bed by 6:00 tonight. It made dinner a bit hard and frustrating. They were in bed before 8:00 and fell asleep very quickly.

Everyone is happy to be finally in one place for a while. Although, Simon has asked a few times today if we’re going to a train, or a plane. I don’t know if he gets that we’re home.

I love that we’re home. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Better Mood

I’m excited for the next week. Our car was taken today. That was the last thing that needed to happen here. We leave on Saturday for our mini-vacation in Tokyo. John’s been planning a super fun time there, and has even gotten a babysitter for one night, so the parents can have a night out. This is super special to me, I miss having dates with him.

We found out that we’re going straight to our own house!! This is super exciting news. Thanks to the previous tenants leaving post early, they were able to do what was necessary before we arrive. Our sponsors live just one road over from us, so we’ll be walking over to their house for dinner that night. Learning these things makes the arrival more exciting for me.

Today and tomorrow John and I are trying to fill our time, and well…keep the kids occupied. Today we took the metro over to Ballston Mall and had Noodles & Co. for the last time. It’s not an especially amazing place to eat, but you know what? ALL of my kids eat there. That is not an easy thing to do! Because of that it’s high on our list of places that we will go to.

Tomorrow we’re going downtown to see some memorials. Ones that we didn’t make it to last time we lived here, and have only driven by this time. After naps we’ll be doing final Skype visits with people.
Right now, I’m in a good mood. Let’s see how we’re feeling on Sunday after our trip to Japan. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

So much to blog about...

...so little motivation.

It's curious that my motivation has been lacking since blogging has proved to be therapeutic for me. However, my energy has been going to being the stay-at-home mom to the three amazing boys we have.

I feel like they've enjoyed their time in D.C. Unfortunately because of the ages of the littles it's hard to do too much without another adult around. So, we haven't been in the pool a lot. We haven't been downtown much to go to museums, and we have spent a lot of time in the apartment. It's not how I planned spending our month in the area, but it's how we've stayed safe and (mostly) sane.

We have pack out on Monday and then they're taking our car on Thursday. I think I will miss my car more than my other Earthly possessions. I'm absolutely in love with it. If you're shopping for something for a family take a look at the Mazda CX-9, it's awesome.

We leave for Asia shortly after that. I say Asia because we're doing a rest-stop and a couple days of leave in Tokyo first. We're staying at The New Sanno because we're on orders, and it's saving us a ton of money. Probably enough to eat while we're there. 

We're hoping to go straight to our house when we arrive in Manila, but we probably won't. I hope we get into it before our UAB arrives, but I'm not convinced we will.

I miss my family. I haven't seen them in over a month. And I won't see them for a long time. I fear that all of the moving around is hurting the children. I know that these feelings are normal for people in transition, so I'm trying to push through them. However, it's difficult to do. Today we said goodbye to John's parents, and they were saying they may not make it over until next November. We've never gone so long without seeing them.

We think we're going to like Asia, and so we think we may be spending many years there in the future. I'm wondering if it's going to be harder than I thought to live so far from the States.

I got a job at the Embassy. I'll be taking finger prints of the visa applicants. It's supposed to be mind-numbing, it sounds perfect.

School starts in about six weeks. I hope I do well.

My thoughts have been random. I have many more running through my head ready to make it to the blog, but alas, I have run out of time.