Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cleaning and not Letting the Toddlers Kill Themselves

I hate housework! I hate trying to do housework when there are toddlers running around putting themselves in danger ever 35 seconds. It’s very difficult to get anything done. Somehow I was able to work for about an hour yesterday afternoon before John got home so he didn’t come home to a complete wreck. I even got two of three kids to help out.

Today is Holy Thursday and a Federal holiday which means that at 6:30 a.m. my husband is sleeping in instead of eating breakfast. So I plan on making him take care of children while I clean floors and bathrooms. I should think about changing sheets and washing them all. Who doesn’t love clean sheets?! [edit: I’ve already stripped the beds and started washing sheets. There’s been a break in writing due to people getting up.]

This week without helpers has had its ups and downs. I feel that I’ve grown closer to Coen, but I wonder if it’s too close. Last night at dinner, he wasn’t happy (read: crying) when John sat next to him, but when he got up and left the room, and I sat down he was fine. I understand that he was tired and hungry, but his daddy’s a better parent than I am, it was surprising.

Simon’s modeling session went really well. Coen went to a friend’s house and was unhappy about it and crying for mommy. Simon was a total ham, though, and ate up all the attention and gave the photographer a lot of good photos. The marketing manager from the department store was very pleased with him. That was great to see. She was the one he needed to impress the most. Filipinos love my kids and their blonde hair. Now, we’ve finally put it to work.

About an hour in a half into the shoot when they were doing another wardrobe change, Simon started to become difficult. They had a coach though, and after wardrobe got him changed, she got him to do the work. I left the room for a while to sit and rest because just watching him work was exhausting for me.

I can’t wait to see what comes out of the session. I imagine seeing him on a big billboard (there are some very large ones here). It would be awesome if it would happen while some guests are here, but I don’t think it will happen that fast.

Speaking of someone being here. We have four days left until our first guests arrive. We’re getting very excited about their arrival, and hope their travel is “quick” and safe.

I’m off to clean! Have a good holiday weekend, all!

Sunday, March 24, 2013


We have the house to ourselves for a week. We’ll probably have a gardner here tomorrow(he’ll need to make sure he gets paid). Oh, and our pool man will come on Monday and Wednesday morning for an hour.

Other than that…no helpers (It’s a good thing I don’t work yet. otherwise, what would I do with two little kids?!). No guests. No body but us. But that doesn’t last for long. Starting next weekend we’ll have guests for almost a month straight. And after a brief respite another guest for three weeks.

I’m quite excited for guests. We’ll have been here for eight months by the time our first guests arrive. I can’t remember the last time I went eight months without seeing someone from the States (from my past, mind you. of course I see plenty of people at the Embassy). It must be years.

But without helpers until after our first guests arrive, it means we’ll be cleaning. If you know me even a little bit, you’ll know that there isn’t much I hate more than cleaning. Strangely enough, I don’t mind going to a friends to help out if they’re unable to do it themselves. And I don’t mind the floors actually (I’ve liked doing floors since I got my Oreck vacuum as a wedding present.), but this is a large house full of toilets and showers and so many things that collect dust. Luckily I have two other able bodied people in the house to clean with me. I’m sure the guests will just be happy to be done with their 30-ish hours of travel, and to see their son and grand children.

Tomorrow, Simon has his first photo shoot. Oh, have we not told you? Simon’s doing a photo shoot tomorrow for the biggest retailer in the Philippines. He and Coen were scouted at Burger King on Simon’s birthday. Now Simon’s with a talent agency and will get paid and possibly be on billboards or something.

Then in October Malachi and Simon will be in a runway show. Coen isn’t being pursued yet. We think it’s because he doesn’t have much hair. It’s really too bad because he’s so cute.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mint Cream Oreos

And Haribo gummy bears.

And Count Dracula cereal.

And half a pharmacy of cold/flu medicine.

And Easter candy.

And Easter eggs.

And clothes.

And shoes for kids.

Oh…and husband (the best one).

All those things came off a plane from Guam today. It was by far the best day of the week.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Last But NOT Least

There is a dearth of blogging about my third child on this blog. It makes me sad. I really hope that he doesn’t care later in life. He has no medical condition that I need to write about for therapy, and he’s just entering the age where he gives me good blog fodder. I really hope that he doesn’t think that it reflects how I feel about him.  

I love Coen. He’s going to be two in a few months and I’m not looking forward to him growing up. He’s amazing how he is and I want him to stay this age forever!

He talks way more than either of his brothers did at his age. His vocabulary is astonishing. He has standard words like daddy, bye bye, hi, etc. But he’s got some cute Coenisms that I’d love to share.

He struggles with the word mommy. So he says “moni (mah-nee),” which is also what he calls money and monkeys. It used to bother me that he doesn’t say the word right, he used to be able to say mommy just fine. However, now I like it. It’s something neither of his brothers did, and it reminds me of my nickname in World of Warcraft which was Moni, short for Monicola.

He calls almost all drinkable liquids “apple juice.” He just recently started calling other juices, “juice.” But water, milk, and most other drinks are “apple juice.”

“Ate Moni (Ah-tae Mah-nee).” Once in a while he’ll pull this one out. Ate is a Filipino word used for older people in the family, sisters, aunts, yayas. But not mommies. Mommies are just mommy. The yayas think it’s so funny when he says this.

Coen is also athletic. He runs after his brothers as fast as his little legs will take him. Since he’s only 16 months younger than Simon, he’s not much shorter. Therefore once his coordination improves he won’t be behind Simon much at all. He’s only a bit behind him, as it is.

He loves to play outside. Once released from a door it’s an international incident to get him back inside before he’s ready. It usually takes proper motivation to get him back in. Usually food works.

Coen will eat almost anything you put in front of him. We stopped giving him baby food and bottles at 10 months. He was done with them, and that was fine with us. Since he started eating from the table at such a young age, he’s the least picky eater of them all. I really wish we’d done this with Simon too.

Since he’ll be two in a few months, there’ll be another similar post in a few months. But since he’s super cute and starting to provide more blog fodder, hopefully you’ll hear more about him before then.


Playing with the water table he got for Christmas. After this slip ‘n slide adventure we put down towels around it instead of just one side.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Malachi’s school is having International Day tomorrow. The students are dressing in costumes from around the world, and bringing foods from their native land.

Translation: I’ve been told that I need to provide should bring cheeseburgers to his class at 7:30 a.m. This was what he requested. My close friend also has a 1st grader who also requested cheeseburgers. She has five kids and is smart and is doing it the easy way because…well…it’s easy…and she has five kids! So she’s picking up McD’s.

I have mommy guilt when I do things the easy way. So, to assuage myself (because come on…we all know that my 1st grader would prefer the McD’s too, this was all about me), I decided to make them. S&R stocks King’s Hawaiian Rolls, so I picked up a pack. We have a bag of Angus Beef patties in the freezer. So I grilled four, added cheese, cut them into quarters put them in the buns, added ketchup and stuck a toothpick with pickle attached through it all (disclaimer: the pickle was John’s brilliant idea. even from Guam he has good ideas). I have zero mommy guilt, and am actually very pleased with myself. And I did almost all of the work!

I mean come on…what’s the point of having help if you’re not going to have them help?! She cut the buns.

Here’s a picture of the final product, all ready to go to school in the morning.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Malachi’s Meds

Malachi started having seizures when he was three. Since then he’s been on anti-seizure medicine(s).

He started having allergies when we lived in Costa Rica. He took some meds there, but we got lazy about it. He’s restarted allergy meds here.

Here’s a picture of what he’s taking (in the evenings) right now:

Photo: Malachi's current meds. To be featured on tonight's blog entry.

(from the left) 1/2 a Zyrtec pill, one chewable singulair, 2 capsules of 250mg Valproic Acid (which he takes simultaneously, he’s amazing), 4 mL of Levitiracetam (more commonly known as Keppra).

His mornings are just one capsule of Valproic Acid and 3 mL of Levitiracetam. He’s at 3 in the morning because we’re starting the weaning process. We were at 4 mL in the morning as well.

This is a little scary for me. There’s risk of a seizure during the time of adjustment. I feel like a seizure would be less scary for me now than it used to be. I understand more about his brain, and I know that any seizure that he goes through hasn’t harmed him, even the 20 minute one. I feel that we’d be able to handle any short seizure activity here.

The part that is scary is long seizure activity. The ambulances here are less than reliable. The CLO actually told us to skip the ambulance and take ourselves to the ER if we need to go. For most of the day the traffic is a bit crazy. Getting to an ER to stop a seizure could take us 30-45 minutes, or more if it’s rush hour. If it’s 12:00 a.m. it could go fast, but I’ve actually been in traffic jams at that time.

We have our dosage here of valium to try to stop a seizure. It worked in Costa Rica but he was still having partials. Even the extra valium from the ambulance there didn’t stop them.

So what I’m hoping for is no seizure activity. Especially nothing that requires an ER visit. His school is fairly close to one of the best ER’s though, and they have their own ambulance. So maybe it would be best for him if it happened at school.

I digress.

It’s a slow weaning process. We are taking out one mL of medicine every two weeks. Today we did 3mL in the morning, 4 in the evening. In two weeks we’ll do 3mL/3mL. Two weeks after that we’ll do 2mL/3mL, etc.

So this is the beginning of what could be nothing but removal of one med (yay!). Or it could be the beginning of another batch of seizures (boo). The neurologist said that his level of Valproic Acid is high though. And our neurologist in CR said that it’s one of the oldest and most successful anti-seizure meds around. With all of that knowledge I’m only a little scared.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Simon’s 3!

In February Simon turned 3. We had a few of his friends (and their siblings) over to play with balloons and eat a (poorly made) airplane cake.


Someone asked if it was an alligator (whatever, I’m not the artistic one. he’s lucky he got an airplane cake)

Simon had a great time, and the next day asked about his next birthday.

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Showing off a bit of jelly bean in the teeth and his phat lewt on Easter morning ‘12

Simon’s 3rd year of life proved challenging for us parents. Simon is strong willed and outspoken. He’s been potty training and refuses to poop on the potty (still), in fact he holds the poop in for days at a time. His record is 12 days without pooping. He throws multiple fits daily, however, a threat of a time out usually calms him down.

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He loves playing on the tablets. Seen here with his Costa Rican nanny.

Simon’s full of awesomeness, too. He’s very loving. He loves his family members and will show them. He’s very neat! He can make a big mess, but he likes to clean it up. Recently I caught him putting clothes in a hamper without prompt. Once when I told Malachi to put his dirty clothes away Simon said, “I’ll put his dirty clothes away!!”

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His love might even hurt a little.

Simon loves to watch videos online, especially Pocoyo, TuTiTu, and Minecraft songs. He also loves Disney Junior. He has a few good friends, Pablo, Shane, Luke, Hanna, and Reed. He loves seeing them. When we drive by Shane’s house, Simon will point and yell that it’s Shane’s house. He’ll ask to go there, and when I say no, he’ll ask if we can get Shane to go where we’re going. When I say no, he’s very displeased.

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Simon’s stuck in a bag! This is one of our favorite photos of him in ‘12

Simon is very athletic. He runs all over the house, and the street out front. He jumps off of furniture, onto furniture, on the bed, on the floor...lots of jumping.  He loves to play with his dad. He especially likes to sit on his dad’s leg (if dad is laying on the bed with his right ankle on his left knee or vice versa) and fall backwards. His legs are a little bowed in, but the pediatrician said that that makes for a more athletic person. It’s not something we need to fix.

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He wasn’t a big fan of Halloween. Seen here with his Filipino nanny.

His health has been fairly good. He’s had plenty of colds and a bit of allergies here, but not as bad as Costa Rica.

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Playing with his cousin on home leave. He LOVED his cousin!

He stopped napping. He’ll go down if he’s not feeling well, but he doesn’t require a nap anymore. That was a sad day for me. He’s very much not a little boy anymore.


Making his own stuffed animal. He chose a purple dog and named it Purple. This is a tradition in our house, to be done before 3 years.

He climbs out of his crib now (this actually happened very recently but oh well). We looked for a toddler bed here, but anything that’s good is going to be too expensive. We tried shipping a bed, but it was too big. So…we’re going to have one made. But we’re being lazy about it. The first day he climbed out was weird. My bathroom door opened, and there he stood. I asked who let him out and he said he did. Coen was still asleep and his door was closed. He was ready to go potty and start his day. It was funny, and a bit weird.


Super Simon!!

We love Simon very much. We’re so happy that he’s a part of our family and can’t wait to see the person he turns out to be.


Two of his favorite things rolled into one!!

So much to write, no skill to do it with

“I haven’t blogged much because I’ve realized I’m not a good writer.”

I said this to my husband and since self-actualization is one of the traits John is most attracted to he said, “that’s the sexiest thing you’ve said in a year.”

This is not a post to fish for compliments on my writing. I know it’s not great. I’ve seen much worse, but most of the Foreign Service blog-o-sphere has great writers and I cower in their shadows.

However, I’ve decided to stop agonizing over my lack of writing skill. I know that people like my blog. And I know that it keeps my family informed of what’s going on with us. And one day when my children are grown, I can look back and remember. I can remember how they were. I can point to an entry and say “see! I told you, you did (fill in funny thing one of them did/will do)!”

So, I’m going to continue to write, and sometimes it might be poor writing. I enjoy writing and I’ve been sad about my lack of skill and lack of outlet.

With that said…

Simon turned 3 last month and Malachi’s being weaned off one of his meds. The former is a blog post over due, the latter is a post (or series of posts depending on how it turns out) to be written.

Stay tuned.