Friday, February 28, 2014

My song lately

Because… it’s awesome. I’ve also been visiting the 24 hours of happy website. It’s a 24 hour long video. It’s this song over and over, with pretty cool segments of people dancing and lip-syncing.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

I don’t want to go

I’ve been involved in the departure of a close friend. She’s leaving very soon and I’ve been with her during her pack out, shipping her car, mailing things to herself in the States and at the next post, and her final mani/pedi. Soon, we’ll go to her final dinner, and I’ll be going with her to the airport.

Today when I was helping her, I was carrying something to her car, and I almost started crying. Mostly out of sadness that she’s leaving. She’s been a rock in my life the last almost two years (she arrived in Manila a week after us). She’s one of the closest friends I’ve ever had. But also because I just had it hit that we’re going to be going through all of these same things very soon.

The departure date that we’re trying to get is not long from now. It’s with-in sight and it’s scary.

It’s scary because there’s so much to do. It’s scary because I’ll be leaving friends who have become family. It’s scary because I don’t know how the children will handle it. It’s scary because I’m going to be moving to a country that I’ve never visited before, and even though it’s a tropical paradise for many honeymooners from the States, I won’t be living on the beach, now, will I?

The good news (because without the good news, how would we live)?

I will get everything done that I need to do. I will meet amazing people in Kingston. The children will see that we are excited to go to the US and to Kingston and they will be excited because of that. I will learn Kingston and the surrounding areas just like I learned the parts of Manila and San Jose and Falls Church and Dallas when I moved to all of them.

So, even though it’s scary, I know that we’ll be ok. We always are.

There may be some uncertainty, but there always is. It’s always hard, but we get past those times.

We will again this time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2014, the year of injury

I fell on my right knee shortly after the new year. Shortly after that, I dropped a large, mostly full, plastic jar of peanut butter onto my left foot bruising even my bones. Just last night I fell on my right knee again. I feel all…

These things on top of the carpel tunnels syndrome I had for a few days last month, plus the slowly and steadily increasing pain in my joints the last couple of years, I’m ready for a break with all the pain.

Speaking of the joint pain. I saw the Rheumatologist and he ordered a butt load of tests, most of them blood. I got those done immediately after the consultation. He also ordered some specialized tests that I’m still waiting to get.

Good news from the appointment is that he thinks I don’t have arthritis.

He did a blood test to test for inflammation, just to check.

Work is going well. I’ve finished the trainings that I need and have been scanning fingerprints, and doing some other fun stuff as well.

We are working on our departure date with the Department. Once we have it we’ll make some plans. We have so many things we want to do, and places we want to visit. We’re not going to be able to fit it all in.

I’m excited for time in the US though, and what ever we do get to do, I’ll be happy to see people and places that I miss.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

He came out screaming

and he barely stopped for the first hour.


He was my most difficult pregnancy and delivery. And he’s possibly been the most challenging to rear so far. 


But the effort has been worth it. These last four years with Simon have been so full of joy.

dec 092

Simon has proven himself to be creative, intelligent, energetic, violent (for a bit of balance and humility), and loves his family.

Random 104

He's already great at building Lego's, playing with play-doh, coloring, and cutting paper, among other things.


We’ve celebrated a birth in Virginia, two birthdays in Costa Rica and another two in the Philippines.


He’s held a steady favorite color of green for quite a while.


As well as a love for airplanes. Luckily John made this years cake, and it turned out much better.

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We’re so happy that Simon is in our lives and we look forward to many, many more birthdays to come.



Monday, February 17, 2014

No more wrist brace

I stopped wearing it. I’m not having any more pains and I figured it was time to try going without. So far, so good.

We found out that Malachi’s school in Jamaica starts the last week of August. This is great news!

It gives us more time to get there than we originally thought. Now I just have to send them all the information that they require for admissions. I recently heard someone lament that getting their kindergarten into an International School was like enrolling for college.

I can’t say from experience what enrolling in public school is like. Enrolling in AISK is very similar to enrolling in ISM. Here’s the list of Pre-School – Grade 3 application process (Step 2) taken from their website:

Completed Application part 1 and fee (US$50)

Copy of Birth Certificate/photo page in passport

2 passport photographs

Vaccination records

Last 3 end-of-year reports

Elementary Confidential Reference

Any professional educational evaluations done by outside source

External Standardized Test Results (if available)

Personal Interview/Assessment and Campus Tour

This is all after an enquiry which is an email sent to the school to make your intentions of applying known. It’s an opportunity for us to introduce our child and family and give them an idea of what’s in store. Step 3 is admission decision (which is a given for us, and we’ve already been told he has a spot, even though we haven’t completed step 2).

This is what many families go through every two to four years to enroll their children in school. Some families have more to do, some less, I would think. It’s crazy! Right now I’m doing this for one child, but when we’re enrolling in a new school after Jamaica I will be doing it for three (3!) children. That’s a lot of paperwork to do for school.

Our departure date hasn’t been approved yet, but if we get the one we want, we’ll be departing in fewer than four months! That’s not very long from now. I’m excited to have some time in the States. I’m very ready for that.

Right now, though, I think I should work on that application…

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Down to nights…

with my wrist brace.

My wrist gets a little sore by the end of the day. I don’t know if it’s a nerve thing or if maybe I’m treating it weird through the day because of the nerve thing, and it therefore gets sore.

I got through the last half of January without feeling too sorry for myself. Though I did get a bit depressed. The pinched nerve wasn’t the only issue that we discussed at that fateful appointment. I’ve had joint pain in my hands, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, finger, toes, etc…for a long while. I’ve tried ignoring it because I don’t want anything to be wrong with me. It’s becoming too hard to ignore though. Jars are pretty difficult these days, and if I hold a pot or pan for any amount of time, my fingers are in the shape of the handle until I painfully straighten them out (this has been happening for a long time, think…at least a year and a half), being in one position for too long causes stiffness, pain, and/or popping of joints. Too long can be as short as 30 seconds.

The med unit gave me a number for a Rheumatologist. The one they recommend most is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10-2. The three times I’ve tried calling I haven’t gotten through to make an appointment. I’m going to ask the MED unit to make the appointment. They offered, but I decided to do it since I know my schedule. I’ve recently decided to forget about it, and whenever they can get me in, I’ll reschedule things around it.

So…I’ll have blood tests, and who knows what else to see if I have arthritis. If I do, I’ll just have to…

I figure it’s better to find out now, then let it get worse. Or to find out I don’t have it, and figure out why I have so much joint pain. I don’t look forward to this, but I’m happy it’s happening.

On a (much) less depressing note, Coen is doing fairly well with potty training. He still has accidents, but more often than not, he’s peeing in the potty. He’s still wearing special night time underwear and fully taking advantage of them. I’ve tried Pamper’s pants, Huggies pants, and Pull-Ups. I think Pull-Ups are the best. However, a box of them here costs more than $50, so I might have to buy them online and use the Huggies and Pampers that I still have.

John was paneled by HR for our job in Jamaica meaning that it’s official now. We’re aiming to arrive there in August before school starts. The school we’re enrolling him in started the third week of August for the current year. We’re hoping that it does that again for the next one. We’d like to leave Manila shortly after he finishes second grade to make sure that we can get all the vacation and training that we/he’d like, before arriving in Kingston. If we find a schedule that works for all of us, I’ll be like Liz Lemon when she gets her hands on a great TGS schedule.