Wednesday, February 01, 2017

New blog

I've decided to stop the blog that focuses on my experience of the kids. I enjoy recording memorable moments so I decided to create I'll record my travels, both literal and figurative, since I plan to write about the books I read as well as the trips I take. See you there.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Not quite the end

I've been documenting our lives on Instagram as sojama. I think that is why I've written less and less on the blog. The kids are getting older and I suspect they may not appreciate my sharing of their lives. It is hard to let go of something I've done for ten years but I think it is time. I'll make a book of this and maybe when the kids are grown, I'll show it to them. Posting the videos, photos and thoughts has been great fun.

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

10 years!

Ten years seems like very little time when you are looking back on it. I have been a parent for ten years. Jack has been alive for ten years. More than anyone I know, Jack has had the greatest impact on my identity (other than my parents but I did not watch that process). Nothing was the same after I met him. I have been challenged more than I thought possible in every possible way: physically, spiritually, monetarily, emotionally, existentially.... I cannot think of other ways to be challenged. I don't look at anything as I did before. Who was I? Who knows? I cannot remember.

On Jack's birthday, Jack had been sick with a stomach virus for almost 2 weeks. He missed 10 days of school. He's always had a sensitive stomach but this was extreme even for him. The election happened. We visited the doctor many times since I didn't see how it could be a virus. He is still occasionally vomiting if he eats too much dairy (or so it seems, I really have no idea why so we'll be visiting the doctor again soon).

We celebrated yesterday with a few friend at the UW HUB.. a very fun place for ten year old boys! The kids played video games, then ate pizza, took the bus there and back (adventure!) and ate cake and opened presents. Fun was had by all, including me. Who knew little boys were so fun.

Jack says his favorite thing was playing video games. He reports that he likes minecraft, books and building legos. He expresses frustration that I am asking these questions. He wants me to find a lost lego.


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

no words

I had to tell the kids last night that Trump won. Jack cried. Sonia became quite anxious. I said it would be ok. We'd stick together. Other than that, I don't know what to say. Jack was worried he will kill Muslims. I said that wouldn't happen.

However, obviously, I have no idea what will happen. I can only guess as the potential for devastation is vast. I have used Harry Potter to explain a lot of difficult things to the kids. I don't think it will work this time. If I tell them Voldemort and his deatheaters are in power that won't be helpful to them. I don't even know if that's true yet anyway. All I can do is hope it is not true or that Dumbledore is out there to help us.

Their sense of irony is not developed enough for And on days like today, this feels a little too true to be funny.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Family photos

We do it once every 5 years!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The family meeting

Based on the advice of a few people we admire, we started having a family meeting once a week. It generally lasts 5-10 minutes as our kids don't have a lot of patience for it. Mainly, we talk about the schedule for the week. Ryan generally has no idea what the schedule is and Jack always needs reminders so we also post the schedule.

Then everyone gets a chance to talk. Tonight, I was the only one with a topic. It was "you are responsible for your anger. If you are an adult, you are responsible for your anger 100% of the time. No exceptions. Ryan was frustrated with Sonia yesterday and did something I found objectionable. When I protested, he blamed Sonia. This is never ok. Adults should never blame children for their poor behavior. Ever. I also see this blame game everywhere among adults:   in our school there's a teacher who blame students for her incessant yelling. Then there are the people who blame their boss or wife or the sales associate or the postal carrier or the person driving the speed limit when they're in a hurry (ad infinitum) for their unskillful and crappy behavior.

This blame game will not happen in my house.

That was the end of the meeting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Happy Birthday to Sonia

Sonia turns 7 today.

We had a big birthday party for her and her buddies on Saturday. Then another party with family on Sunday. Then another small celebration at school with donuts. Then dinner out tonight. My kids are lavishly celebrated ( I can't find the right accent key for the word feted).

Sonia is an insightful person. She seems to know what everyone is thinking. She is driven and tenacious. She seems like a small adult... I can see some of the ways she is influenced by us: she seems open minded. Then I can see how she is influenced by the culture: she loves to acquire.

We threw a party at home mainly to avoid the expense of having the party at an outside venue. I wanted the event to be simple. I planned a treasure hunt with items we bought at a Japanese dollar store.  I hid things in the yards of our neighbors. One of our neighbors was having a garage sale. I told her about the party. She has children around the same age as mine but they attend private school so we don't know them well. She mentioned that her older son requested a party with no gifts. She then added that he also doesn't like cake or cookies. As I was filled with jealously and feelings of inadequacy, I had to laugh. The dad in this family recently took his company public and the rumor is that they are now worth half a billion dollars. They got to live abroad for a year. They are also lovely grounded people who attended ivy league schools but could not be nicer. And until the mom told me her son refused gifts, I have never felt an ounce of jealousy for them.

The pressures of parenting are profound, and paradoxically, with Sonia in my life, I can laugh more about them. She is a joy.