Monday, June 30, 2008

Ethan is funny

We stopped in the Lego store today on our marathon of browsing in stores and not finding the things for which we searched. Ethan saw this castle set he wants. The reason he wants this is because he has something called "Lego Imagination" which his friends started and he has taken up as a hobby. They each have a Lego board on which they build various structures. Ethan has a room at Tal and Keenan's Lego Imagination, as do Dawson and Ben. Ethan and Dawson both have "museums" in their Lego Imaginations that contain all the fun pieces they own, like light sabers and helmets. I have told Ethan that if he can show me that Lego Imagination is something that will take up a lot of those "I'm bored" hours, then I will buy him a bigger flat board for his building.

So when he saw the castle set, he decided he wanted it because it has money pieces, and it seems that money plays into these Lego Imaginations. As we walked out he said, "I really want that. I realllly want it! No, I don't want it. I NEEEED it! Yes, I NEEED it!" I made a comment about him being soundly American, but he didn't quite understand.

In the car on the way home, he said something else very funny, something that started with, "What am I talking about? I AM . . . " but neither of us can remember now what it was. But trust me, it was funny.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Accountability I may regret

I've been debating whether or not I should put this information on my blog, because I know once I do it will spread through cyber space like wildfire and I will either have to follow through or bear the shame of quitting for the rest of my days. Ah, there I go, believing that anyone besides my parents and my friend Wendy read my blog. :) And Ryan. And maybe a few others.

Anyway, here I go: I've been talked into running a half marathon. My friend Lindsey just ran a marathon, at midnight no less. She's done one before, but still - she's got a baby less than a year old! Then I saw that video, the one with the 60 some year old man who takes his impaired son on a triathlon and I thought, "Oh I am so sad. I don't think I can even run a mile." I mean, I've always just been one of those "I run when chased" people. And to be frank, no one ever chases me.

But I decided I should push myself a little. A very little. I committed in my mind to a 5K. I printed out a training schedule which required me to run 1.5 miles in the first week. I was ridiculously proud of myself for doing it. That was when Lindsey laid down the bigger challenge of the half marathon. I was incredibly doubtful that I could run 13.1 miles when 1.5 seemed such cause for celebration. She told me she started her recent marathon training from 1.5 miles. Maybe she lied to me, but it was enough to make me give it a shot.

I'm on week 4 right now, and last night I ran five miles. I told myself that it would be ok if I walked part of it, but I only walked 3 minutes, and I think if I'd had a gun to my head, I wouldn't even have needed to do that (then again, there are lots of things I could push through with a gun to my head). I even managed to run the last .2 miles which were up a hill.

I don't know if I'll make it to the race. I really hope I do. I look ahead to the weeks when I have to run 8, 9, 10 miles and I think, "How will I do that?" and "that seems really long and boring" and also, "What if I have to use the bathroom halfway through?" But come August 24th (race day) we'll how I fare. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 23, 2008

No Lack of Self Esteem

We had a speaker at our conference in Thailand this year who spoke about how your family background affects what you think when you walk into a room full of people. Those with a dysfunctional background think, "There's something wrong with me, but I don't know what it is." Those from a "confused" (somewhat dysfunctional, somewhat healthy) background think, "What can I do to get you to like me?" and those from a healthy background think, "Here I am, LIKE ME!!"

In the car the other day, Megan asked me, "Mommy, why does everyone like me so much?" in a tone that implied confidence that no one would object to that idea. Of course I enjoyed the opportunity to remind my daughter of all her great qualities. Today she asked with a smile, "Mommy, why do people like to look at me?" And I told her it's because of her beautiful hair, her white skin, and her cute freckles. She lit up. So it seems like according to that speaker, she's doing pretty good so far!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh Canada!

I remember when I was little and we thought Canadian currency was a joke. Sometimes we'd find a Canadian dime or something, and get excited, until our parents informed us that we'd just found the equivalent of play money. Unconvinced, we might try it in a vending machine. The machines would spit them out, crying, "Are you insane?! That money is worthless!"

Well, dig around in the old coin collectors for those Canadian coppers, my friends, because they're now worth more than ours! That's right, let the mocking cease. The Canadian dollar has now surpassed the US dollar in value. It's time to cash in! Good thing you held on to the those dimes.

Sweet Relief

I think there are few things that compare with the sweet relief that comes from being in the know, from finally having an answer to a long unanswered question. I'm feeling that today after a 2 hour appointment with an allergist. Last November I started reacting to my apartment in a way I hadn't experienced in all my time in Asia. Over time it has developed to the point where constant medication has been necessary. I have meant to see a doctor for some time, but wasn't sure where to go. I asked my regular doctor for a recommendation and was told that there are no allergists in Singapore, only ENTs. I made an appointment with my ENT, but a chance conversation with a friend at VBS led me to see an ENT who specializes in allergies. Thanks Karen!

I assumed that my reaction must be to mold, but my doctor quickly put that idea to bed. Having been trained in the States, he came back to Singapore with the same assumption - people must react terribly to all the mold here. But they've done extensive testing and discovered that the kind of mold here is not the kind people are allergic to. 80% of the time, it's actually dust mites (my other suspicion). They did one of those prick tests on my arm, and sure enough, the three dust mite spots swelled up and drove me crazy (don't scratch!). As did the one for cats to a lesser degree, but I knew that.

After discussing my options with the good doctor, I learned some interesting things. Did you know that you can develop allergies with prolonged exposure? And that having once developed another allergy, others are more likely to follow? And that a nasaloscopy feels really funny? And that it's really easy to drop $1,500 Sing in two hours? It was money well spent though, because I not only walked away with more effective drugs than the ones I've been using, I supposedly walked away with a cure. There's a drug that been developed which you take daily for 18 months, after which you will no longer be allergic. You also presumably will not develop new allergies. We'll see how this goes. I'm just incredibly thankful to finally know what is wrong with me, and to have what I need to get rid of it. It feels a bit like I've been fighting an unknown enemy in the dark. Now the lights are on, and I have the right weapons. The enemy is still there, but I can fight effectively.

So rejoice with me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some Father's Day

Instead of being given a glorious day to rest and enjoy the fruits of his labor, my poor husband spent his Father's Day proving what a great dad (and husband!) he is! Just back from Vietnam yesterday, he was met by two kids and a sick wife at the airport. After lunch and a movie, I was in and out of consciousness for the rest of the afternoon. I'm not entirely sure how the rest of my family spent that time, to be honest.

Today, I managed to get to church, but realized toward the end that I really should have spent that time in bed. So my eternally sacrificial husband made lunch for the kids, then took them out for rollerblading and swimming while I rested at home. He topped it off by catching Ethan up on some Lord of the Rings reading and now he's working on our taxes. He's like the Energizer Bunny.

I did help him celebrate a little by making our favorite brownie recipe (even with fudge frosting!) and letting us eat them before dinner. It's a weak offering in return for all he does for us!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pillow Talk

Ethan hit me with a whopper last night when he came into my room and said, "Mom, I have a big question. Why do mommies and daddies like to sleep in the same bed?"

To buy myself time, I laughed out loud, while thinking, "Oh God, please tell me it's not already time for this one. Where's Erik? Shouldn't Erik be fielding this? Don't jump to conclusions Gina. Maybe he's not really asking what you think he's asking." (yeah, that's right - I think really fast).

He said, "Why are you laughing?"
"Oh, you're just funny Ethan. Why are you asking that question?"
"Because I heard in an audio book that mommies and daddies like to sleep in the same bed. And I want to know why."
(Whew). "Well, because we love each other, so we like to sleep in the same bed." (Now off to bed with you, little camper!)
"But sometimes you say that daddy annoys you at night."
(When will we learn that they listen to everything we say?!)
"That's just because usually daddy falls asleep before me, and he snores, and it keeps me awake. So then I have to smack him and he rolls over."
Ethan, "So you smack daddy in the face and he goes back to sleep?"
Hey, let's just clarify that smacking statement before it gets repeated at VBS, "No, I just elbow him, and he rolls on his side."
I then did a demonstration of this, because it cracks me up. Erik doesn't snore so much as breathe VERY heavy. What's cute is that when I elbow him, he rolls on his side, but usually makes an, "I feel so rejected" whimper. I did that too, because it made Ethan laugh.

This seemed to satisfy him, to my great relief. Chalk up one for Ethan for keeping me on my toes.

Monday, June 02, 2008

People Who Look Like Me

The other day, Ethan asked me, "Mom, why are so many of the people on TV white?" The more I've thought about that question since then, the more I can see why he asked it. In his world 98% of the people are NOT white. And that's been true of most of his existence. When we lived in China, we signed him up for Little League Soccer at the international school. We got lost getting there, so it took us an hour and a half. We walked on the field to see giant white men coaching lots of mostly little white kids. Ethan looked at me and said, "Did we drive to America?"

Oh, they are so thoroughly third culture.