Saturday, 31 July 2010

birthday wishes

wishing we could meet here...

wishing we could eat cake...

wishing we could toast....

mom -
sending heaps and barrels
of decadent, delicious birthday wishes your way -

love you and miss you - xoxoxo - m

Friday, 30 July 2010

The World According to Allison

Alli has inherited an old digital camera of mine and loves to take pictures - here is a sampling of her work. Eat your heart out Ansel Adams!!

Made with Love

Right after we arrived in HCMC, I saw an ad (in a wonderful local magazine, The Word) for this amazing organization called Mekong Quilts. The group, previously called "Vietnam Quilts was founded in 2001 and is an income generation project that offers income and employment for rural women which enable these women to remain in their communities and care for their children and families". Amazing, right?

Both my mother and Erik's mother are quilters and my daughters come from several generations of quilters. (and yes, the buck stopped here.) I am very aware and appreciative of the time, effort and love poured into quilts. And as we embark on this global adventure, I am mindful to purchase locally-made, handmade and unique treasures for both girls as mementos of their journey.

I bought the letter quilt to hang in Amelia's room and the fruit quilt to hang in Alli's room. And I know that the girls won't have many clear memories of their time in Vietnam, so I am hopeful that items, like these quilts, along with photographs and stories are enough to spark their interest in learning more about this beautiful country.

Can I get an "A"?

We are VERY into the ABC's here - lots of letter "writing" and identifying - and as always, lots of energy!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Amelia as a happy Pterodactyl*

*I am married to a very big nerd.

Saigon Zoo & Botanical Gardens

First comes love.....

Peanut Butter Fish went out and got himself a girlfriend.

Her name is Daddy, even though she looks like Mommy, in fish form.

In true form, Peanut Butter has been chasing her around the tank since she arrived.

Welcome to the team, now go get a job. Fish food isn't free.

a la Patsy Cline

Originally uploaded by meredith w page

I go out walking, after midnight
Out in the moonlight...

Friday, 23 July 2010

happy birthday honey

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... - Ralph Waldo Emerson Photo lovingly taken in May 1971 by Erik's mom, Nell.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Originally uploaded by meredith w page

Upon getting Alli's first school uniform today.

ME: Wow, Alli. I think I may cry.

ALLI: Why are you going to cry Mommy?

ME: Because you are all grown up.

ALLI: I will hold you and that will make you feel better.


ME: Thank you Alli, I love you.

ALLI: I love you too. Mom?

ME: Yes Alli?

ALLI: If you don't stop crying, I will have to put you in time out.

and Scene.


A - How is it possible that you are turning 5? You are THE original, our original and I adore you. Sending you loads of birthday love across the ocean and wishing I was there in person to celebrate. Call me when you are ready to fly, I will always be there. Love, Aunt Meredith

Dark Helmet, Jr.

Security Risk - HIGH

Originally uploaded by meredith w page

look who got busted at the Consulate and held up at security - the charge - WAY TOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Monsoon Sky

We didn't know it at the time....

but giving Allison the middle name Russell must have meant that she immediately inherited his ability to produce some of the world's finest bedhead.

Beep-Beep, Coming Through

Originally uploaded by meredith w page

In my attempt to not stand out any more than possible in Saigon, I have gone and gotten myself a bicycle.
As if my tall, freckled, redheaded self was not already shocking to the Vietnamese people, nothing like adding a bell and some speed to my persona and BAM! Hello Vietnam!!!!!
I hadn't been on a bike for probably 20 years or so and I beg to differ with the person who coined the phrase, "it is like riding a bike". Needless to say, a helmet is forthcoming.
The district where we live has nice wide open streets, and it is great to get some added exercise while exploring our neighborhood or running to the market for gummy bears and wine with Alli (you figure out who gets what).

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Operation Soothie (and Other Lies We Tell Our Children)

Allison has used her green pacifier (aka Soothie) since she was about 5 months old and historically only used her Soothie at nap time and bed time. Aside from that, the Soothie stayed safely ensconced in her room, so in my mind, no harm, no foul.

In the last six months, a great deal of change has been introduced into Alli's life. We moved in with my parents, she became a big sister, Mommy got sick, Daddy left for post, we moved to Vietnam. Makes me want to get my own Soothie. During this time, the Soothie began making guest appearances during the day and in the last two weeks, I decided that enough was enough.
So yes, as we approach 3 and the coveted status of "big girl", it was time to rip off the band aid, so to speak - no more Soothie. Cue the Soothie Fairy. First, you write the Soothie Fairy a letter. Then, the Soothie Fairy visits your house while you sleep, removes said Soothie and leaves you a very special, big girl present.

(Dear Soothie Fairy, My name is Alli Russell Page. I am 2 1/2. I am now a big girl. If you take my soothie, please give me a goldfish! Thank you. Love, Allison and also please bring Daddy a toy.)
So this past Monday, the Soothie Fairy visited our house, removed the Soothies (Green Soothie and the backup, broken Yellow Soothie) and left this in its place:

Depending on the time of day, the fish is called Alli, Dorothy or Peanut Butter Sandwich. I understand from Allison that the fish is 2 1/2 and was born in a land called "Coco" which is also where, apparently, Daddy was born.

It has been a rough couple of days for the members of Operation Soothie. Allison went on a sleep strike and stayed up the entire first night and skipped her nap the next day. Since then, she actually did pass out and has had 2 fairly successful nights of sleep and 2 fairly successful naps. I am proud of her because I know it was a hard thing to give up, which is obvious from these pathetic and endearing pictures.

RIP Green Soothie - next up, Potty Training (aka Why Mommy Drinks)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Say what?

Things I have said out loud this week to Allison:

Please get the toilet seat off your face.

Don't eat that palm frond.

Things Allison has said out loud this week:

(upon being asked about her sister) This is my baby, Amelia. She is very cute and she has good eyesight.

Whobody lives in Africa? or Whobody broke that?

I live in that (pointing) building at the top. Right now, I live with my mom.

A lovely exchange that took place yesterday while Alli and her friend, Xio, wreaked havoc on the playground and egged each other on.

ME: You two are birds of a feather.

ALLISON: Tweet-tweet Mom, Tweet-tweet.

The newest Page

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Saturday, 10 July 2010

the Woman who makes it all possible

This is Ty (pronounced Tea or just T), our amazing nanny.

She is a gem and we feel so lucky that she has joined our family.

She speaks wonderful English and she tolerates my horrendous Vietnamese. She adores the girls and they adore her right back. She is a huge help to me as I navigate this new life and she is a delightful addition to our daily life!

As an added bonus, she babysits one night a weekend for our date night and doesn't even get upset when Erik makes us late each time!