Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Monday, 28 March 2011

Off Duty

I headed out of town just as the sun was setting over Saigon on Sunday night. Just me. I spent the flight trying to think about putting into words why this trip was so anticipated and so needed. I kept telling people, "I'm headed to Bangkok for a much needed break". But it isn't really that. It's not a break. I get breaks. I am fortunate that I have a husband and nanny who watch the kids when I head out. I am lucky that every Thursday night, I hit the town with an amazing group of women for a "break". I haven't been a mom for very long, but this is what I have learned so far. Moms have two settings - On and Idle. That's it. No Off switch that I know of. I am always on duty. Always on call, even if I am not with the girls. Awake or asleep, I always have one ear open. For the most part, I never let my "Mom" guard down. All that said, I am not complaining in the least. I don't view motherhood as my job. It is my way of life. Being a mom is who I am now. My girls add the color to my day and multiply the fun in life by a million. But for this coming week, I am letting my guard down. And so far, it feels great.

Friday, 25 March 2011

You say it's your birthday....

Nana and Papa landed last night for a visit and we couldn't be happier to have them here with us. We are so thankful they made the HUGE effort to travel more than 1/2way around the world to see us. Again! It is also a celebration of sorts as today is Papa's big birthday (21!!) and we combined it with a belated celebration for Nana (who actually shares Amelia's birthday). Lots of grandparent love in the house.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

God Save the Queen

Dear Gaga & Bapa,

How is your vacation? My vacation from school has been wonderful. Lots of bubble baths and watercoloring.
Amelia had to have shots this week, and boy was she grumpy! But now she is feeling better and playing with her FAVORITE toy you gave her for Christmas.

Also, Amelia has learned to climb up onto the couch.
She has not, however, learned how to get down. We think this is quite entertaining.

Love you,

p.s. send us a bunny rabbit please.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Babies in SE Asia

Not sure how I missed this article in The New York Times in December, but it is spot-on when talking about the treatment babies, Western and native, receive in SE Asia. We feel so lucky to be in a country where our girls are received warmly everywhere we go. They are welcome in every restaurant, store, home with big smiles and open arms. I have written about it before, but thought Jennifer Blyer's article was a wonderful perspective as well.

Blogging Updates - D+

First, I must apologize to anyone checking in on this blog to learn more about Saigon b/c allllllllllllll of my recent posts have been about my, albeit darling, girls.....let me say for the record, Saigon rocks.

Second, my posts have been soooooooooooo serious. BORING! Well, hopefully not boring, but I will try for some more humor soon, I pinky swear promise.

Things on my mind tonight:
  1. Watching TV on sound delay is supah annoying, but I am so desperate for new shows that I am pushing through nonetheless.
  2. I really need to clean out my fridge.
  3. I know that there ARE worse things in life, but holding your child down for vaccinations truly feels like THE worst.thing.ever.
  4. Alli's chatting right now is fabulous!! She says 'squito bites like she is from the country. While waiting at the bottom of a flight of stairs for me yesterday, she yelled up "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!". And my favorite. When I asked her how she knew how to do something earlier, she said, "Because I am a super star" which is what I tell her all the time. Good to know she listens.
  5. I miss true-blue Tex Mex food.
  6. I got super-sunburned today and could not be madder at myself. Stupid.
  7. If anyone heard my workout mix on my iPod, they might confuse me with a teenager.
  8. I overfeed our fish. Shhhh...don't tell my husband.
  9. I wish I could cook like Jamie Oliver. Doesn't he make it look so easy? Also, he is dreamy.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Benchmarks and Gratitude

For a while now, I had planned on writing about what happened to me on March 17th, 2010 and how so much can change in just one year.

But I can't seem to find the words because my mind is consumed with the devastation in Japan - added to the crisis in North Africa, followed so soon after the earthquake in Christchurch. It all seems too much, doesn't it?

To make a very long story quite short, after Amelia was born last year, I got sick. And while my sweet healthy baby girl stayed home with Erik and my parents, on March 17th, I checked into the hospital for 30 hours which were, to date, the worst of my life. Turns out, I have healthy, happy babies, but my body doesn't take too well to pregnancy. Anyway, I am fine now. Better than fine. And whenever things get tough, I always say "at least it isn't March 17th". After something tough happens to you, it is nice to have that tucked away as a benchmark of sorts. Flying with a nine-week old baby and a toddler from DC to Vietnam? That's nothing compared to March 17th!! See how that works?

So I was going to write today on the one year anniversary all about my experience in the hospital and what I have learned, but instead I am just worried this week about my daughters. Not in a specific fashion, but in an all over, prepare them for the future sort of way. I realize that disaster, great or small, can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. But it never makes it easier.

I was reminded of this last night while I watched the coverage of Japan on BBC. One of the grocery stores that is still well-stocked is opening for a short time each day and every family is allowed to purchase only 10 items every day. The reporter was interviewing one family and the mother was expressing her concern over providing for her two children with no resources, when her husband interrupted her and said, "at least we are still alive".

I thought, that's it. THAT is what I want my girls to know, to remember, to embrace. There will be disasters. There will be March 17ths. But there are also birthday cake, first days of school, and Christmas mornings. There is unconditional love. And there is gratitude.

Friday, 11 March 2011


amelia saylor -
happy 1st birthday sweet girl.
lest you read through these entries 20 years from now and demand equality, i did in fact make you a video to celebrate your big day (like i did for your sister's 3rd birthday), however, we are currently having some serious internet issues and no video for you. bummer. it was a good one.
i have included some pics i took today for your party on sunday (see, you are getting a party - just like your sister did), so for now, they will have to do.
the one thing i wanted to share with the world (the rest of my birthday words to you are private) was that when i weeded through one whole year worth of pictures for your video, you are smiling in almost every single photo.
and what a smile it is.
you smile with your whole face. you literally glow from within. you are joyful and in return, make those around you take heed and wallow in your pool of joy as well.
you are our sweet buddha and my wish come true.
xo, mama

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Works of Art

Allison's school holds an annual art exhibition of all of its students. All. So when I heard that our little Matisse had her work on display, we dashed over to check it out.
Wow. I was truly impressed by not only the school's effort in layout/display/presentation, but also the talent of both the students and their devoted teachers.
In true Alli style, when we finally happened upon her work, she let out a loud "Ta-da" and threw in some jazz hands for good measure. It was hard to tell who was more proud - Matisse or her mother.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Another Stamp in the Passport.

We found out this morning that we are headed to San Salvador, El Salvador in late 2012 for our next tour. I am thrilled for so many reasons - it was a very high bid for us, so we feel very fortunate. Mostly, I am glad to know so we can put this "behind" us (or ahead) and get back to focusing on today!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

On my mind...

  1. Facebook has once again been blocked out and I literally feel completely lost without it. Say what you will about FB, but it continues to be a great way for us to stay in touch with familiy and friends back home, as well as other FS families.
  2. Thursday is now LNO (Ladies' Night Out) and it is such a blast. I have developed some really lovely friendships here, and our weekly night out has become something we all look forward to.
  3. I covet the iPhone and was deeply upset to learn last night at LNO that I may be too old/technically challenged to use one.....bummer.
  4. Planning galore here - someone is having a BIG birthday and someone is heading out on a BIG adventure - stay tuned.
  5. Alli is entering a cereal stage - can't wait for her to see the cereal aisle in an American grocery store - she is going to pass out!
  6. Even though I said I would be cool and calm awaiting our next post assignment - I was kidding myself!! I can't wait to hear.
  7. When all else fails, and I need some instant pick-me-up, I squeeze these thighs....instant joy!!

Rite of Passage

the obligatory childhood spaghetti photos....