Holidaze

Happy (belated) Hohohoholidays! We’ve been pretty busy partying it up in Bangkok: The Portly Princess particularly enjoys rockin’ out at 4am (and 12am and 2:30am and 6am). It’s a good thing she’s cute…

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Are you criticizing my sleeping habits again?!

This was our first Christmas in Bangkok (we spent Christmas last year picking fights in India). It was sad to be so far from our families, but fortunately, we have a bunch of great friends in Bangkok. We thought it would be fun to give our new child-centric social life a test drive, so our dinner guests included another newborn, a one-year-old, and an extremely pregnant lady.

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Some prolific procreation goin’ on here, folks

We weren’t ambitious enough to tackle a turkey dinner. Instead, we had a potluck with “food” as the theme. While it was sad to miss the usual butchered clucker, the assortment of substitutes were pretty great.

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Part of the spread

I didn’t realize it during my pregnancy, but December is the best month to give birth – already having a wonky post-baby body PLUS the insane calorie requirements of nursing means feasting with no guilt! At least that’s what I told myself…

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My first plate. Is it bad that I went for thirds… (not including dessert)

The combination of two newborns and a one-year-old meant that someone was always soothing a floppy bobblehead or prying The Anglican Book of Common Prayer out of little clutching fingers, but a good time was had by all.

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Whoops! I think Rina and I mixed our babies up…

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Soon-to-be-father Zach practices his infant feeding technique

New Years Eve was simultaneously less and more eventful than Christmas. Less eventful, because we were lame and stayed home on New Years Eve, but more eventful because a visitor arrived unexpectedly…

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She does a lot of unexpected things

My sister Sarah’s flight was supposed to arrive on New Years Eve just before midnight. Turns out that itineraries are not always accurate. As I was rocking Zoe at 5am on the morning of New Years Eve, I heard a knock on the door. Even in my sleep-deprived stupor, the timing seemed a little weird, and when I looked out of our peephole, I was surprised to see our apartment’s maintenance man. He’s a very helpful guy, so I figured he was there for a non-nefarious purpose, and opened the door. In his extremely limited English, he informed me that my sister had been sleeping in the lobby of our apartment building since 2 am. Oops. Turns out her itinerary was off by almost 24 hours. Fortunately, Sarah is nothing if not competent in strange situations, and she managed to find her way from the airport to our apartment building. She phoned us and knocked on our door several times, but her sister and brother-in-law are apparently a couple of narcoleptics, and didn’t hear either. She awoke to an anxious sister hovering over her prone form. Fortunately, the visit has improved since then…

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“Soothing” her niece with the recorder

Todd went back to school today after 2 weeks of holidays – Zoe is already missing her favourite napping buddy.

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Now that the weird holiday schedule is over, it’s time to enact one of my New Years resolutions: getting my Portly Princess to stop sounding like a geriatric goat when she sleeps and keeping us all awake. The number of blog posts you see in the near future may depend on my success…

Bannock: the bun that just keeps on baking

Well, I can’t say that I was expecting to have to write the last post on being overdue, but I reeeally wasn’t expecting to write this one. At nine days overdue, my little rib-stomper is still frolicking to her heart’s content inside my innards. I know that wombs are generally warm and soothing environments, but mine must really be providing the ultimate resort experience.

To distract herself from the fact that she still has no grandchild, my mother has started a new hobby which involves taking horrific photographs of me:

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That may or may not be a knife in my hand…

Much as I enjoy cracking jokes, the past two weeks have been a psychologically difficult time. Every day has felt like a bit of an emotional roller coaster – at times, I have coped pretty well, but at other times, I have been a full-on basket case. It’s like being a kid again and waiting for Christmas morning, but Christmas morning keeps getting indefinitely delayed. I know in my (semi) rational brain that Christmas WILL come, but at times, I forget. (To make a truly accurate analogy, I guess the eventual Christmas morning would need to begin with a few sledgehammer blows to the uterus before opening presents from Santa).

And another one of my mother’s gems:

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Making the pedicurist nervous that I am about to give birth in the foot bath.

We managed to waddle our way over to church yesterday, and were reminded that it is the first Sunday of the Advent season. On the way there, we were debating what the first Advent candle symbolized (different faith traditions follow different patterns). Turns out that at our church in Bangkok, it symbolizes waiting. One line from the bulletin jumped out at me: “Waiting is difficult. But when the object of our waiting is a treasure of great value, the waiting is worth it; the waiting is rewarded.” While the message was referring to the world waiting for a Messiah, I also felt like God was reminding me that He holds Bannock, the little over-baked bun, in His hands, and that I can trust Him with this whole crazy experience. She’ll arrive at the right time.

And one final photo from my mother:100_2494

Todd and Zach prepare themselves for labour…

 

Frigid Travels in the Curry Mothership

Well, T-bone and I made it to India. The trip has already been wonderful, horrible, and everything in between – par for the course in India. Anything other than dramatic extremes would be a disappointment. It had also been surprisingly frigid. After dusk, the temps hover at around 5-10 degrees Celsius, and we were not exactly well prepared.
Blog posts will be short’n’random for the next two weeks. Best Christmas wishes to you all!

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Todd exploring the Red Fort in Delhi

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Freezing my buns off/drinking chai on a frigid train ride.

More Misadventures + a Taste of Home

I have to admit, I am having a small pity party here in Thailand. While living in the tropics has its undeniable charms, the truth is that I would love to be freezing my buns off in my native land right now. I miss snow, I miss my family and friends, and I am missing Christmas. I just really want to bury my entire head in a pile of Christmas baking. Instead, I am sitting in Ikea, drinking coffee-whitener enhanced hot chocolate and listening to bad Christmas music. While I appreciate the sentiment behind “Happy Christmas (War is Over),” every time I hear Celine Dion singing it, I want to gouge my eyes ears out. Today is no exception. Woe is me. My life is so hard.

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So is T-bone’s.

Enough whining. On to happier things. This past weekend, T-bone and I went on another strange adventure, this time accompanied by The Gurus. The Gurus have many fun qualities, including their faces: all the school secretaries seem to think that Therese and I are the same person, and Eli is one of those lucky souls who could fake basically any ethnicity. Good times.

The Doppelganger and the Serbo-Egyptian-Thai-Israeli-Spaniard.

Therese wanted to check out a park called “The Green Lung” in Bang Krachao, one of the most unique/bizarre neighbourhoods in this unique/bizarre city. The Chao Phraya river runs through Bangkok, and at one point, it loops back on itself, creating a neighbourhood that is almost an island. Bang Krachao was settled by the Mon people in the 19th century, and the area is still a unique enclave. Apparently, it also had good parks, and we were looking forward to lounging in the grass.

We took a taxi to a small pier, and jumped on the first boat that drifted by.

It dropped us off in what looked like someone’s backyard. Cement pathways snaked through the jungle, and we had no idea where the alleged “park” was. “The Lung” was extremely “Green,” but there didn’t seem to be any capillaries that would lead us inside.  A helpful dog from the Thai department of tourism acted as our guide for awhile, but ditched us when she realized we weren’t handing out food. All we managed to find was a sleepy village that reminded me of small town Alberta. A crew of roadside motorcycle taxis tried to be helpful, but they laughed so hard every time we wandered past them that they couldn’t properly form words. I just love bringing joy to peoples’ hearts.

Ahh. Idyllic village life replete with soi dogs and yellow shorts.

After awhile, we gave up and walked back towards the pier. On our way, however, we first saw these two treasures:

Buddha in his “Svelte Youth” phase…

And later, after discovering the joys of Thai food.

And then stumbled upon this gem. The Bangkok Tree House is a boutique hotel hidden in “The Lung,” and offered a partial redemption of our adventure.

The hotel’s welcome committee

“Dude,” says The Doppelganger

Each unit has a hammock bed on top of the roof, perfect for watching the sunset.

We watched the tourists watching the sunset. Not awkward at all.

We ordered a drink, and lounged under the massive trees. Other than the apple sized fruit falling on Todd’s head, it was a lovely and relaxing place.

After a concerted effort (ie: using our peepers), we found the real pier, and boarded a ferry. And that’s when I saw it. A site calculated to banish my homesickness. An oil refinery, gleaming in the twilight.

In all its glory.

Bangkok may be a little short on snow and Christmas baking, but this beauty almost made up for it. Oh Alberta. I am home for the holidays.