Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nothing can prepare a girl for cockroaches

Nothing, not ever ever ever can prepare a girl from Idaho to see cockroaches this big. NEVER. EVER. It may be because I have never seen a cockroach, or maybe it is because they are just that damn BIG.

Yet another shocking moment in the Phils

"Super car coming to the rescue"
I have written about Holden's gymboree class in the past. It wasn't great, in fact it was basically a waste of time and money. But, of course, we had already paid for a year membership! After a month of the "gym play" class, we decided to try our hand at one of the other classes they offer. We opted for art class. Art class is good!

Holden wakes up in the mornings and comes scurrying into the bedroom asking if today is the day we get to go to art class. He is usually one of two kids in the class if not the only one there. It doesn't help with social interaction with other children, but at least it's a good teacher to student ratio!!!
Here is what we ran into the past Sunday at class. Pictured from left to right: Holden, the teacher, the Prince (as Nate call him) and his yaya.

I'm not sure which part is more ridiculous, that the child has a bottle, that the yaya is holding his bottle for him or that the yaya is doing his art project for him. Hmm, "D" all of the above! The best part? His mom came to pick them up and as we are all chatting we come to find out that "the Prince" is one day older than Holden. I have to say though, that his art projects are really good! Maybe we should send Holden with the yaya to help in art class next week.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Should I let him live on cheese sandwiches?

The joys of parenting a 3 year old:

We have entered the negotiation stage, "Dad, here's the deal, if you don't let me watch one of my shows, I'm going to turn your show off."

The picky stage, "Divina is driving me crazy (his exact words) she is spreading my cheese sandwich (whatever that means) and it's just driving me crazy!"

The defiant stage, "I am not eating that!" "I am NOT going to eat that!" "I AM NOT GOING TO EAT THAT!"

So here's the question, do I let him have cheese sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner? No really, I am asking for a response. Click that little link at the bottom of this post that says comments, write something and then click the little dot that says other and then the one that says publish your comment. I am serious MOMS CLUB GIRLS, who else is going to tell me?

Beverly Hills, we have arrived

Welcome Home...after all of the complaining we do about living in a hotel for 87 days (yes, that number is correct) we have arrived at the homestead. Although in our not so distant past we had a house in Utah, (scratch that, we still have a house in Utah), I must have forgotten the sheer amount of work it takes to be responsible for one. There are phone lines and cable and internet connections to set up, electric and water lines, mail service and paper delivery all to be arranged...all in the Philippines. All where the word extension doesn't mean extension cord or phone extension either, come to think of it, I'm still not sure what extension does mean here. Nor does today really mean today. Or 5 minutes---five minutes actually means 5 o'clock when you are asking the phone guy when the dsl guy is going to be here. Yes, welcome back to reality. We may have a maid and a yaya, but there is no 24 hour room service, maid service or free electricity anymore. At least we have a a room with a view.

It is absolutely shocking the amount of things you can store in a two bedroom hotel room. As we moved out, overnight...literally (to avoid traffic and have the undivided attention of the bell boys at both places) we had the entire lobby of our hotel filled with suitcases and bins and boxes. It was almost embarrassing! Not only did we have the 8 bags and 3 sets of golf clubs we arrived with, but also the 9 misc buckets we shipped over AND all of the many items we purchased over our 3 months here.

We have been a whirlwind of organization the past few days and we are still waiting for several key pieces or furniture to arrive, like, I don't know, couches! Yesterday Holden said, "Mom, there is something wrong with this room." as he walked around surveying the living area. "That couch, that is upstairs needs to be down here." Yes, dear dear Holden, we do need couches in our living room, and we also need something to put our television on, as well as additional chairs, curtains, lamps, bedding, and hangers, many more hangers. But at least we have seven air con units to stay cool. Here's to hoping the rest of the furniture comes this week, because right now, we are living in our bedrooms, after all, that is where all the furniture is!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Peter Pan and other stories of flying.

In the ever constant quest to find something to do around the city, we found that Peter Pan is in town, live on stage! I convince Nate that this would be great to take Holden to as he is very into pirates lately. I do the research and find out that not only is Peter Pan in town, but we can also go to the hotel where the cast is staying and have brunch with the characters. I now have this idealistic family weekend planned.

I called the number listed for tickets, they pawn me off to to the ticket center, who then sends me to an actual ticket counter at one of the nearby malls. Because heaven forbid anything is simply a one-step process!

We arrive at the bookstore ticket counter and are told that children under 7 are not allowed at the evening shows(out the window goes my idea of our little family dressed for the theatre.) In a way, I understand this, young children can be disruptive, they can't sit still, they kick the seats of patrons in front of them. Although in the back of my mind I am thinking, Holden isn't like that, any child that has made it the 16 hours over here on a plane surely can handle 2 hours of Peter Pan! We talk and decide we will just do matinee show. The ticket agent then asks us how old he is. Of course we tell her three, thinking that maybe there is a child fare. Nope, no kids under 4 are allowed at Peter Pan....EVER.

Ahhh...another one of those Manila Moments...

We weren't trying to take Holden Doctor Zhivago or even Fiddler on the Roof! It was Peter Pan. Peter Pan is a CHILD'S STORY. Peter Pan is a ride at Disneyland. Peter Pan has lost boys and fairies and hungry crocodiles and pirates. Peter Pan is about staying a kid!!! Do you see a theme here? Peter Pan actually equals being a child. Guess that the adults that run the show did grow up. Too bad they forgot about Neverland.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Just a little sign that you did something right.

Holden is modest. Beyond modest really. He doesn't like anyone to see his private parts, that is completely reasonable. Not just that though, he doesn't want anyone to see his underwear, he does not want anyone to see his chest either. Where is this coming from? We have no idea. But I can assure you that after going through boxes and albums of Nate's high school years with his friends, full moons and naked snowmobiling it certainly was not from him!

Holden's other modest moments come when he goes to the bathroom, the door HAS to be closed, he says, "I need my privacy." All of my friends kids shout from the bathrooms, "MOM, I need a wipe!" Not our Holden, he flushes the toilet BEFORE he asks us for help. (Yeah, he is going to die when he reads this post as a deeply embarrassed teenager.)

This is how we know we are doing something right as parents. Today we came home from watching the super bowl and Holden was in the bathroom. Nate went in to check on him, see if he needed any help. He was met with, "No Dad! Only Divina can wipe my bum!" Lucky Divina! We're keeping her!

The little things, like ovens and refrigerators.

Last week we headed over to the new home, so check on the progress. Things are coming along FAST for the Philippines and for the most part we have been pleasantly surprised; all 7 of the aircon untis are installed and working, the curtains have been made, all 3 of the bedrooms have furniture and all of the construction work is done. It was all going so well, until the other day...when we saw our new oven. You know those playsets you can buy at pottery barn kids. The little ones, that are kid size? Um, yeah, it was that size but with real power. It was like an easy bake oven on steroids. I AM NOT KIDDING, and if Nate were home right now I would pull the picture off of his phone and post it!

Nate could barely fit his fist in there. Now you might wonder why we would ever need to roast a fist in the oven, but you never know. Needless to say we would never be able to bake a cake or a turkey or really anything. The space for the oven is large. Very large, like 6 burner large. The stove that is occupying this space is able to fit under the kitchen sink. In fact if it were a bad color, we could just store it under there until it needed to be used. "Honey, we are having roast for dinner tonight, could you take the oven out?" This was only made more frustrating by the dryer, which was too large to fit in its new space. Maybe we could just switch the two; stove in the laundry room and dryer in the kitchen. It's a thought!


Last weekend we headed out of the city again. It is so nice to get out of the pollution and chaos of a big city! We packed up the TP van and headed out with Jeffrey and Ico again to the province of Zambales. It is a mere 3 hours away up past through the mountains and past Subic Bay. It was a real eye-opener for Nate and I as this was our first trip out into the suburbs of Manila. I of course came prepared to buy anything we might find along the way and we stopped numerous times at little side road shops to peruse the furniture and chotskis.

Sand? What sand?

The beach was beautiful and the weather was perfect, not to hot nor cold. We stayed at what seemed like the only "resort" on the beach and there was hardly a tourist in sight. It was splendid. The waves were quite large and while we wanted to head to the islands you can see in many of the pictures, it was too rough to take any of the boats out; it made for good surfing though. We had a great time, and Nate even made the statement several times; "We should come back here every other month." We'll see if he sticks to it, as each new place we go to is his "favorite."

The local children, always quick to play with Holden, buried him in the sand.

Have a seat! One of the roadside shops

Just me and My Dad. (also one of the books Holden is so into right now)

We were all having fun...don't ask me what Ico is doing, I have no idea.

Holden loving on the mama.


View from our resort

Plowing the rice fields with a kalabaw (water buffalo)

Swinging from the trees, this kid...our kid!

Obvious, right?

Holden and Ico in a little stream that heads to the ocean.

Surfs Up!

Holden in the sunset.

Building a "fort" with Daddy

The boy just keeps going and going.

View from the road.

Mmm, tasted like chicken! These lizards were for sale along the roadside for $10 USD. Tempting....no, not really.

Our Home...almost

The staircase going down


Hall way to the master bath
and out of the master bedroom

Sitting area

View from Holden's room

View from Master bedroom

Living area