Wow, there has been a lot going on in the past little while.
Holden played soccer for his school (the ISM Bearcats) I was surprised he wanted to play as the last attempt at soccer team a couple of years ago was a bust. After the summer camp this year he caught the soccer bug and made the team. The way sports are arranged here is quite funny (as are most things) and they ended up only having 4tournaments the whole season, two of which we were in the US for. Ah well, he looked pretty cute in his uniform and they made it to the finals where Holden kicked the only goal in overtime, in the rain I might add (I tell you that just so you know how dedicated I was, standing out there without an umbrella, haha!)
At parent teacher conferences we had glowing reviews about Holden. Academically he is doing well, but even more importantly he is socially adept. His teacher told us we should be extremely proud of the son we have raised. Could we really ask for a more? Affirmation of successful parenting is so rewarding.
We are coming up on 4 years in the Philippines, and while funny and unbelievable things happen to us here almost on a daily basis, it's so common anymore that I don't think to write them down. I noticed a few things watching Saturday morning cartoons with Holden. There are shows here on the Disney channel that I am almost positive are NOT on your tv back home. For instance, I bet you don't get the show Sally Bollywood or Pucca the cartoon about a ninja who makes noodles and plays ping pong and I'm going out on a limb here but I bet you don't get informational bits between cartoons about Diwali and Ramadan. We do! It's kind of fun, but at the same time, very strange yet again this is the first time I have really noticed enough to think "huh, I bet they don't have this back home."
Speaking of cultural differences, Holden's school recently celebrated Filipiniana. It is a celebration of the Philippine culture and the school embraces it with a full day of activities ranging from cooking and dancing to language class and jeepney rides. The kids are encouraged to dress in native Filipino clothing. Holden and Finnley dressed in the traditional farm clothes.
Finnley is our littlest budding flower. Every day is a new word a new skill or jig of some sort. He adores books right now. Seriously, a concern I had as he wouldn't sit still from the moment he was born to read a book. He now fully embraces books and comes into our room every morning with two or three tucked under his chubby little arm. Sippy cup and baby in the other. They each have names. "Ruff Ruff" or "LALALALALALA" is Sandra Boyntons "Moo, Baa, LaLaLa." "Ice" is Carles'"The Hungry Caterpillar." "Niynight" is "Goodnight Moon." The list goes on. He literally jabbertalks from sun up till sun down. MomMom, DaDad, Ate, Tita, Nanay(Carol the nanny), Tatay(Ed, Carols husband) Purse(percy the dog), bastos(naughty-this is actually his favorite word!) pasta, nice, cheeeeeeese, ice cream, mustoes(muscles)juice, drace(Grace, the other nanny) and my personal favorite pease(please). I forgot how much I love this age, and also how challenging this it is. Then again, most of Finnley's "ages" have been challenging! Every day I look at Nate and ask how he can NOT want 5 more Finnleys. I just adore him so much. His is fully and completely a mamas boy right now. No one else can carry him, or read to him or do anything else for him other than mom and Carol. Thank heavens he has Carol 6 days a week too!
Halloween in the city is interesting. When we were kids we wore costumes and the winter parkas over the costumes because it was so cold. Here it is hot. Costumes are usually made for the US so this year I finally wised-up and had them made. Little Indian Braves. Does any costume call for less covering than a loin cloth? haha I actually had pants made and they turned out really cute. At the Halloween party, Finnley won best costume. Holden's reaction was "WHAT? We are dressed the same!!!" Tough luck big brother.
With both of the boys at every stage I think, this is my favorite age. Clearly, they are all my favorite age, or maybe they are just my favorite boys. Either way, we are absolutely loving life with them.
Nate and I have both been playing tennis together for some time here. For the last little while we have been taking lessons with different couples. Me with the ladies and him with the guys. The couples are fantastic and it's been super fun. We are hooked for life I believe. Every chance we get, we head over to one of the clubs to play. I ran a 5k last month as well and it looks as if I caught the "runners high" as I have been at it ever since. I hate, no that word is not strong enough, I abhor it for the first 20 minutes and then after that I feel like I could run forever. It's sick really, but secretly I love it. The friends, the great husbands and the pancakes afterwards don't hurt either.
I have been busy reading up and booking our flights and hotels for Europe. This year, I celebrate my birthday in Paris and then head to Dublin. Lucky girl, to be surrounded by all three of my boys for yet another journey.