Saturday, October 26, 2013

Florida Pictures

I forgot to put the pictures here, but I've had them for weeks. Things have been so good lately with the babies that I think I thought I'd done it. Joash has settled nicely into life in America. He absolutely loves his rides in his 'special seat' in the car, with all the trucks and tractors to see everywhere. And the 'new kids' just keep coming, though he's a bit of a loner at play. It's still a bit unnerving when he gets that toddler look in his eye and he's rife to misbehave, but those looks are more infrequent for now. Is that what I'm meant to keep calling him? A toddler? Because his walk is now steady and strong. He spends handfuls of minutes at a time running laps of the living room. A bouncing run that flip flops his hair.

That kid. Every day it seems like he has a new sentence to share, and he's started expressing his emotions. At nap time yesterday, he told me he was, 'So sad!' At nap time is when we recount our days. 'Funny Jack!' he exclaims after we've met fellow expats and their three young babes for lunch. 'See Luthor?' he asks days after we've met a friend's smiley boy. Finally I have to wind down the conversation to remind him to go to sleep and he tosses his body over on the pillow until he remembers something important about a monster truck or 'Light Queen' (Lightning McQueen), and I have to remind him again. I will never regret spending nap time with my boy instead of busied with incessant chores.

And sweet Ammi girl bursts enthusiasm when she recognizes it's me who has her, it's me up with her in the midnight hours, it's me catching her nose or freeing her from a diaper. Her limbs fight each other for space and she looks like she's dancing. She's so much more routined than Joash ever was. We left her last night for a two hour date because she regularly takes a hefty evening nap. Even when we were in Florida just weeks ago, that ended in gales of screams, but now we come home to thumbs ups from the grandparents and the visual of her spread eagle, her full weight released on Grandma's torso. Amazing babies. When it's good, it is the sum of life. And let's not talk about the bad for just this once.

Dan leaves tomorrow for the better part of a month, and with that comes the familiar struggle to find balance between missing him and making it. I'm not good at finding that. The more I'm alone, the more I want to be, but hopefully this is the last big chunk of travel for a while, and then we can start a new part of life in a new place. In our own place. Settled in a way we haven't been for years. I'm not a good nomad, so I'm excited to stop transitioning and finally just be transitioned.

Friday, October 11, 2013

We made it to America, but I don't yet have much to show for it digitally. Jet lag was kind enough to us, but moving our poor son around the world right after he turned two seems to have activated the terrible component of the age. There was a week of near constant screaming. I liken it to being hazed during hell week. I will mark it in his baby book as such. But he did end our time in Florida with a few sweet days, good guy. We kept trying to find "new kids" for him to play with. We kept failing. He was the only kid in the nursery at church, the only kid in the food court, the only kid trying to get into the play area at the mall that was closed for cleaning the one day we planned on going. "New kids?" is now how he implores us to find him suitable playmates, none so suitable as my mother. They wiled their weekend days away with muddy toes and dirt bombs, sidewalk chalk and water balloons. They took morning walks to work where Joash would sit in my dad's office and play with complimentary toy-sized tow trucks, watch Cars on my mom's tablet, and point out the endless trucks rumbling their way to the Walmart warehouse center down the road. There was even a golf ball dropping game going on yesterday before we left for Cincinnati.

And the little girl. I've watched Ammi become sweeter as the days go by. She cries less and less (except today apparently), a sometimes daintier, girlier cry than Joah's was, though car seats remain her holdout. She will not fall asleep unaided in a car and is a very dedicated screamer when she wants to be. She has already pooped the pants of almost everyone in my family. I'm blessed with such expert poopers. Oh, and at two months old she weighs 14 pounds, a feat that took her brother the better part of a year to accomplish.

Grandparents are everything I imagined them to be from my secluded tower in Seoul. Watching my son find new favorite people in some of my favorite people was wonderful. He became my dad's NASCAR buddy and my mom's keen playmate. And Ammi has won everyone over with her chubby little head and favored Moro reflex. Sharing the task of keeping her in arms all day completely disseminates the stress of it. And we are only halfway through our grandparent accrual. Dan's mom has already snuggled with the sister, and she will soon enough be busting with the brother when he and his dad arrive later today with our van full of stuff.

All of it feels so lucky. I'm trying to savor it before the charm dissolves into normalcy.

Ammi Smiles from serenity johnson on Vimeo.
The sweet.

No Pictures, Please from serenity johnson on Vimeo.
The sour.