Wednesday, April 20, 2011

82$ Mistake

So I have made two pretty costly mistakes since I have been here.  Both have involved promising my children that we could do something only to discover that what was a cheap way to have fun in the states is enormously expensive here (or at least I haven't figured out the affordable way of doing them).  The first woops was promising that we could paint our nails.  Went down to the local nail place, picked out our favorite colors after much deliberation.  Every girl had their color in their hand.  Went to pay and was told that they were 16$ per bottle!!  We could have all gotten our nails done for what I paid for the nail polish!  Argh. 

And second mistake......  I promised the girls yesterday that we would go to a craft store in town and they could spend 10$ on whatever they wanted.  I felt like I was being particularly spendy because at home the limit was $5!   When we arrived at the craft store it became quickly apparent that my 10$ limit was unreasonable.  Paint was 7$ per small jar, the cheapest paint brushes were 4$, beads were 30$, a box of crayola markers were 25$ and glue 8$!!  Argh.  I became so exasperated as we moved from craft project to craft project that I finally settled on one of the cheapest options and left the store 82$ poorer.  Bleh.  I guess before I promise we will do something here I will check out myself first!  Glad I packed lots of art supplies!!  Now you guys know what you can send us for Christmas and pack in your luggage when you come to see us :)


Just had a realization today as I was getting off a bus... My first successfully navigated trip with all three.  A Hindu woman helped A off the bus.  Before we got off the bus a Chinese woman played with ME and a Malay man steadied G. 

I realized that if it were not for A's broken foot I would not be so in need of other's help.  Countless people in the city have carried A up stairs, carried the stroller, opened doors, given me the thumbs up, and many other acts of kindness.

In the past few days I have seen so much humanity.  The people of Singapore have a spirit of service and kindness.  Alice's broken leg has helped magnify that spirit and given me an opportunity to witness the humanity of the people here in a way that I don't think I would if I looked a little less of a spectacle!
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Sunday, April 17, 2011


Alice getting her cast bi valved for the the 26 hr plane ride......

Saying goodbye to sweet Mrs. Delaney.... both girls had her in Kindergarten

Alice's classmates saying goodbye.....

Downtown Singapore where we will be staying for another week

Marina Bay where we are staying.....

Chilling with the Gimp

After a week of trying to expose our children to local food I broke down.  They were the happiest I have seen them all week.  Sigh......

Serviced apartment where we are staying

The OTHER side of the serviced apartment

View from our balcony
So we made it to Singapore!  The plane ride was just as I expected.  Hell.  It took us over 33 hours of travel time to reach Singapore.  I learned several things:

1.  Travel Light
2.  Make your children sleep
3.  I don't ever want to do that again alone...
4.  The way the other mothers managed on the plane is not an option sadly enough.
5.  They will help you if you look pitiful enough and will in fact move everyone for you if you no longer have the will to go on.
6.  A broken leg gets you to the front of the line for everything and was in fact VERY helpful and a key reason why I even made it (with a full brain) to Singapore, oddly enough.

We have been staying in a serviced apartment (where everything is provided for you.... a little better than a hotel).  Martin's work provides it for two months.  Luckily we will only need it one more week when our airship arrives and our apartment will be available.

Jet lag has REALLY been hard.   The first night we were awake at midnight to Mary Esther wanting to rock out and by 2 the entire family was awake watching cartoons.  I think the girls watched 7hrs of TV that day much to their delight.... despite advice to keep them outside in the sun.   We have progressed an hour each night to where last night we were only awoken at 4 by Mary Esther declaring, "she wanted to go home to our house and play with Charlotte and Marky!"  She has been the funniest of all and given us a view into how little she understands.  About every three or four hours she declares she wants to go home and that she would like me to have Charlotte come over to our new pool.  Sigh....

The area we are staying in is like the Wall Street of Singapore.  Needless to say they don't really know how or what to think of me and my three darlings when we go out.  First of all, there are three children (GIRLs no less) and second of all we have no helper (gasp).  But I have high hopes that my experience will be much different in the neighborhood we are moving to and that milk will only be $6 a quart instead of $10 :).

We went to church today for the first time.  It was so nice to sing familiar songs, have a familiar routine, and worship.  So nice to go anywhere in the world and have that touch stone.  Greta usually declares in her peachy way that, "SHE HATES CHURCH."   When told this morning that it was Sunday and we were going to church she simply declared, "oh good.  I need some friends here."  Well at least she is connecting with the sociality of the religion.  We'll take it!

We ate dinner with another family who is homeschooling tonight and it gave me a lot of hope and excitement that we will be OK homeschooling. 

Overall I am feeling very homesick for the dear friends that we have left but excited to be setting out on a new adventure. 

Did I mention that it is VERY hot here?

Remembering and Forgetting

This post was written a week ago.... I just had a hard time uploading the photo's so it took a little while to get it up :)

This was the living room the night before the movers came......

It was so nice to have movers.......

There she blows...... Our container

One last squeeze from Grandma.....

So this is our last week in pictures. I realized that my past week has been a series of remembering and forgetting all of the excitement and joy that I felt when I (we) made the choice to sell all (most) of our posessions and set out on the adventure of moving all the way to the other side of the world.

I forgot the feeling of rightness when I was organizing my house at midnight so the movers could come. I remembered when they came and the day went so smoothly. I forgot when all my kids came down with strep the only month we weren't covered by insurance in the states. I remembered why I was making the choice when my dear friends from the nursery school we attended for 5 years threw us a party and reminded me of all the reasons why I was going. I forgot when we had to say goodbye to our dear dear Richmond Grandparents who have been our rock these last 8 years since we embarked on parenthood. At so many different points I have thought, "what in the HELL am I doing? Did I really CHOOSE this?"

Alice broke her tibial growth plate on Sat. night and that is the point in which I really forgot. I called Martin and told him what had happened and he replyed that, "he was coming home." WHAT? We sold the home! There was no home!

I was thinking about all of the events of the past few weeks and I realized it had been a lot of remembering why I had made the choices that I have and mostly forgetting why I had made the choices that I have. I realized that this is a lot like our lives. We make choices and then we set out on that path. We choose careers, we choose life partners, we choose places to live, where to go to school, who to be friends with or not, we choose to stay close to family members or not, we choose how to use our money, choices regarding family building...... So many life choices to be made. We pray about them, think about them for a long time or just make a quick decision. We usually go with what makes our hearts sing.

I try to make the best choices I can. I don't take overly long to think through things and I ususally think that I have made the best choice possible. And then life happens I forget. All is not bliss in marriage, kids get sick, jobs suck, things are hard. Sometimes really hard. But I have realized over the last couple of days that the hard is just white noise to distract. Noise that is sometimes so loud you can't hear anything over it. You can't hear your inner voice reminding you of why you chose your partner, your job, to have kids etc.

I am going to try and do a better job of remembering everyday exactly how I felt when Martin and I made the choice to move to Singapore. Remind myself how excited I feel and have felt. Remind myself of all the excited sentiments that people spoke to me. Remind myself of all the good that I have to take with me to our new home. Remind myself so when more hard comes our way (28hr plane ride for starters) I will remember that I felt good...... So good about this choice.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Move Out Eve

Martin wrote this on the floor board before he finished off the floor in Feb.  I am feeling a little sentimental on this move out eve.  All of the littles are snug in their beds one last time.  I am reminiscing and feeling a little emotional.  I have had all my babies in this house.  I have had some great times in this house.  I have had some really hard times in this house.  I have loved a lot of people in this house.....  I am very excited for the new adventure but feeling extremely sad to be leaving a home that I love and people I love.  I keep getting this crazy thought.... Why in the HELL am I doing this?  Am I REALLY doing this on purpose?  Here's hoping the other side helps me feel better about the answers to these questions.......