When a mom gets up to get a drink of water...

...she may decide to go to the bathroom first.

Then she'll notice that a child left wet clothes on the bathroom floor and go outside to call them in to pick them up.

That's when she'll see the 2 year old standing in the driveway with his swim suit laying nearby, pooping.

She'll haul the 2 year old inside to clean him off and make sure he knows to come in and use the potty next time, and make another child clean up the poo with a shovel.

When she goes back outside to make sure the poo is cleaned up she'll see the neighbor kids feeding the little dog chicken bones. She'll stop to tell them not to feed the dog.

Which is when she'll remember there is laundry still hanging that she needs to bring in. So she'll fold it and put it in the basket and bring it inside.

Once back inside she'll head to the kitchen, only to see that the counters are still a mess from lunch.

She'll wipe the counters off and start thinking about what to make for dinner.

While in the fridge she'll remember how terribly thirsty she is.

So she'll go back to the bathroom for the water bottle she left there.

The clothes will still be on the floor.

So she'll go to the door once again and this time remember to call the child who left them there to pick them up.

On the way back to the kitchen she'll hear the baby cry and pick him up.

She'll sit down with the baby to nurse him once more and try to drink out of the empty bottle she is holding.

She'll call a child to come and fill her water bottle for her. (Which is what she should have done in the first place.)

She'll drink about half of it before the 2 year old picks it up and drains the rest.

So she'll be thirsty once the baby's fed, and get up to get a drink of water...


Wishful Thinking

Sometimes I wish I had the money to buy a pretty blog, one that's properly designed and loads fast and stuff.

Sometimes I wish we had a well designed fast loading website for The Charis Project too.

Sometimes I wish I had the perfectly posed and coordinated family photo, the kind other people seem to take every 3 months or so and then blow up real big and stick on the wall over their couch in an artful arrangement that looks just like Pinterest.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by giant things that I fixate on small things like that and end up starting an argument with my husband over trying to plan a family photo session.

Sometimes I wish I had some idea already of where we're going to live, and what kind of house and just, please, somewhere without 20 extra people to bump into unexpectedly when I'm just looking for breakfast. (I exaggerate. There are only 8 kids, 2 babies, and 9 adults when everyone is here at the same time.

While we're at it, sometimes I fantasize about how one day I'll have a bathroom all to myself, that only I use, ever, and I will never accidentally step, or sit, in someone's pee puddle again. (A girl has to have her dreams after all.)

Sometimes I fixate over having one little corner to myself instead, just one place that is quiet and no one disturbs me when I'm trying to do something. I don't have one, just so you know.

Sometimes I think I will never have a thought that completes itself ever again.

Sometimes my inability to complete thoughts without interruption, coupled with people needing me to make giant decisions about stuff I don't feel like I am capable of making decisions about, and the desperate need to just have some space quiet enough to think and regroup makes me wonder if all my decisions aren't suspect, fueled simply by a desire to just run away to escape the constant hubbub.
Sometimes I wish I wasn't such an introvert deep down inside.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have to choose between imperfect options that will affect our whole family.

Sometimes I'm afraid that once I finally do have the space to think I'll realize that I was very wrong, and then I'll be stuck with a bad decision and it's consequences.

Sometimes I manage to remember that, in this instance, there are no right decisions and every choice has trade offs.

Sometimes I remember to push fear aside and carry on.

Sometimes it doesn't stay gone and I have to fight with it on an hourly basis. 

Sometimes I lose.

Sometimes I think about easier things for a while, like how I would redesign my blog if I had money to hire someone to do it. It would be awesome if they could fix whatever is wrong with my domains too.

Sometimes the process of finding courage is a little circuitous.


When packing for an International Move...

In case anyone reading here is also planning to pack up 4 kids, a pregnant belly, and well, Aaron packed himself, and move your entire household overseas for a year or two at least, here are a few of the things I now know we should have brought along. (Feel free to pay the international shipping fees to send me some of these things.) This is in no way a comprehensive list.

We borrowed Settlers of Catan this weekend
1. Good Board Games. I'm not sure what I was thinking my kids would do all the time when we were here, play outside in the dirt all day? Well, they do a lot of that, but there are times when they come inside, to escape the heat, or to rest, or it's night and there are mosquitoes outside, and they get bored and need things to do. Why oh why did I leave all the good board games behind? I even gave some of them away! Now, I don't mind no longer having to endure endless rounds of Candyland, but games like Settlers of Catan, and Uno are fun and good for their brains and stuff too. We've been really blessed to be living in community with people who understand the value of good games to play together, and have many that they brought with them from home that they let us borrow. But we will be leaving here soon, and then we have our lonely game of Dutch Blitz, which I did think to pack, and that's it. I think I will need to buy some regular decks of cards and start teaching the kids old school card games like gin, solitaire, poker, etc.

2. Lego - I gave all of it away. Big mistake. The Boy may be 11, almost 12, but he still spends hours on the Lego construction types of things when he has them around. Cue boy boredom and all it entails in 3, 2, 1... Next time I pack the Lego is all I'm saying.

3. Towels - Did I think we wouldn't want plush towels to dry off with here? Maybe I did. The truth is, everything is line drying just fine, even in rainy season and I miss having a lot of towels to do all the jobs that towels do. I'm having to buy towels here, and they cost about the same as the US and they all have that waxy coating on them that cheap towels often have that makes them more or less, completely non absorbent. I would have tucked more towels in if I had the chance.

4. My bathrobe - I thought it would be too hot for a big fluffy terry cloth robe. I was wrong. Even with it so hot there's no desire whatever for warm water, it's nice to actually feel dry, even if it's only for a minute or two. If you loved your bathrobe at home, you will miss it anywhere.

 5. Even more underwear, with room to grow - Especially for the kids, especially since they are partial to the kind that have the elastic is covered in cloth, especially in this heat. The Girl is already grown out of all the underwear we brought for her.

6. Cotton bottoms - Actually, I mostly brought this. But I should have packed myself more pants and skirts. It's not like back in CA where you can usually wear your pants and skirts a few times before needing to wash them. Here I sweat so much that I need to wash everything after just one wear. Well, I don't NEED to, I just prefer not stinking or wearing salt encrusted clothes. Finding comfortable clothes that fit an are of natural fibers isn't as easy as running to Target here. I haven't found any pants or skirts yet in the places I've looked.

7. Baby Blankets - I thought it would be too hot to need more than two lightweight blankets. I forgot two critical things. 1. How often you need to wash things when babies use them. 2. You need things to lay the baby on top of too, ya know. Especially absorbent things that protect the bed underneath the thing that the baby is lying on.

7. Kindle Case - A friend bought us a kindle fire as a gift on our way out and gave it to Aaron to bing over. It came without a case, and they don't have kindles in Thailand, so there is no where to buy a case. Cue the ominous music and I'm super sad that for lack of advance knowledge and a simple $30 purchase in the US we now have a still functional, but sadly disfigured kindle, now it's been dropped.

That's what I didn't think of bringing. Here's what I'm so glad I did bring.

Bras - They sell them, but not in my size. And there's the sweating thing again. You'll be glad to have a lot.

My Sewing Machine - So I can make the things I can't find, and alter what isn't quite right.

Good Knives - We made room for Aaron's excellent knives. Wish we could have brought the cast iron too, but it was a bit heavy/bulky/impractical to pack.

Kindles - It's hard to find books in English here, but so easy to download them from amazon.

Mostly cotton clothes - nuff said. All the other stuff feels like you're wearing a layer of saran wrap while jogging.


Technical Difficulties

I've had to mess around with my domain settings this week.

It's still kind of a mess because I don't really know what I'm doing.

So please bear with me.

Hopefully the pointer I have set up makes it so you can at least find me still. Though a lot of the specific urls are likely to be lost right now.

It's 4:30am my time. I'm going to sleep and try again tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

Hormone Stew

When you wake up from an unintentional 3 hour nap, having fallen asleep while lying down to get the baby to sleep, and your first thought is to be angry at your husband for having the nerve to sit there while you slept and not bother to wake you, it may be a sign you are swimming deeper in a postpartum hormone sea than you have yet come to realize. Of course, if the nap ended at 12:30 am, and you still have a kitchen to clean, are itchy and sticky and sweaty and still need a shower, and had a few other things you had planned to do before bed tonight the frustration felt might be warranted. Especially since once you wake up enough to do those things you will find yourself wide awake at 2 am and know that your sleep cycles for the night are completely messed up and tomorrow will be an exhausted day now, no matter what.

But the irritation at the man who let you sleep, for not reading your mind and automatically knowing how much it would frustrate you to be left sleeping with so much to do, would most likely be unwarranted.

Also, the part where you cry all the time over things both great and silly might be another clue as to the state of your hormones.

Welcome to postpartum week three.

But he's still cute.
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