our thanksgiving ritual

Thanksgiving is arguably my biggest holiday. I love it fiercely.

Since I moved to Asia after my college graduation I have managed to celebrate it each year-even in those first few years where I didn't really even try (hello free happy hour thanksgiving feast at a hotel bar in Yangoon!). But about 8 years ago or so some of my best friends here in Laos came together to make Thanksgiving. We were all single, young and marginally employed. I think some of the impetus was realizing that in our motley united nations of a social set, there were actually a enough of us Americans to want to do it. We invited all our friends, cooked all day, it was grand, and a tradition was born. Especially meaningful is that one of the guests that first year mentioned that he thought it was tradition to go around the table and say what you're thankful for (it wasn't in my family) but we all agreed it sounded good--and we have done it every year since.

Now a lot of that first group has moved on and/or married and/or had kids and it makes for a different celebration but the deep love and joy I feel getting together with everyone who is still here and can come is just fantastic. My father has been here maybe half the time or so and was scheduled to attend this year but his back was acting up so he was missed. One dear girlfriend left Laos for Afghanistan three years ago and yet she has still made it to the last two (3?) Thanksgivings (and that takes commitment to Turkey, let me tell you!). 

The only bummer is I'm so busy on the day I never take pictures. Luckily, I can rely on my girlfriend Emma for that. Maybe she'll share a few more too...

oh, and the food was was mighty fine too...

Nava on Thanksgiving:
Give me turkey. Give me sweet potato. More. More. More. Why is Goong eating a sweet potato without me? If I kiss her she'll give it to me surely... Why is mommy making me eat vegetables when I can see she is cutting turkey? Where did all these kids come from and why are they using my swing? Ok, they can have that swing and I'll use this one. Look mommy, if you're too busy talking to give me more pie,  I can crawl on the table and get some pie myself mommy, watch!



I roasted a turkey yesterday (#1 of 2) and carved it this morning. I am jazzed for Turkeyfest 2011 (two days straight turkeying thanks to friends also hosting). And Nava cried and refused breakfast this morning because she wanted the turkey, goshdangit!@$$#@#~!.

I could go on about our Thanksgiving. And I will. But really today, I'm just writing to send you off to go read someone else's blog. You must go read this now. Please do. She sums up what is in my heart right now perfectly.

I'm sooooooo thankful.


it's a sign

There has been so much up as of late it's hard to know where to start. First up, communication.

Nava has taken to sign language in a big way as of late. It is sooo much fun. After our last trip to Bangkok we bit the bullet and re-commited ourselves to working on it. We led in this time with a suggested phrase: I (hand to self) + Want (hand outstretched palm up) + That (pointing at object). It took a matter of days for this to replace the heavy starring/grunt she used to do at the food she wanted and she quickly ran want+it together in one fluid notion. She also detirmed that "I" was unneccessary because, well...dude, was it ever in doubt who is doing the wanting here ?!?! She got into telling us exactly which food she wanted a bite of (still prefers we spoon rather than self spoon), when she wants water, and when she'd like you to fork over your breakfast cause it looks better than hers.

What was interesting was this phrase triggered her bringing back "more" pretty much all on her own. And she uses that in a big way now. She then picked up Book as her next sign (after 3 days of mommy doing it). Eat she prefers to do her way (mouth opening and closing) over ASL. She kinda stalled there but we are keeping up with more signs and have no doubt more are to come. Oh and she has definitely gotten into pointing beyond food too. She tells us, for example, to go upstairs, outside, in the high chair, and points to the mat in the backyard when she wants us to put it out so she can play. She is so tickled when we "get" what she's saying.

So now every night, after pajamas she tells us Books! And then assigns me to read 2-20 books before the thumb goes in and the eyelids droop. It's a hard life.




Guess what! Notice anything different?

Got it yet? I gots me some stylin' new glasses! The flooded factory in Bangkok that had then for the last 6 weeks apparently dried out enough to send them and I went and picked em up last week.

They are this nifty kind where the ear part comes off and you can trim the 'leg' exactly as long as you want and then just slip the ear bit back on. Custom glasses!

 I like em so much I gave them a round of applause. Hooray!


Hey y'all. 
Nava here.
Apparently my mama has not been keeping my blog up like she should. Geesh.
I wonder what her excuse is this time...

I'll go get here and make her get to work. More posts soon promise!


The Hostess with the Mostest

The playgroup tradition continues, this time at our place (if the lino doesn't give it away). We had swings, trains, bikes, the pool, slinkies...

Nava enjoyed instructing Anton in the finer points of swinging and our hand-me-down train set got its first real workout thanks to a very industrious Tommy. Manora showed off her fabulous sitting and pre-crawling skills as well.

so much to do, so little time...


teeth are not kind

These pictures pretty much sum up how we've been doing recently. It's not pretty. 2 bottom molars have appeared and with it drool and a sense the universe is against us (no no molars for me but ya know, I'm *with* the one who is getting them soooo...).

The other big development here, which I want to do a post on soon, is that signing has really taken off. And of course "more" is a very popular sign.

So you can imagine my twisted feelings when I just successfully applied teething gel to a sobbing angry-at-the-world Nava and she looks at me with puppy dog eyes and signs... More. Awwwwwww baby!


self admiration

 We have a picture shelf in the kitchen and Nava was ordering asking Noi to bring her over for a better look at it the other day. There was one laminated pic that was child-safe to take off and study. Nava liked it so much she insisted that Noi gave it kisses. Over and over again. And then some more. One guess as to what the picture was...


being neighborly

Nava entertained a gentleman caller the other day. Our neighbor Big (that's his nickname, Nava is unusual in that we actually call her her real name) came over to play.
By all reports, Nava was a gracious host and kept offering him her toys. She even offered him a go on her swing but he was like, "What?! Up in that thing? No thanks."
swing? pfffff
He left very reluctantly and only because his younger sister wouldn't stop crying (the nerve) and only after his mommy promised he could come play again real soon. Yay!


silent sunday rulz

NB: Having a camera always at the house means I get to see what goes on when I'm not home. ie this!



Have you ever read the blog Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures? If not, click immeadiately. Absolute gauranteed LOL material.

And she has a whole post about photography of children. In which she points out the inevitable progression toward a stage of blur. I hereby submit the following as scientific proof this woman knows her stuff! This what all the pictures of playgroup look like these days.

It's like Composition? I don't need no stinkin' composition!



it's good to have a hobby

...in Nava's case, the hobby is object transference (or at least that's what Moxie's mama calls it.)
must. get. all. the. balls. out.

Nava has become obsessed in a big way about with taking x out and putting x back. it is clearly the passion of her 19 month old heart. Balls are generally the number one target.

we put the balls on the chair. that's where they go. trust me.

She also enjoys emptying her bag of bath toys one by one into the bath basin while sitting on her potty in her pre-bath toilette ritual. She developed the game before I read about it being a good PT exercise (reaching and grabbing and transferring across midline, ya know). So now we cal it therapy and mommy takes credit.

She's also been broadening her areas of house control. I recently came home to this, carefully stacked by her. 

Apparently mommy's books day's are numbered. I predict very soon this will become a toy shelf...


spectacularly spectacled

Just a quickie...
In case you still have a little room left for Halloween cuteness, you can go check out this post on Little Four Eyes of kiddos all dressed up with their glasses and costumes.

Keep your eyes out for a really cute ladybug about halfway through...    ;)


32 for 21: that's a wrap

Phew. it's November.
Well that was fun. Difficult but fun.
Now, back to a more manageable blogging schedule. So lets take it nice and easy for today with a cute pic of Nava at Babygroup last week. Which is where we need to be in 30 min so I gotta run!

this was shortly after the biting incident
 Also-Navagating got some new Followers (google) and Likers (facebook) over October-welcome everybody!

pointing finger is everywhere these days!

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