mom, get off my facebook account…

i have a facebook account. i have no idea how to use it and for a long time it just sat there. until i recently discovered c13 also has a facebook acount. and i did what any good mom would do – changed his password and locked him out of it. he’s not old enough to have a facebook account. he’s supposed to be over 18 or at least 13 and in high school. well, he is 13, but he’s in the 7th grade. what to do… what to do? hmmm… delete it? yeah, i should do that. punish him? oh, yeah, i’m definitely gonna do that. get mad? well, i did sort of do that, but got over it really quickly. i ended up doing something very out of character for me. i asked him about it. his answer, it’s for a school project, for a history project. which explains why he’s friends with the likes of kublai khan, toyotomi hideyoshi, and yuan shikai. and then he reminded me that he is in high school. at the kids’ school if you’re 6th grade grade 6 or below you’re in primary school and 7th grade 7 and above is considered high school. i also added myself to his friends list, so i could keep tabs. and a few days later this appeared on my wall… (that’s facebook talk for he left me a message)

mom, get off my face book account…”

he doesn’t want to be friends – like a knife through the heart. now i know how the whole of england must have felt when prince harry said “but i generally don’t like england that much…”

 

s8 has a bbf

and, yes, i meant to put two bs instead of two fs. cuz this is an extra-special, costs worth way more than your regular ol’ run of the mill best friend forever. i’m talking about a bought best friend. yep, the kind of genuine & true best buddy that only baht (that’s thai money) can buy. i know, i know, i’ve heard it before. money can’t buy friends, blahdy, blahdy, blah. well today it did and it was good. lately we’ve all been having a wee bit of a friendship crisis. now, i know we’ve only been here just over a month and these things take time, but try telling that to friendless children. c13 not included, he’s doing pretty good on the friend front. he’s got his own crew.

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(yep, he’s clapping off beat – that’s my boy.)

but the other two… a11 isn’t even looking anymore because she’s certain no one will ever be able to replace her bff and s8 gives us an “i still don’t have any friends” report everyday after school. however, yesterday after school he was singing a different tune. he comes running up to bh and me, bbf in tow, and wants to know if he can stay for an hour after school to play with bbf. oh, and can he have 30 baht so he can buy snacks for the both of them… to do this justice i have to relay the actual conversation –

s8 with bbf in tow comes running (almost dancing, but not) up to bh and me and says (in his most excited, please, please, please you gotta let me you can’t say no kind of way), “can i stay after school for a whole hour with bbf?”

bh and i respond, “what are you going to do for an hour?”

s8, looking a little panicky like he’s pretty sure a no is coming down the pipes says, “oh, i dunno, play on the playground, oh and if you’ll give me 30 baht i’m going to buy snacks for bbf and me.”

at this point bbf jumps into the conversation, “we’ll do our homework, of course and it’s okay if you wanna give him 40 baht for our snacks.” he ends his contribution with a big ol’ eddy haskel kind of smile…

s8, certain that bbf has hit on something, agrees, “yeah, we’ll do our homework” and then leans over and says to bbf – in a very loud conspiratorial stage whisper, “i didn’t ask for 40 because i don’t think they’ll give it to me.”

bh, a sucker everytime, has the 40 baht out before s8 can finish his whisper to bbf. s8 grabs the cash and they’re off. bh heads off to pay his parking ticket – a whole other post – allowing c13 time to hang with his crew, a11 time to lament how she has no friends and look at how c13 has friends and s8 now has a friend, when’s she gonna have a friend… all the while at least 3 girls from her class come up and try to start a conversation with her, and s8 to buy snacks for his all new bbf…

at dinner, s8, with a very happy smile on his face asks, “do you think i can do that again next week? you know stay after school and play?” and he really, really looks happy.

 

 

 

jane, stop this crazy thing

i keep getting asked, “so, how are you really doing?” like i might not be answering the question, “how are you doing?” honestly. the honest to goodness truth is, i’m doing just fine. i’m including a graph to help define “just fine” –

 

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now, i know that doesn’t look so good, looks pretty close to dismal maybe. But it is what it is. you know during the closing credits of the jetsons, when george yells, “jane, stop this crazy thing”? well, i’m pretty sure i know what he’s talking about. it’s not that i want to go home, or that i’m sorry we moved – it’s that it’s just so much, so fast.

i’ve already posted about the delayed flight, flying standby, bh going straight to singapore from bangkok and the kids and me coming on to chiang mai. which was a bit of a rocky start (if you haven’t noticed i have a tendency to minimize things, i learned that in our “are they the right kind of crazy to move to thailand” counseling session). you thought how brave and adventurous i was when we were here without bh – I got us out of the hotel, went to the zoo, the night bizarre, the internet café… well, the truth is, that while we did do those things, and while it may have seemed brave and adventurous, it was really just forward motion. i would have rather stayed holed up in our hotel room and cried. but what good would that have done, other than to further traumatize the kids. and we did spend a few mornings crying over breakfast – some very nice people who were also staying at the hotel were kind enough to check on us, maybe more to be sure the kids would be okay left in my care.

then bh got to town and we had to really think and act like this was our new home. we took care of the kids and school and got moved into our house. i drove a stick shift – on what i consider the wrong side of the road – in the middle of morning rush hour down and around the streets of chiang mai. and that really might go down as one of the most stressful and scariest things i’ve ever done in my entire life. we found furniture, the grocery store, the local market. i’m learning to shop by picture and that there are some places to shop that are more english friendly – not meaning they speak english, but that there is some english on the packages. i’m learning that things take more time. i’ve learned that i’m spoiled. i don’t like hanging clothes to dry or hand washing dishes. it’s not convenient and it takes time and your clothes aren’t really soft. i want furniture – now. i’m glad we have mattresses and a kitchen table and chairs. but i want some place else to sit in the house. i want my mattress off the floor. i want to be comfortable. and i want routine.

i want someone to talk to. i’m a bit of an extrovert. you know barbra streisand’s lyric, people, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. that was written for me, about me, i’m one of those people – well, not really feeling the luckiest people in the world part right now. and i got no people here. i mean none that aren’t family and forced to endure me because of their genetic makeup or because they said, “i do.” and not only that, the only other adult in the house is introverted. which – if i understand what an introvert means- it means he’s some kind of freak of nature – you know, like a weird mutation or something. he’s drawn me a graph to show me the difference between extrovert and introvert, i’ve done my best to recreate it.

 

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lets say that the 0 – 7 are representative of how full up of conversation and interaction we are – with 6 being as full as you can get – and the 7 being there because i didn’t know how to make it go away. so, bh spends his entire day, either pretty full or totally full. i, however, start with plenty of space available and it’s not full until i close my eyes to go to sleep – and really, it might not be full then. this doesn’t really do his original diagram justice, but it gives you a good idea. the problems – well really it’s just one big problem – this causes are that he is all happy in his introverted little world, no one wants him to participate in any kind of conversation – it’s good, but then there’s me. sad little no.one.will.talk.to.me me. he tries, God love him. he uses exaggerated hand gestures, makes disturbing faces and he grunts, but those really aren’t good substitutes for conversation. so, i blog, a lot. maybe you noticed. and i check my email every chance i get. but it’s not the same. and the truth is, i want friends, but i hate making them. you know, the awkward small talk, the i’m not sure i’m gonna like this person, the i’m pretty sure they don’t like me. i know i’ve done it before, but once you’ve gotten past that you forget it and it’s like you’ve always been friends. it’s sort of like that mommy amnesia – the one where you forget how much it hurt to sit up in bed after a c-section so you go ahead and have another baby. that’s where i want to be, not having another baby – it took three, but now i remember the pain. i want to get to the you’ve always been friends place.

so, right this moment i would say life sucks. but it’s all part of it. i signed up for this. i know it’s where God wants our family and i know it will all be good. and i know i have a choice. i can move forward, get things done or i can curl up in a ball and cry. one is much easier than the other, but i think i’d miss out on all the misery fun.

not to mention the blog fodder.

so, what have we been up to

other than learning to drive…

so thursday night we get a text message from the lovely folks at the office here in chiang mai – we had spoken with them earlier in the day about arrangements we needed to make for friday and they had a solution. they arranged for us to rent a car so i could drive c13 to school to meet with the high school advisor and arrange his schedule. meanwhile, they would send a truck to the hotel to pick up bh, a11, s8 and all our luggage. sounds great? well, after i familiarized myself with a manual, drove around the round about the wrong way, stalled out a few times, i was ready to go – the only thing left was convincing c13 to get in the car with me. once we were off it took us 90 minutes to get to the school; it should have been a 20 minute trip – but we saw some things i hope to be able to find again. then we had to get from the school to our house. luckily, the office manager at CMIS knows just where our moo baan (neighborhood) is. and when we got to the house most of the unpacking had been done!! yeah, bh, a11 & s8! next to do was find something to eat. so we journeyed out – found a super store with a kfc. and look what they had –

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and, of course, we had to do some shopping. but it’s hard to figure out where to start when you have nothing! so, we started with some basic necessities. dishes, a pot and a pan, silverware. a clothes washer!! saturday and sunday were spent setting up house, finding where to get other furniture. stuff that works for us, but doesn’t cost a fortune. and the one thing i really, really wanted to find – a round dinner table – we found yesterday!

other highlights of the last few days… when you don’t inform your credit card company that you’ve left the country they shut you down. when you make purchases you should remember that you no longer drive a minivan, but are currently renting a small passenger van. if here’s what happens if you don’t remember… (and don’t worry, the kids really could breath and they are all still alive) –

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this morning i was highjacked by motorcycle riders and couldn’t get into the lane i needed to be in so took the long unknown way to the kids’ school. and now i sit in a coffee shop – which is a little weird because it wasn’t too long ago that i read about this very coffee shop here – writing this blog, wondering what normal will be like here.

forward motion

today was pretty productive… bh got here from singapore – made everyone very, very happy. we all went to the school and the kids took their tests. we are know renters of one house in chiang mai – yea, a place to call home. and right now, bh is at the hospital getting a physical – he has to have it for his visa. i’ve no doubt it will be done in a jiffy! compared to what has been done since we’ve gotten here, that’s a ton! i thought today would be as good a day as any to revisit that pesky old to do list. the list of all the stuff that needed to be done before we moved.

  1. get passports for me, tb, lb and ff.
  2. visas
  3. figure out what to take and what not to take.
  4. sell a bunch of our stuff.
  5. find homes for the dogs. (we’ve got three, anyone want one?
  6. get the house ready to sell – again. (it should be easier this time. okay, so our friends are doing this for us as we speak…
  7. find a realtor.
  8. sell the house.
  9. get answers to our questions.
  10. find a school for the kids.
  11. find a place to live.
  12. pack.
  13. spend countless hours on the internet researching things i’m not sure about.

okay, that feels good, really, really good! and soon i can return to my normal blogging self – pictures and wit included!!