Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mactan Island, Philippines - pause button

Hitting PAUSE and jetting off to the Philippines for a family babymoon --- a good idea.

Time for some R&R. Sandwiched between an emotional summer plus moving house and the pending arrival of our new baby -- being intentional about spending restful time together is top priority.

fresh squeezed pineapple and mango smoothies (in the pool!?) -  yes, please!

Accessible travel is still one of my most favorite things about living in Honkers. Direct flight to a beachy resort in under 3 hours and within budget? sign me up.

Daddy's frequent work travel coming in handy --
Airport LOUNGE time with the fam is pretty swanky. *my first time*
arrival - Bear with her nose in a Kindle Book, and Bunny feeling like a travel pro

Arrival at hotels in Southeast Asia nearly always involves someone swiftly taking your bags and offering you a comfy seat while serving you cold-refreshing-hand-towels to wash up with. Whisked away on a golf-cart to our room at Plantation Bay Resort - we were met with the most delightful front-doorstep-view:

This little 3-feet-deep pool anchored a small cluster of rooms. Several of these in different variations are scattered across the grounds of Plantation Bay along with saltwater lagoons, a children's pool, waterslides, restaurants and an incredibly beautiful spa to boot. Spoiled much?

thinking of you - grandpa Jack! Know you love these flowers!!

Every effort to leave the hotel grounds in search of adventure was thwarted. It actually became ridiculous - with thunder storms moving in mere minutes before a boat departure, cancelling our trek, only to clear up within the half-hour. Being 5 months preggers, no-one wanted to risk taking us very far. With the very earth seeming to tell us we needed to BE STILL and CHILL OUT (something I don't do very willingly) -- we soaked up lots of rest and pool time. And of course - time at the small beachfront. Probably just exactly what we needed.

feeding the fish - then seeing Dad snorkle among them

bookworm or bar-girl ??
 A highlight - Watching our girls kayak and paddle board!! Got this.

because it's not fun if you don't get wet

- pause -
wait a minute.
keep going.

Our family unit right now is pretty amazing. Two distinct and independent minded girls. Girls I'm proud of. A marriage of 16 years. A loving husband and excellent father. Living life with arms open, hearts open, and eyes wide. And always on the brink of something different because life is full of surprises and wonder. Which is felt ten-fold when you are expecting a child. Third child. Our "unit" is about to change and we don't yet know what it will be like, except that it's sure to be wild and crazy and wonderful. Plus, I turned 40 during this trip. Which is hitting me unexpectedly hard. So yes, in conclusion, a babymoon - a moment to pause before everything shifts - is a very. very. good idea.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New Things DAYBOOK

Outside My Window
still sweltering!

I'm Thinking About
babies. It's official. MacSlarrow Number Three - on the way!!!!! (it's a BOY! 👏 👶 💙 🙏 )

I Don't Want To Forget 
the way those who leave us - change us. RIP.

I'm Learning Trying
to ignore that to-do list more often and rest up.
to quiet down the steady stream of endless plans and lists in order to BE in the moment.

I'm Hearing
the air-con - because "outside my window"!
oh - and renditions of "Symphony" and "Despacito" by my 4 & 9 year olds.

I'm Reading
The Power of Play - by David Elkind
    Decent read. Good stuff. Great topic. Not incredibly well written.
Not My Father's Son - by Alan Cummings
    Fabulous. Very impressive writing style and quite the memoir!
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal - by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    Sis - you MUST get this book in your hands, stat!
A Wrinkle In Time - by Madeline L'Engle (reading aloud to ABear)

Around The House
Still settling in. At a snails pace, it seems. We moved into school housing - so my commute is a dream (an elevator ride!). The space is great. Location is more amid the bustle of life, which suits me, but still very "southside" (aka expat and green). We have a 10 minute walk to the beach. I mean - c'mon!

Arrived from the airport of our crazy summer to THIS. Welcome home.

checking out the closets (and emptying alllll the clothing boxes) Addie-style

a room of her own

and hers -- aren't those pom pom curtains divine??

At Work
Still settling in. Yep - I just wrote that AGAIN. New building. New students. New colleagues. New New New. This lower-primary building is gorgeous. Purpose-built .... this is the cream! Feeling so lucky to be here for this grand opening and to be teaching in this incredible space.

photo cred: HKIS - yes, the children made that backdrop!!!
photo cred: HKIS - our magical doorway into the library

rainbow stairs - main stairwell

photo cred: HKIS - entrance
playground on the 7th floor (our family goes often in the evenings for a romp after dinner)

made to look like the famous Hong Kong Star Ferry - unique climbing structure, water feature under construction

view from the playground at sunset

My classroom space - a work in progress

Eating Out (confession - I'm never in the kitchen anymore)
We turned "back-to-school-night" into a date night so we could actually see each other :) Stuffed ourselves silly with fish tacos, spicy prawns, and vietnamese crab salad last week. Also -  a Japanese-Peruvian blend restaurant?! Don't mind if I do!!

So Very Hong Kong
personal space. not so much. So about that new baby.... did you know that maternity wards in HK are shared rooms? Yep - I'll be just a pull-curtain away from several other new mothers (could be up to 20 depending on the hospital) when the little one is born. I was feeling a little uncertain about this "sardines in a can" deal... though trying my best to maintain game face... when a local friend lamented that a room by yourself can be so isolating and depressing... way to spin it! I love it. I'm holding on to that! Support and solidarity in numbers, baby. Bring it.

One Of My Favorite Things

A Less-Than Favorite Thing 
Bad air-quality. Typhoons.
A fire alarm at 5:30 a.m. on a school day with a 9-floor walk downstairs in pajamas.


I'm Thankful
for my husband. He's a rock. A really handsome, heart-of-melted-chocolate kind of rock.

I'm Planning
Baby!!! Making lists of names, moving the crib all around to see where it fits, collecting hand-me-down baby clothes, reading up about public hospitals in HK, prepping the girls for the chaos and beauty that is about to take front-center here.

Picture Thoughts :
downtown HK after breakfast - waiting for a taxi

making good use of this HOT weather on a weekend

hit pause on rock climbing - this year it's all about BASEBALL!

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL:   Reception 1 (Pre-K) and Grade 4