February 17, 2010

Week to Relax

This week has been a relaxing one.  Because of the New Year we do not have any school and the MCC office is closed (it would be pointless to try to accomplish much when everything is shut down).  Ari has two weeks off from school.  Aiyi is on vacation.  The weather has been beautiful and the air smells like spring.  Aside from a fresh realization that Ari needs school for his insanely high daily quota for human interaction, it has been a good few days.  

Here is how it goes.  Mornings are cranky because Ari doesn't know what to do with himself other than tease Jude, who whines perpetually.  They sleep in the afternoon and after that we spend a few hours outside in some form or fashion.  James and I have recently taken to playing a Chinese form of hacky sack (pictured above) while the boys play in the park or on a playground.  We draw a lot of attention and people will sometimes just stand and watch us silently as we act like a bunch of kids.  Half of the fun is imitating each other's "signature" moves.  Mine is a sort of slow motion Swan Lake kick and James can carry on a solo performance for about 10 kicks in a row.  Something about this game can really loosen you up because your body has to be loose and you can't help laughing a lot.  It also gets your heart going.

I have also enjoyed a wonderful reunion with the old MCC "More with Less" cookbook and a new cookbook called "Simply in Season" also printed by MCC.  Great birthday presents!  In the last year, I have experienced a sort of apathy when it came to making food.  There was something about moving to a country where I didn't know how the food system worked, having less kitchenware, and adjusting to a new life that made me unenthusiastic about cooking.  But it needed to be done nonetheless, and I feel like I have been cooking sub-par food ever since we got here.  The arrival new/old cookbooks coincided with this break, and I have regained my love of leisurely planning, cooking and taking pride in my meals.  A lot of the recipes are a throwback to childhood, but there are a lot of great new things in there as well.  What a good feeling!  There is something very therapeutic about cooking.  James and I have agreed that whoever is in the kitchen has a special "Do Not Disturb" status.  For various safety reasons, the boys are not allowed in the kitchen and this makes for an hour of alone time and a chance to be creative.  I imagine that in the near future, we might start involving Ari in some cooking, but for now we are enjoying the solitude.  I have been happily soaking beans ahead of time, making special breads etc, etc, etc.  What fun!

The other picture at the top is of the boys and I on Chinese New Year's Eve.  Jude was so terrified by the deafening noise that he wouldn't even turn his head to look at the camera.  Meanwhile, Ari has decided the pictures are his canvas for strange faces.  The firecrackers have kept going all week long, but don't nearly have the intensity of Saturday night.  Jude has been comforting himself by spending hours saying "Mommy I'm scared fire'rackers".  His other favorite phrase, "Mommy, my eye hurts", is a product of him always accidently poking himself in the eye recently.

That's all for now!


derrydown said...

Sounds like a good time. I just have to laugh over every description of Ari. It's James all over again. He lives for an audience.

Sue said...

Mike and I have those "hacky sacks" we bought in Inner Mongolia. We took them to a gathering of Chinese students recently and they were pretty much kicked to death. After awhile, they don't seem to go back together very well! We'll buy more when we return in September.
FYI, I'm taking Mandarin at the community college this semester. It's hard and fun at the same time.