I haven't been in touch with family or friends for 3 months--I am still a LOAFER. I guess some things never change. In those precious quiet moments at the end of the day, there's nothing I would rather do than read a book, watch an episode of American Idol or the Office on the computer, or flip through the TV. What is wrong with me? Of course, there are many things I should be doing--exercising, scripture study, meaningful conversation with my spouse, projects, cleaning, etc, but still the desire to loaf cripples my motivation to do anything meaningful. Are all parents of young children challenged by this, or is loafing in my very make-up? Shaun and I hold loafer's anonymous meetings at midnight, as we discuss all of the things that we should do and need to do but don't do. Last night Shaun threatened to throw all of his guitars and amps into storage. They are his loafing lovers. (I have to admit that I wanted to encourage that idea, but upon further reflection I realized that he would just wander around the house bored, bugging me as I tried to read :) So, I apologize for this mental lapse of judgement and will make a renewed effort to rise above the loaf-- atleast for today.
I will now give the quarterly report for the Hedquist family:
*Went by myself to Hong Kong for a Women's Conference. It was so refreshing to actually listen uninterrupted to speakers, go to the temple, and play with my girlfriends. Shaun was left at home with the kids, where they reportedly wiped the floor with him. A little glimpse: Sophie peed in her chair at McDonalds while Dooby threw a fit because his diaper was used to mop it up. Who would've loved to be a fly on the wall then??? Shaun did a great job though--the children were clean and dressed, the house was clean, and dinner was on the table when I got home. Yea for Shaun! Now I know he can handle babysitting more often:)
*Hosted a fun Easter Egg hunt/dinner for our kids friends and their families. It was a blast, but a bit tight with 30+ people crammed into our apartment. Everyone brought yummy food and the kids had fun playing together. Every toy we owned needed to be put away afterwards :) I think we'll tone it down next year, but the kids sure had fun!
*My Mom came to visit! I had someone mothering me for a change! It was 10 days of bliss. We took the kids to the zoo, amusement park, "Horton hears a Who," Taipei 101, toy store, parks, restaurants, all the toddlet-friendly hot-spots. On my birthday (33!) I slept in, read for a while in a steaming bath, had yummy meals prepared for me, and didn't even have to make my own cake! Thanks Mom! Of course, we always go through depression when family leaves, and it was very hard to say goodbye. These are the times when I accuse Shaun of removing me from my family, and he reminds me of the scripture where it talks about cleaving to your spouse.
*Sophie's preschool did a musical performance at the International School's spring fair. Sophie did a great job singing and dancing, and of course, we got it on tape. Our favorite part is her bum-bumping rendition of thunder. Check it out on our videos!
I don't remember anything else about April. It went by in a blur.
*Mother's Day festivities started on Friday at Sophie's school. They sang some sweet songs, recited the "roses are red" rhyme, and made us a pancake breakfast. Sophie made a sweet little card and flower craft which she proudly presented to me. It was a lot of fun!
On Sunday Shaun and the kids gave me a wonderful Mother's Day. Shaun made breakfast (chocolatey pastries from the bakery chosen by little Sopher with some fruit thrown in for good measure.) They gave me a beautiful pendant with the Chinese characters for "Mother," and Shaun made a yummy Italian dinner and cake for us. Wow Shaun! Didn't know you were so domesticated. I'll be taking advantage of this more in the future. I didn't even have to do the dishes.
Sophie is done with preschool for the summer. They had a great graduation/spring recital program for the parents. Sophie was turkey-lurkey in the play and did an excellent job hopping and strutting around the stage.
She's a big girl and loves to practice writing her letters, draw bugs, dance, and play dress-up. She has been using her princess status with Daddy to try and manipulate him into buying her a kitty. He got her some fish. After spending a week trying to keep the kids' fingers out of the fish tank, the excitement dwindled and her yearning for a real pet kitty has returned full-force. It will be interesting to see whether or not she can wear down Shaun's resolve never to keep a pooping animal in the house.
Sophie likes to remind me that she is "a big girl in life--she growed up to be 4!!" It amazes us how fast time flies. With the approaching 4th birthday, Sophie has perfected the art of ignoring our calls and dawdling when it's time to pick up toys, so the "fire ant" (a nice little sting on the rear end!) has been introduced as an incentive to keep her hoppin'. Who ever thought I'd re-enact my Dad's discipline measures--especially such torturous things as the fire ant?? I have to say though, it really works! Just the mention of it sends her scurrying into action. Shaun promised Sophie that we would do a family trip to Hong Kong Disney in July for her birthday. She is so excited, especially after seeing pictures of cousins Julia and Kyndal enjoying themselves there! She reminds us every day that we are going on July 25th. Sophie just got her hair cut short for the summer. I actually want to chop mine off, so I thought I'd try it out first on Sophie :) Shaun was not too thrilled. . . although he hasn't said it outright, I think his comments of having 2 boys, Sophie with her "doggy ears", etc. are packed with meaning.
Lucas. . .what to say? He is at present the very epitome of naughtiness. He screams "NO!" at everything, pushes little kids at the playground, gets into everything off-limits, and throws fits at the hint of not getting his way. I guess this is our reality of a 2 yr-old son. Of course he still has his moments of sweetness. He loves to snuggle mommy, totes his blankie around, and gallantly acts as Sophie's prince when Daddy is away.
His obsessions have drifted from foilet to “ball-ie, phone-ie, and money.” Notice in his picture that he is clutching a little bouncy ball and a coin as he eats his meal?? I think the ball obsession must be in his very make-up after hearing a description of Matt Hedquist as a child. It’s in the genes. At the playground he has to be on the basketball court with his “ball-ie”—not the swings, slides, or tunnels. No way, that stuff’s for babies. At home it’s constantly about tossing the ball to each other, or just chasing after it if no one is available to play. He points out balls in books and movies. He also has to have Shaun’s cell phone at all times. It’s a wonder that we haven’t lost it when we’re out and about. That thing is in his clutch at all times—mostly used to call Grandma.
Not-so-little Dooby keeps us busy as he’s discovered the stool and it’s many uses. Sometimes we’ll find him drenched with water at his bathroom sink. Sometimes I’ll find him trying on a new shade of lipstick in my bathroom. Sometimes I’m thwarting his efforts to grab knives, diced onion, and eggs off the countertop as I try to cook in the kitchen. Shaun is reminded of his childhood stool which had words painted in it that went something like “I use it every day in almost every way.”
Life is zooming by on fast-forward with our little nuggets of love. Sometimes I can go for weeks just trying to care for our family without realizing that we are living in a foreign land. Brief moments in time remind me that I am NOT in Kansas anymore, such as having the Coldstone ice-cream staff warn me that the triple chocolate delight is too sweet, or wondering why a proclaimed “Chicago-style” pizzeria has pizzas with squid, shrimp, sea cucumber, corn, and potatoes. I’m sweating profusely in April as the temperatures soar into the 90’s, and saw my children’s faces in a clothing catalog. Yes, we are still living in Taiwan.