Saturday, May 31, 2008

What's Next

We've spent the last couple days getting back into the Denver groove. Re-stocking the kitchen, trying to re-establish bed time routines, catching up on must-see TV. (Can you even believe how they ended LOST and Desperate Housewives?)

For the first time in five years, we don't have any travel plans for the foreseeable future - except to try to get out to Maryland to see my grandparents. We've talked about spending a little time touring America (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Santa Fe), and maybe doing a little car camping with Chase this Summer. But mostly we're talking about work on the house and the yard. The kitchen desperately needs to get done. Plus there is much painting I'd like to do.

I finally found a good swim program for Chase (at the Jewish Community Center, which by the way is like Club Med). If we're lucky she will also get to do a little dance program there called twinkle toes. And yes, even though we aren't Jewish, we can still take classes there.

I am uber frustrated with the school situation - the Denver International School (the one that is super close) is starting a early immersion program this fall, which takes 3-year-olds. Problem 1: Chase misses the age cut off by 3 months. Problem 2: They only have 3 spots (all of which are filled) for part time. The other Chinese school is so far away - and so disorganized. So if we want to have her attend in Fall 09, we need to get the application in asap (but this still doesn't guarantee anything). Plus, the Denver Public School system may open a Mandarin immersion program nearby, so I'm on the fence about DIS. We're currently on a wait list for the Children's Garden Montessori (but won't know until December) and the Waldorf School has a massive wait list as well (for the younger grades - the only grades I'm interested in). UGH. Why is this so hard?

Other than that, I have big plans for home-made sorbet this Summer. I also need to figure out how to cook real Thai food, because the Thai food in Denver is awful.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Virgin Gorda

As we could not make it to Virgin Gorda in one day, we spent the night in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We packed a cooler full of food for the trip. We awoke hoping our food was still cold (neither of us actually wanted to open the cooler for fear the cold air would escape) - or perhaps most importantly, that Chase's yogurt tubes were still frozen...

And then we boarded a small plane...

And an hour later, arrived at last...

Our friend, Jeff, picked us up at the airport.

Our first stop was the house (Jemstone), to catch up with Victoria (who looks like a super model) and the kids (Jack & Olivia).

Over the next eight days, we spent most of our time between the beach and the house.

(Here's my super model friend)

Chase loved the beach...

And when we weren't at the beach, she loved playing at the house.
Here are Olivia and Jack...

Chase overcame her fear of water...

Hubs read books...

And Chase learned to love the sand...

And we went to Mad Dogs ... several times ...

On our last day we went for brunch at Little Dix (a Rockefeller resort).
The grounds are amazing; the beach was beautiful...

Sure going to miss this island...

And the next morning we bid farewell to Virgin Gorda ...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back In Town

Back from a most relaxing trip to Virgin Gorda, one of the British Virgin Islands. I think I slept more in the past 10 days, then the last two years. It was marvelous. Pictures to come.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mandarin School

Today, I went to visit the school that provides 2.5 year-olds with a full Mandarin immersion class. I went in hoping for the best, but I have to say I found it all a little make-shift and a bit chaotic.

The school seemed a little less established than I had hoped it would be - and Chase would be the very youngest in the class - the oldest being about 5 years-old, which kind of concerns me, only because it seems that the older kids would probably be more verbal and proactive, and I'm afraid Chase might get lost in it all. But I could be wrong. There is always the chance that she could learn a lot from the older kids.

I had a good chat with the school admissions woman, who also doubles as the English teacher. She indicated that by 4th grade, children are proficient - they can write and speak Chinese with ease. At 4th grade level they also offer kids an opportunity to add a third language. SO COOL.

Jury is out. Not sure what the verdict will be.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Down South

So Animoto has changed their format; they won't allow me to download shorts anymore. So here is the latest video link - hope y'all can reach it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Still Trying To Get Back On Track

Not much from me this week; it has been really tough getting Chase back on schedule. She has at least decided to sleep in until 5:45/6 a.m., but has decided against naps - falling into a hard slumber at about 7:30 p.m. While I like the early to bed, I'm not so fond of the early to rise part.

This morning we went and saw two new babies, born to two friends I met the first month we arrived here (have we really been here long enough to know someone through an entire pregnancy?) Both were sweet, darling and so chilled out. I couldn't believe it.

I don't remember getting any time "off" when Chase was little. I just remember the feeling like I was going, going, going the whole time. Of course, I feel like we've always been going, going. It would be nice to slow down, just for a year or so, to catch our breath - and then go explore the world again (when she's old enough to entertain her jet lagged self in the middle of the night).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

5:30 a.m.

The thing I dislike about traveling with a tot isn't the part where I have to come up with 150 things to do with a barf bag (in one hour-oh, and there are still 4 hours left), it's what it takes to get her back on schedule. This morning she was up at 5:30 a.m. Ready to start the "new" day. Looking at me like I was crazy - and why was I was having such a hard time keeping my eyes open? Like it wasn't the third day in a row (it was).

And so as we get ready for our next trip (to Virgin Gorda), which happens in a week and a half (convenient that she will just have found her schedule again), I have my fingers crossed that the break will allow us to actually-get-some-rest.