Can You Tell to Papa….

“Mama can you tell to papa that I standed on this step, deep deep in the swimming pool?”

“Mama can you tell to papa that I ate all the carrots and tomatoes in the bowl?”

“Mama can you tell to papa that I can jump like a football player, high up in the sky?”

“Mama can you tell to papa that I sit like a big girl in the chair?”

——–

“I’m sad to travel ‘out papa.”

“I like to travel with papa.” (Pouting)

He’s meeting us in NY guys. It’s going to be lots of fun.

“Yay!!!”

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Yoga and Travel : A Guest Post by Wesley Vonn

Wesley – Blogger and Health Aficionado

Yoga and Travel – The Connection is Deeper than you Think.

Yoga is more popular than ever before, and many people rely on yoga as a means of staying in shape and of maintaining top mental health. However, the benefits of yoga often go beyond what even its practitioners realize. Here are some of the ways that yoga affects travel and some techniques for those who wish to travel while maintaining their yoga study and practice.

Yoga Eases Travel Burdens

Vacations are fun; traveling may not be. Fortunately, regular yoga practice can make traveling more pleasant. Those who are taking long trips by car or by airplane will benefit from the better circulation that yoga provides. In fact, some doctors even recommend yoga as a means of avoiding potentially dangerous blood clots that may develop while sitting still for lengthy periods of time. In addition, yoga being largely meditative in nature, learning to meditate can ease the boredom of especially long trips.

Yoga is Portable

Compared to other forms of exercise, yoga is easy to do while away from home. Even without a mat, it is possible to create a great space for yoga even in a small hotel room, and many hotels now offer yoga classes for travelers who wish to practice yoga with others.

Make sure to perform some due diligence before booking a room in order to find the right hotel that does offer these classes complimentary.

On my most recent trip to Las Vegas I used a hotel review site to find the best hotel in the area that suited my needs for fitness coupled with the right price. Doing this search helped me find the right Las Vegas hotel for my particular personality.

Travelers may also wish to take a trip to local yoga facilities when visiting a new area; working with different instructors can lead to new insights. Some airports even offer rooms designed to allow yoga students to practice while waiting for their flights.

Yoga Relieves Travel Stress

Often, travelers visit areas for business purposes, and business meetings can lead to considerable amounts of anxiety. By regularly practicing yoga and continuing to do so while preparing for a meeting, students will be able to enter the meeting in a relaxed, focused state. Doing so may lead to better outcomes. It is little surprise that so many businesses encourage their employees to practice yoga, and those who focus on the meditative aspects of yoga will reap rewards for their practice.

Although yoga has evolved for thousands of years, yoga’s popularity today has made it far more accessible to travelers. On your next vacation or business trip, see for yourself, those who practice before and while traveling will likely enjoy their vacations and business trips more than those who do not.

To the Temple of Dawn by Long Boat

We stopped at the Buddhist Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), one of the most beautiful temples I’ve seen, on our long- boat ride along the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. We climbed the steep stone steps all the way to the top level. Standing next to magnificent intricate carvings – it was the traditional Thai dancers’ that got Leila’s attention, and the horses carved into the top of the pillars around the main temple that got Rahul’s – the view of Bangkok is breathtaking. The descent was a little tricky with the two little kids, and my mum and her bad back. But not a problem.

After walking past hundreds of stalls selling colourful touristy stuff, we succumbed to Rahul’s cries for a toy. As we were buying a bucket of fish food, L and R chose fridge magnets with pictures of the temple on them.

As soon as the fish food touched the water, clusters of catfish flopped all over each other, slid around, even reached way out of the water to get some. It’s illegal to fish within 100m of a Buddhist temple, and people often spend free time feeding fish, so naturally the fish know exactly how to get to the holy waters of Bangkok.

Two Articles at Multicultural Mothering

An excerpt of “Two Articles on Bilingualism” follows:
Catch the rest of the post, and many more interesting ones by other of my mum friends at Multicultural Mothering – our shared blog.
http://multiculturalmothering.com

—————

We flew from Beirut to Abu Dhabi (“adi badi” as Rahul calls it) on Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates carrier, a couple of days ago. It was the first of 3 flights that would take us back to Chengdu.
A pretty, blond flight attendant with bright red lipstick guided Leila up a step and onto the plane. “Oh, they are so small,” she said, to no one in particular.

“They’re two,” I responded, not entirely sure what she based her judgment on.

A few minutes later, she walked by, offering us newspapers. For the first time since I’ve flown on a plane with my children, I bothered (dared) to take one. 4 out of 6 newspapers were in Arabic. I randomly picked “The National,” an English language UAE paper. http://www.thenational.ae/

Well into the flight, Rahul fell asleep in Maher’s arms. Leila and I were hanging out. She was flipping through one of her books, so I pulled out the newspaper. The title action photo shot of a leopard pulling off a man’s scalp in Assam, India, was bewildering. The caption mentioned that they caught the leopard.

Overleaf was a picture of a baby, and an article about bilingual brain development. In the UAE people speak both Arabic and English, some also speak Hindi and Tegalog among other languages, because of the Indian, Filipino, and many other communities living and working in the UAE.

Full post:http://multiculturalmothering.com/2012/01/12/two-articles-on-bilingualism/

Blowing in the Wind

A week ago at the Koh Samui Airport; the four of us are rushing to our plane in an open air buggy.

Leila pushes me. She shouts, “WOW! Mum. Look’t Leila hair,” as she runs her fingers through her hair.

“Yes! Your hair is blowing in the wind.”

“Rawul awso,” she says, pointing at her brother’s hair.

She looks at Maher next, “Papa NOT.”

And then at me, “Mama Yes.”

 

Far From Home: A Guest Post by Kalley Hoke

(Welcome to the 5th in our series: A Monday Morning Guest Post in Multicultural Mothering. You can find Kalley’s cullinary adventures at http://www.ianandkalley.com/kalleycuisine/)

Kalley: I grew up on a cattle ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I couldn’t wait to leave my small home town after graduating from high school and attended university outside of Los Angeles. That transition was perhaps the biggest change I have experienced to date, and I loved every minute of it. After university I served in the US Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, meeting my husband in Kyrgyzstan where he was also a volunteer. We both lived in New Mexico on the Navajo nation, and then moved to China. We are currently living in Zurich, Switzerland. While neither of us is fluent in a language other than English, we have both studied a number of languages and hope our daughters will surpass our abilities.

————Far From Home ————–

I have a strong sense of home and it pervades my personality. My father recently moved out of the home he had lived in since he was 2. My mother had lived there her entire married life. My older sister has moved into that same home with her three young children and they will likely live there for the next 20 years. My childhood home was a 45 minute drive from any gas station, grocery store or friend’s house so my sisters and I learned well to find entertainment at home and would stay there for days on end. Thankfully, this home is a beautiful Colorado ranch with all the fresh air and open space a kid could want, but our dedication to this one place has built in me a strong desire for place based traditions and experiences – perhaps to a fault.

My husband and I have chosen to raise our family overseas – moving from place to place as wanted and needed – as international teachers, and this decision invades my thoughts on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

At least once I month I am angry. I am angry because I can’t find a suitable place for my perception of a birthday party. I am angry because our small apartment has a cramped concrete balcony where my 3-year old rides her new bike around in circles. I am angry because my daughters will not experience Friday night high school football games – growing from the young kids who play tag in the dark to the preteens who practice flirting to the teenagers who actually watch the game and cheer for their classmates.

About once every other month I feel guilty. The guilt comes from not being able to support my mom as she goes through a medical crisis (and from hoping that my older sister is strong enough to help our mom on her own). It comes from not seeing my niece grow from an 8-month old who can barely sit up to a walking, talking toddler, and from not meeting my nephew until he is 10 months old.

More often than angry or guilty, I feel sad. I am sad because my dad doesn’t have the chance to wiggle my infant’s kneecaps and fold her ears while marveling at the flexibility of little ones. I am sad because my daughter doesn’t always recognize pictures of her aunts. And I am sad because it feels more appropriate than angry or guilty.

And more frequently than any other negative emotion I am scared. I am scared that without the consistency of place I experienced growing up that my daughters will feel lost, and that, more realistically, they will wander the globe leaving me far from my grandchildren when that day comes.

Fortunately, for as many times as I have negative reactions to being far from home, I also have positive thoughts about the experiences we have. My daughters will know the absolute deliciousness of bitter lemon soda. My oldest calls churches “temples”, and knows to be quiet and respectful inside both. She can count to 10 in three languages. We make the most out of every new friendship and every old visitor. And our home is our family unit, able to feel joy whenever and wherever we are together.

Do others have fears similar to mine? Do you also find they are balanced with positive experiences? Where and what do you seek on the days when the scales tip toward negative?

The Perfect Maclaren: Will We Make It?

When I learned that I share one thing with Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lopez, I was excited: the Maclaren Twin Techno double stroller. So it’s not more glamorous than that, but hey, it’s something.

I “upgraded” from our well-used Twin Triumph only a few months ago. The first time I used it I was ecstatic. Maher couldn’t get over my emotional “life-safed” phone call.

I was out strolling it for the first time and explained how, finally my Arnold Schwarzenegger arms might shrink back to normal. These wheels rolled on their own.

The childrens feet didn’t reach the foot strap, which meant we didn’t have to stop every few minutes because their feet were on the wheels. A few months on, a few inches taller, they are at it again.

The design didn’t allow L and R to scratch or pull each other’s hair as easily. What a relief.

And there are were two cup holders, for my water, or tea.

However, travel has a way of slowly very quickly damaging property.

We are at the Vancouver airport on our way home. If our calculations are right considering the time-zones, three flights, and long lay-overs, the trip is almost 30 hours.

As Maher was checking us in at the start, at the counter in Calgary, I was with R and L buying balloons. They were parked outside the store. I was inside paying.  I saw two little black things roll to the floor next to Leila. I didn’t realise it at first, but they were part of the mechanism that screws the main frame of the stroller to her seat. We lost the part that would fix it up somewhere in a stuffed car boot, or washroom floor when the stroller fell back because the hand luggage hung up on it is much heavier than L, R, and the stroller put together….

Still in Vancouver, soon on our way to HK. So far it’s holding. For how long, I’m unsure. It’s unstable and probably uncomfortable.

We got to make it home. Drop the glam.

“Ma na”

This evening in the yellow van cab on our way to the airport, past the Calgary Tower and not far from the Calgary zoo, I told the children again that we are headed back to China.

M asks : ” Who are we going to see in China?”

L responds: “Ma na!”

“Yes,” I say. “Can you say Mar wan?”

L: “Ma na”

Me: “Maar waan”

L: “Maa naa”

Me: “Maaaaar waaaaan”

A long pause.

L smiles cheekily. “Maaaaa naaaaa,” she repeats.

Me: “Ok, fine. Marwan.”

L: “Ee Ye” (Liu Yan)

Me: “Who else?”

L: “Pata, Imad, Ayla”

Me: “Yes! And ayi?”

L and R: “ayi, ayi

Yoga and coconuts in Samui

Our week in Samui is zooming, blue skies, sunshine, and swims in the sea. Lots of yoga and coconuts.

Maher drives us to Yoga Thailand every morning. I practice while he plays with the children in the “Kids club.” Sean and Dylan’s out-grown toys and mini playground are more than enough to keep L and R occupied for the two hours I get to breathe and move at my pace.

It’s been two and half years since I did six days in a row of mysore (self -practice). Half-way there now. It’s wonderful that I have this opportunity and I am grateful to Maher for it.  I’m beginning to trust my body and its ability again. The softness is slowly seeping in from the energy in the shala (room), the sincere practitioners, and experienced teachers around us. The practice is becoming natural. I’ve almost regained my all of it, posture-wise. I am still doing half the jump-back, jump-through vinyasa’s and not planning to add them back in yet. Even the drop-backs are back. Assisted of course.
Slowly, slowly… The practice reminds me of this if I slip.

This morning I was running out of steam. Three days in a row after a month of every other day at best, is quite a jump. No matter how hard I tried today, all the jumps back and through were steps, Chataranga (Plank pose) vinyasa’s to Up-dog were with knees down, and the focus was wavering. It’s really no use pushing too hard.
Again, pole pole as Nanu would say.

Since we got to Samui, the children have woken up at least four times each, every night. Tonight they are sleeping well and I am up surfing the web, Facebook, YouTube, blogging. Not exactly prudent. Back to the sleep story though. We were down to one or two wakings a night. Recently they’ve gone through some crazy separation anxiety for both “mama” and “papa”. It can hit around eighteen months I read. They are twenty months now. Close enough. Travel, new beds, a different routine and probably dehydration from playing in the sun all day add up. They wake up to drink, and then to pee!

I wake up to a cold coconut every morning. Maher bought three bags from the Tesco in Lamai the other day. He drinks one in the morning, one at YT, and one after his run or practice. Me? Don’t ask. I claim sustenance on them. I have no case studies to back this up. Well, a Canadian friend Steve, also of some Indian heritage was doing just that when we met in Mysore. I’m not sure how long he went, but he was on a self-imposed satvic (balanced and pure) diet. Yogi’s are meant to eat healthily, neither too much nor too little, not only one kind of food either. So I’m not sure where he got it from. I wonder if it works as a detox though, if done for a short period?

Coconuts are certainly perfect thirst quenchers, and the one’s in Koh Samui are particularly good. Coconut juice is abundant in minerals. It is Maher’s natural sports drink. A lot of the food here is also coconut based. The research as to the health benefits of eating and drinking coconuts is on.

If you’ve got any thoughts and ideas on this please share!

Related articles: Health benefits of coconut oil, water, and more