moving on and saying goodbye…

She kept us on our toes for six weeks, clocking an impressive array of medical emergencies one after the other. Who knew that heart failure could be so stunning, and tragic, and poignant. I got front row seats to a thoracentesis procedure, where the fluid was sucked out of her lungs through a long needle. I got to sit with the MRI technician at 3 am as he isolated the network of carotid arteries on the screen, searching for the occlusion. I got a crash course in thyroid function and how it slowly but steadily weakened one system after another, the signs flashing by without me recognizing their urgency except in hindsight. She racked up to eleven specialists/teams coordinating her care by the end, with visits nearly every hour 'round the … [Read more...]

Rambling

The waning moon is still bright, and I think to the Kingdom's geckos that are starting to tuck in on the other side of the planet. It's the fifth night sleeping in a chair by my mom's hospital bed. I look over at her and my next thought is whether it's Hypnos or Morpheus who rules over the land of eternal darkness, beyond the gates of the rising sun... … [Read more...]

Protecting your child from identity theft

Chief Mom Officer recently posted about tax identity and corporate identity theft, followed by a great piece on protecting children's identity. She posts: 27% of child identity theft crimes are committed by people who know the child – friends or family members, sometimes even parents. The remaining 73% of crimes are committed by criminals who steal the child’s information either through a data breach or good old-fashioned theft. They then create a synthetic identity for the social security number, using the real number combined with a fake date of birth to steal the identity and use it – likely undetected – for years. The entire post is worth a read: Thieves Are Coming For Your Children - Protect Their Identities. I recently started … [Read more...]

Chai recipe for these cold winter mornings

My favorite chai recipe: Bring to a boil 2:1 ratio of Black tea:Lipton in ~2c water Add the following whole spices. I usually just toss a couple of each in to the pot or tea sock. Star anise Cardamom Whole cloves Allspice Cinnamon (half a stick) Ginger (bash up some slices) Bay leaves Turn heat off Add palm sugar to taste Add 1 cup whole milk at the last part … [Read more...]

Holiday windows in NYC

It's been a while since I posted. The NYC existence is more hyper-paced and complex than life was in Asia! On the one hand, there's endless resources, not to mention a good network of similarly-minded families. I love the seasons, the snow and Christmas! Then on the other hand, I've never met so many medicated people before (e.g., Xanax)! Not sure if that's a reflection of the circles I end up interacting with..? I'm sure the political situation has no small impact on this. For sure, the US environment is shockingly different after 11 years abroad, but it's a more sobering change than a positive one. Anyway.. back to the cheerier topic of the holidays. We're under a cold spell this past week but, unluckily enough (or maybe luckily!), we … [Read more...]

Pine cones and sticks and rocks oh my

'Tis the season. What do you do with all the sticks and rocks and pine cones that the kids drag in throughout the year? And the toys they've outgrown but have a special place in your memory? Repurpose and get creative with the Christmas decor, that's what. … [Read more...]

Doll companies I’m happy to support

At the time we lived in Southeast Asia there was a growing but tiny industry of local crafters that made blocks, stuffed animals, kitchen sets or doll houses, and other toys. We spent a lot on those, but they were locally sourced and well-crafted. Coming back to NY was a different story. Options, wow. The pop culture focus of the toy industry, a profit-over-people corporate ethos, the consumerist culture - it's over the top after several years abroad. My little girl hit the doll phase this year and has been asking for one. But finding a toy company I'm happy to support is hard enough; Barbie, American Girl, and other chain store brands whose company values hew to the mainstream for profit's sake won't be getting my business. … [Read more...]

#KidLit for encouraging girls’ education

The challenge of educating girls (worldwide) is a complex topic, involving the myriad responsibilities placed on them by their households and communities. High opportunity costs make this a volatile issue for many poor rural families. With firsthand exposure to this important issue, it's not a new conversation to our kids. This book makes it approachable. It's a particularly common problem in Cambodia. It's capital, Phnom Penh, adapted quickly to the fast-paced world around it soon after emerging from decades of conflict. But progress is slow to reach those less affluent and villages outside of the capital city and tourist towns like Siem Reap with Angkor Wat and Sihanoukville with its beaches. The gap between the educated and … [Read more...]