Halloween. Shay was Batman, Aidan was Superman and Kyra was a purple bird. My plane landed just hours before trick-or-treat began, and my camera was malfunctioning, so not a lot of pictures.
The Marine Ball. Bart and I left the kids with the ayi and went to the Marine Corps birthday ball together. An actual date! In dress-up clothes and everything! Again, no camera... but we had our picture taken there - maybe some day I'll post it so those of you who've never seen me in a dress or Bart in a tux can see that I'm not lying.
Writing. I've been working on three articles simultaneously, so that's keeping me busy. But it's a good busy. The kind of busy that might eventually lead to a paycheck. I also got two very nice rejection letters from editors this past week. When they take the time to write a nice "no thanks" letter, that's something. And they both asked to see more of my work. So keep your fingers crossed on that.
Germs. My family continues our quest to be the Sickest Family in Asia. Kyra finally stopped throwing up in the night. Aidan started the sniffles. And Bart... poor Bart took three-and-a-half days off of work this week. The doctor ordered him to keep his contagious carcass out of the office and on my couch. And those of you who are married know - the only thing worse than being sick yourself is having a sick husband on your couch. You can't do anything with them. You can't do anything for them. So you just have to sit and stare, looking appropriately concerned while you secretly wonder if it would be a sin to head out to lunch for an hour. You also likely have to remind him that just because he's sick doesn't mean he can watch scary movies on the tv when the kids are right there in the room. Sick husbands don't like to be told about things like that. He's back at work today - Saturday - catching up on what he missed, and now I'm home with a sore throat.
Chinese class. I missed quite a bit during my month's forced absence. Like telling time, days of the week and sentence order. But, glutton for punishment that I am, I hopped right back into class and am trying to catch up. As a result, I can now tell the ayi "At three o'clock on Friday we are going to the clubhouse." Or "I will drive the car to the restaurant." All in Chinese! I'm so proud of myself. Of course, when I drove said car to the gas station, I realized I couldn't say "excuse me, but which gas am I supposed to use? And how much does it cost anyway?" I just waved my money in the attendant's face and hoped he'd know what to do.
There's more, much more, but alas - I'm out of time. I have to load up the three kids and drag them all to Shay's orthodontist appointment today. I've hired a driver because I can't brave the journey downtown alone - I'll lose my way. And I'm hoping the driver can help us find a McDonald's afterwards as a reward for good (hopefully, please-oh-please) behavior. So I need to go figure out how to say, "Pardon me, but could you possibly go this way and then turn right? I've heard that there might be a McDonald's around that corner." And of course I'll need to practice saying "chicken nuggets, please." So as you can see, I have a lot to do in the next hour or so.