Today is William's 10 month "birthday" and it's still crazy to think that he's been in our lives that long. Although it feels weird... at times it's like the past 10 months have been sooooo long and other times it feels like only yesterday we were preparing for baby William's arrival.
We've been back in Thailand for a little over a month now and if I could pick any word to describe what we've been up to, it would be "readjusting". The interesting part about living overseas is that I feel like I'm often in a constant state of readjusting. Not just to the time difference, but to the culture, the people, the way of live, the food, the weather... you get the point. Add parenting to the mix and I feel like things are never staying the same! *Sigh* Such is life, I guess, so I just better get used to it :)
William continues to grow into my favorite person in the whole wide world and every day it is a JOY and PRIVILEGE to be a part of his life. He is constantly on the move these days, which keeps me very aware (and sometimes on edge!). He loves to stand and "walk" alongside furniture. He is constantly standing up and sitting down... it must make him feel really independent or something because he will do that for at least 30 minutes. Up, down. Up, down. It's so cute. He also is eating just about everything that I'll let him eat. He still loooooves rice and doesn't seem to mind vegetables as much as his mommy does. Just the other day, I fed him some leftover "braised pig cheek in a homemade ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce" and he devoured it. I hope his sophisticated palette continues on into his toddler years! He also stopped nursing this month. Cold turkey. Just one day decided that he was done and wanted nothing to do with it anymore. Kinda sad for me, but also kind of freeing. :) He's drinking formula now and seems to love it. Doesn't even like it in a bottle anymore... he's moved on to bigger and better things like a sippy cup. I'm thankful for such an easy baby! He's also learning how to wave "bye bye" and we are trying to teach him to put his hands together and bow when people say "Sa wat dii khap". I'm trying to say things in English and also in Thai when I talk to him. Pawn obviously speaks to him in Thai all the time, so it'll be interesting to see what his first words will come out as... Thai or English? :) Well, enough about the boring milestones of William (that are only interesting to me and his grandmas!). On to what "readjusting" has looked like for the Sauder fam... enjoy!
Pawn was outside sweeping and he was just waiting for her to come back inside. So sweet.
Having fun playing in his room!
When he smiles, his whole face lights up!
Sometimes we have dance parties and William likes to go on our shoulders and doing this "pointing" move. I gotta say, he's got moves like his daddy! :)
This was one of my favorite onesies we got for William at our baby shower in America. A personalized "toolbelt" onesie! He finally fits into it!
This is how we do bath time in Thailand. In a big bucket.
Catching up with friends and ordering our favorite pizza. This place makes huge New York pizzas... too big to fit through our door!
We were all praying for our meal and we opened our eyes to this. Stinker.
Listening intently at church :)
William's first (and hopefully last?) playing with his own poop. Gross.
William's been sick a couple of times since being back (he got roseola and also a very stuffy nose). The only perk about him being sick is that my very active boy because very cuddly. Here we are cuddling after his bath. What an adorable lil monkey.
In coming back to Thailand, I asked God to renew my love for Thailand and help me see things that I appreciate about living here. I hoped it would lead to a more thankful heart and an attitude of praise. God was really, really gracious. He gave me little things each day that reminded me of his care for my heart. He is restoring me... and for that I am so, so very thankful.
Thankful for beautiful coffee shops like this one
Thankful that when William is sick, he finds comfort in Pawn. SUPER thankful for Pawn's life and the impact she's had on mine. I love her dearly and love who she is for William. On days when I'm missing my parents (and feeling sorry that William is missing out on being with them), I have to remind myself that God is providing for us in different ways. Not better nor worse, just different. I'm thankful.
Thankful I can go to the market and buy fresh veggies and fruit year round for really cheap!
Thankful that Steven and I had an unexpected visit from our dear, dear friends... Jon & Bonnie! It was good for our souls and reminded me that we do have a great support system here.
Thankful that Pawn makes delicious food for us and that I get to create things with her in the kitchen. It's life-giving for me. Here are her maple-bacon scones. Soooo good.
Thankful for my husband and the vision of Expat Homes. Upon reading his entire business plan, I realized how gifted Steven is and how blessed I am to be his helpmate in this crazy journey. He has not only worked diligently to speak Thai well, but he has devoted hours into putting this crazy idea into a reality. By faith, he takes risks and trusts God to handle the unknowns... and not for his own sake, but solely for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. My husband is awesome. And I'm blessed that he chose me and continues to choose me every day.
Since being back, our team (the girls) have launched a new ministry, called Bliss, to house-helpers in Thailand. To quote our mission statement: Bliss is a training network aimed at building relationships with Thai house-helpers, affectionately known as "Mae Baans". Bliss empowers these women to find joy and fulfillment intheir work through specific skill training, while ultimately discovering the depth of their self-world. Bliss: creating stories of joy.
We hosted a meeting for our friends to cast vision for the ministry and to gain more ideas on how to begin this work. We hope to start offering cooking and cleaning training classes in the new year.
And just thankful to have such a cute, sweet boy. All ready to go to church!
After his afternoon nap, he likes to have a snack and watch a baby video. I love seeing his cute feet dangle from his high chair.
The boy loves potstickers. And this random toy that's a big red screw. Stevo's happy about that :)
He stands up in his crib now :) And sometimes he manages to wiggle out of his sleep sack. And sometimes he cries. :)
I call this "A meal in the life of William". Eat. Shovel. Stuff. Poop. The end.
Time for a baby gate! My boy is getting so tall!
On a hike with William... who looks so ridiculous in his carrier! :) He was smiling the whole time behind that blue flap... the boy loves the outdoors. Like father, like son!
And that's a wrap. A month full of readjustments and growth. I'll leave you all with another video... a Saturday morning activity with dad!