Apparently the age of four was just a blur of countries (about 16 of them). Now Ryder is five years old, and living a life of routine. Mostly. He was attending a Montessori school, but was admitted to the German international school. His teacher, who knew him from the last time we were in Cape Town, had this to say about him:

Ryder enjoys art activities and he is able to manipulate all art mediums very well. He is an active participant during music ring.

He can rote count to 50 during circle time. He can identify numerals 0-30.

His vocabulary is well developed. He has shown interest in learning letter sounds. He can write his name. He enjoys sharing news and show and tell.

Ryder has good balance and coordination. He is active during outside time. He loves to climb the jungle gym.

His eye/hand is good. He has a correct pencil grip. His cutting skills are developing. His visual discrimination is good. He is able to build a tower with correct graduation. Ryder can concentrate on a task for a long period. He is able to follow instructions.

Ryder has grown in confidence, is emotionally secure and is well liked by his peers. He is a pleasant and friendly boy.


Now he is in the German environment. He has to be brave again: new teacher, new kids, new language. He did love Germany and his old school and speaks of our time there fondly, actually he tells people Germany is his favorite country, and he is from there, so that helps to build a foundation. He is signed up for gymnastics, playball, and soccer, and is starting German tutoring twice a week. His life, like those of his parents, is full and active here in Cape Town. He is invited to two different birthday parties in the next month. That is a change; over the course of his past five years I think he only went to one!

He is growing in independence. He likes taking the bus card to scan it himself. Although he drags in the morning, and resists my telling him hurry! hurry! he will dress himself. He likes to have scrambled eggs, haloumi cheese, peanut butter on bread, and double cream yogurt with fruit for breakfast. For dinner some of his favorite meals have been chicken fajitas, chicken enchiladas, and spaghetti. He likes vegetables too; among his favorites are cucumbers and broccoli and carrots and snap peas. He likes apples, oranges, and strawberries as fruit, but his most special treat is kiwi. On weekends he enjoys baking desserts with me and attending the Unitarian Church or the Quakers. We also regularly go to the aquarium or to feed the squirrels in Company Gardens. Traditions, rituals, that’s what we are building here.

Ryder says…”Maybe I am Spiderman!” and demonstrates how far he can jump.IMG_3453

He loves Club V at the gym. He always climbs the wall after we finish and then walks along the upper ledge and has me help him jump down.

His favorite shirt is his “Rex and Roll” Trex with guitar red and black shirt.

He loves having us come to watch his activities at school because “we are proud of him”.

He is a sweet boy on the serious side. He does not like to be laughed at, wants to be treated with respect and likes to have everything explained to him logically. He does not bully or treat kids unkindly and will tell people “don’t speak that way to my sister.” He is shy when strangers speak with him and slower to warm up than some kids, but always can make friends. He is very affectionate and cuddly with us, gives me weed flowers every day, and saves them as bouquets for me.

So yes, he is right: we are proud of him.







Energy psychology, parenting, and fashion

July 22, 2017 Read the full article →
lido deck

When I was engaged I won a drawing at a bridal fair. The lady at the fair told me, when I showed up, “I knew it was meant for you!” I have a suspicion that she said that because I was not “dressing my truth.” Since then, Dressing Your Truth has become semi-famous in Utah. […]


Life with an Au Pair

July 3, 2017 Read the full article →

Life for us now is very different, living in one place, in South Africa, while I have internships and classes and Jacob is doing film extra castings and trying out an app idea for South African clubs and Ryder is attending the same school he went to the last time we were here but with […]


Entering Mozambique

July 3, 2017 Read the full article →

It was time to leave Kruger National Park and I was ready. Six nights of sleeping in a tent. Six nights of shoveling cough drops methodically into my mouth and counting down the minutes until the sun came up. We’d decided the night before to arrange a doctor for Ryder. He had a fever. I […]


Tribute to Sophie

May 10, 2017 Read the full article →

I remember the moment I met Sophie. It was at the gate to Ryder’s preschool in Chiang Mai. I was thrilled there would be another boy Ryder’s age who was also an English speaker. She was from England, and had a pleasant yet shy way about her, as did her son, Shaye. “Will you ever […]


Just Another Day in the Life

April 30, 2017 Read the full article →

Of an American digital nomad music therapist student at the University of Pretoria in Cape Town. So. Our au pair offered to take us to her witch doctor here. Naturally I jumped at the chance. Wouldn’t you? Then of course, when I mentioned this to two visiting friends from the States, one of whom we […]


Things Ryder Says: April 2017

April 23, 2017 Read the full article →
Ryder in tree

On my stolen phone: Mom, can we eat at the restaurant with the camel, where you got your phone stolen? I didn’t get it stolen at the Indian restaurant in Cape Town, I got it stolen at the McDonalds in Chile [in December 2015]. I want to go back to the restaurant in Chile. Why? […]


A Year of Highlights with Ryder

March 27, 2017 Read the full article →

Why haven’t I written about Ryder for a year? I don’t know. For a while I gave monthly updates. Once the baby stage is over, the milestones aren’t as apparent. And so it goes. And time races on. Here’s an overview of what the last year was like for this third culture kid. He and […]


The Miraculous Story of the South African Visa

March 10, 2017 Read the full article →

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes the work of government workers, TSA agents, baggage claim lost and found workers, and more to ship Kalli, Jacob, and Ryder to South Africa in one piece. It started with my ambivalence to commit. Yes, it should come as no surprise after 8 years […]


The Snowball Effect of 2016

February 14, 2017 Read the full article →
museum montevideo

I don’t want half the year to go by before I have a chance to take a moment to think over the year. Consider this our Christmas card of sorts. Check out my month-to-month countries visited, best moments, what was going down, and what I was reading. Looking back over this year, I feel like […]