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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Waiting for Nate

Having a toddler during a stressful time can be both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, they are demanding and blissfully ignorant.  On the other hand, well, they are demanding and blissfully ignorant. They won't be very patient with you when you want to wallow in your worries, demanding essential things like food, water, and more Peppa Pig. But if there is ever someone to make you laugh during a stressful time, count on your toddler. There is nothing quite like a naked 2-yr old steaking down your hallway at full speed and laughing like crazy to help you momentarily forget your troubles. Or having an impromptu dance party on your living room floor even though your heart is at a NICU hospital 50 minutes away. Sometimes I wonder what Adrienne thinks about all of this. I mean, she has been waiting for the baby for some time now. Maybe she just forgot about the baby once my belly was gone? Out of site, out of mind at this age, right? But then she surprised me playing the other day. She started lining up all her bears, saying, 'Momma bear....Daddy bear.....Baby bear'. And then she got a fourth bear, set it down with its family, saying 'Baby Nate!'. It was a sweet moment in our long week of waiting for Nate. Miraculously she allowed me to talk her into posing with her bear family for a quick snapshot.  

As far as an update on Ignatius, today marks one week passing since Nate's arrived. I must say that this week has probably been the longest week of my life. However, I am happy to report that Nate is doing much better and as of today is breathing on his own. We are anxious to bring him home with us but know that he is in good care and getting the attention he needs. I will certainly update you as soon as we are able to bring him home with us. In the meantime, we really appreciate the love and prayers sent our way and ask that you continue to keep Nate in your thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery. 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Baby Covey has Arrived!

I'm sorry Regis and I have fallen off the Internet grid for the past 48 hrs (Regis was never on the Internet grid anyway, remember?). We were in the hospital that apparently has an Internet shield surrounding the building, which is rather inconvenient when you want to share news quickly to people living thousands of miles away. However, we are happy to announce the arrival of our son at 12:55am on Oct 20th, 2011. We have FINALLY come to an agreement on a name, Ignatius. (We are still working on a middle name, so more to come on that) Baby Nate, as we are calling him, weighs in at 3.19 kg (7lbs) and 48 cm (19 in) long, a beautiful little guy with a full head of black hair. Post birth, he was struggling to breath and was sent straight to the NICU for observation. He was diagnosed with fluid in his lungs and they have been treating him with oxygen ever since. We are waiting for the fluid to exit the lungs and for his breathing to return to normal. This morning, as Nate was beginning to look tired, they put him on cpap (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which is helping him breath more oxygen. They continue to watch him in the NICU and we hope and pray that everything clears up in the next few days. 'Ignatius' is a name derived from Latin that means ardent or fiery.  We know that he is an ardent and fiery little guy that will fight through this and be home soon. Please keep him in your prayers for us!     

Mom and Dad are doing OK. Of course we are counting our blessing for a beautiful little boy, but a little stressed out by the inability to hold him and cuddle him yet and worried for his safety. We have checked out of the hospital and have returned home. It was hard to leave Nate there but we were happy to get home to Adrienne as well. Adrienne was able to peek at her brother through the NICU window, although I'm not sure how much she understands. She did point to my belly and say "Where?" as she has gotten used to patting and kissing it. She was a hit with all the nurses at the hospital, talking their ears off and showing them headstands. We will go back to the hospital to visit Nate during visiting hours and bring him much-needed milk for strength. We will do our best to keep you updated on everything going on on this end. Thanks to everyone for your messages and requests for pictures! We appreciated every message, even if we didn't get back to you right away.  

So, without further ado, here are some pictures of Ignatius. I did get to hold him for a little bit post birth, and I assure you that he is a very handsome guy.  Look at all that hair!


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

It's Time

I think its time for a special arrival. We'll keep you posted. Pray for us!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Baby Bump

We, or rather, I decided at some point in this pregnancy that I wanted to document this baby bump in photos. I kind of wanted to do it with Adrienne as well, but we just never got around to it. Regis is a good sport and was willing to go along with this plan, although he did make a decent argument about what the heck we are going to do with the photos? He's right in some ways, I don't know what I will do with the photos. Probably show them to my son someday to prove that he is my biological offspring, because I'm sure there will come a day that he is convinced that he is not related to someone so lame as myself. But for all the hassles and inconveniences of pregnancy I joke about, there is something so incredible about harboring a tiny human soul in your body that makes you want to remember the experience. 

If you are sensitive to big round bellies, I advise you to click away from this post immediately. If not, enjoy. These were taken by a fellow North American in Singapore, Breanna Harrold, who photographs over at Cecelia Smiles. Check her out.  Here are a few photos from the day:

Monday, 17 October 2011


Adrienne's vocabulary is increasing exponentially by the week. It's really amazing how quickly babies transform from no words to the ability to communicate. This week, along with many other words, Adrienne has started using adjectives like "funny" and "pretty". Now we do something silly and Adrienne will laugh and say, "Momma funny!" or "Daddy funny!". I admit we are enjoying the verbal feedback. Also, if I ask how I look, she will say "Pretty!". It probably helps that we haven't taught her expressions like "Ehhh, only OK" or "You could really stand to do something with your hair". So I am documenting these moments while they last. She has another expression I find funny (and it was probably me that inadvertently taught it to her). We were having cereal together for breakfast the other morning. Adrienne insisted that we use matching purple cups to eat our cereal from. So once I got us settled down to breakfast, I said "See, matching cups!" and Adrienne responded with, "Cool!". Now I  also feel all puffed up that Adrienne thinks I'm cool. I know THAT won't last forever!

How cute is she when she says "Funny"?!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Change is in the air

It's funny, that expression 'change is in the air' probably isn't used that often when in the tropics and there is no change of season or length of day. I miss that, the hint of a cool breeze during the late summer that lets you know that fall will be arriving shortly.  Or the first day you can bask in the sun in the middle of winter and feel the strength in the rays that will soon be able to thaw your body and the world around you. You feel this in your bones; you know it's coming long before it arrives. That feeling of change extends beyond the seasons, it is a part of life. The feeling that something is going to give, to change, and you feel it deep inside you. I have been feeling this for awhile, this need for change that's lurking on the horizen. I won't lie, it both excites me and terrifies me.

We have a lot of obvious changes coming our way. First will be the arrival of our son, the addition to the family and the changes that brings. This corresponds with the completion of my contract and the end of my post-doctoral research in Singapore. That signifies the end of my paycheck. And living on one salary in Singapore is hard for the short term and impossible for the long term. Thus there will be change. It will be the first time that I am without a job or a pursuing a degree. That makes me a little nervous. I like my job and I like working. But it is the right time to be at home with the babies and I am grateful for that. In my heart, I feel very lucky to have uninterrupted time at home at this stage. It is also time to step back and figure out what works best for our family, and how best to pursue that path. I feel confident of these things, but there is always that little worry that sneaks in the back of your mind--what if I don't like staying home all day? What if the kids drive me crazy? What if I am not a good stay-at-home mom? What if money is too tight? What if I can't find a job again? Or at least a meaningful job? The challenge is not letting the "What ifs" run your life but rather to leave them aside as the meaningless fears that they are. 

In many ways we have been living the good life in Singapore for the past three years. We have been blessed with good jobs, a growing family, the opportunity to travel, and ability to save for our future. Why would we want anything to change? I often wonder if we'll look back on this time and think, 'What were we thinking by hoping for something else?' But on the other hand, we know that something is missing from our lives, something more subtle but central. It is so much harder to look for the intangible. I wonder what it will be, where life will take us next, what the future will hold. I suppose that it is all part of the journey: the excitement, the fears, the changes. We know that nothing ever stays the same. And thankfully for that because without change, we would never have the call for something more.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Plate Painting

I have all of these grandious ideas of art projects that Adrienne and I can do together, despite the fact that she might be a little young for most of these. Oh well, we start slowly. Here is an easy project to do with your toddler if they are too young to really paint a picture. Just put dots of paint onto a disposable plate and let them at it. Adrienne loves this and we went through several rounds of plates. You can try different color combinations or various sizes of paint brushes to mix it up. Adrienne's usually involves some finger painting as well, so beware it might be messy.   

This particular day, we were on the tail end of disposable plates so daddy helped Adrienne out by providing a new medium.  Of course once daddy had such cool art on his tummy, Adrienne wanted it as well.  Regis was more than happy to oblige. 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Those kids say the darnedest things!

We've all heard a million stories of 'those kids say the darnedest things!' Most of the time they cause you to shake your head and have a chuckle, relieved that it was not you that it happened to.  Well.  I really thought I had AT LEAST another 6 months before I could possibly be a victim to one of these situations. I mean, really, Adrienne is barely learning to talk so how could she possibly say the darnedest things? If her vocabulary is 50 words, she couldn't possibly embarrass you with that, right?

Now, if you are a parent, you will know that the first 50 words will most certainly include some form of all your bodily needs.  For example, Adrienne has night-night, water, eat......poopoo. Yes, we spend large amounts of time talking about poopoo, how poopoo should be done on the toilet, and how excited we are when this happens (And it happened TWICE the other day, thank-you very much!  We are making progress!).  The thing about Adrienne is that she doesn't really know the difference between passing gas and passing motion--its all poopoo to her. So if someone were to pass gas in our household, and I won't name names, Adrienne would likely point it out with a "Daddy Poopoo!" Opps, I guess I did just name names there; sorry about that, Hubby.  

So a few days ago Adrienne and I got on our elevator with an elderly Chinese lady who lives a few floors below us. The doors of the elevator had just closed when the lady let one rip. Loudly. Now I understand that these things happen more and more as you age and I was most certainly going to ignore it and pretend that it never happened. (Truthfully, I have an elevated sense of empathy towards this type of occurrence after going through pregnancy).  But I also knew what was most likely coming next and had no idea of how to prevent it from happening. It was completely silent on the elevator for a few glorious seconds, and then Adrienne started tugging at my hand and pointing at the lady, "Auntie Poopoo! Auntie Poopoo!". Adrienne seemed pleased with herself for properly identifying what had just happened. Plus she thinks that farts are pretty funny, further evidence that college frat boys and 2-yr olds have a similar sense of humor. However, I was mortified and the poor lady looked embarrassed and started mumbling something in Chinese. Mercifully the doors opened to her floor and we were saved from further awkwardness. 'We' being the auntie and myself. Adrienne thought the whole thing was exciting. After we got home, she ran in to tell Regis about "Auntie Poopoo dingdong!" (Dingdong being elevator, since that is the noise it makes when it arrives at your floor). I am really looking forward to more of these experiences as Adrienne's vocabulary increases.   

Thursday, 6 October 2011

So Perceptive

This morning Adrienne and I got up and made breakfast as usual. We normally make Regis an espresso during this time and bring it to him to help ease the transition of getting out of bed (And yes, even an almost 2-yr old can make an espresso with the nespresso machine. Genius, I tell you). This morning, however, we discovered that daddy's coffee pods were all out.  "Uh Oh, Adrienne, Daddy's coffee is all gone", I told her.  She looked up at me and said in a serious and matter-of-fact voice, "Daddy cry". For those of you who know Regis, you know that he very well may cry if he doesn't have his morning espresso. So a perceptive and empathetic sentiment coming from a 2 yr old, don't you think? I spend a lot of time thinking about who Adrienne is, what she likes, how her personality will be, how we will shape it and guide her development. It's good to be reminded that she is watching us closely as well.

(Photo courtesy of Highlander Coffee, the best coffee in all of Singapore)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Penny for your Thoughts

Adrienne has a new take on the phrase 'A Penny for Your Thoughts'. It's more like 'A Coin for your Sanity'. We have a ritual where Adrienne walks us out to our respective transports in the morning. First we drop daddy off at the taxi stand (Daddy Car), then mommy goes to the train (Mommy ChooChoo), and then Adrienne's nanny drops her off at school (Adri Skoo). I like this morning ritual because I get to see Adrienne up until the very last second that I have to leave. Somewhere along the way, Adrienne got it in her mind that before I am allowed to get on the train, she needs to be paid. A very clever girl, right?. "Coin?" She asks, before I can head off through the train gates. So I open my wallet and let her pick out a coin. Not only is she clever, she is savvy too, always going for the dollar coin over the others. 'Good choice, Adrienne!' I tell her, because I also love the dollar coins. They add up to lunch so very quickly in this country and who doesn't like paying for their lunch in change? Once Adrienne gets her coin, I get my good-bye kiss. This is hands down the best dollar I spend all day. It's just imperative to make sure that I have a coin in my wallet every morning. Because, really, who wants this sad face to be the last thing you see before leaving for work??

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Nesting projects

I recently stumbled across this fun blog with lots of great ideas for things that you can do with your kids. Admittedly Adrienne is a bit young to really do most of these arts and crafts projects, but she loves 'helping' (if that is what you call what 2-yr old's do) and enjoys the finished product. My hubby thinks that it's a sign of nesting that I start all of these crafting projects with Adrienne. Perhaps he is right in this case because we made owls... Get it? Nesting and Owls?? OK, I realize that is not funny. I'm sorry, I am quite tired; I haven't been sleeping well.

Anyway, HERE is the link for this owl project.  They are made with toilet paper rolls, paint and felt scraps.  Adrienne did most of the painting with just a little help from mom.  I made the finished product after the paint dried and she was already asleep. She was pretty excited the next morning! 

First Adrienne had a little conversation with the owls. Probably telling them the rules of the house or welcoming them and the diversity they bring into her inner circle of bears. Then she felt like they needed a song, replete with clapping; this girl can really hold a beat. Finally, since these guys probably aren't hardy enough to take living in Adrienne's room, we found a home for them in our living room plant. They look pretty happy, don't you think?