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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Bon Voyage

Well, we are all packed and ready for this bad-boy marathon flight from Singapore to Chicago O'Hare. So you may not hear from me over here at Trouble's Tribune for some time. Maybe ever again if this trip goes poorly. Our total flight time is 22 hrs. With 2 kids, one of which is a lap child. I am expecting the worse. I mean, multiple blow out poops, tantrums, no sleep, lost luggage, meltdowns, no sleep (I know I said that twice, I just want to stress it)... By the way, I am currently on hold with United since the first leg of our trip has apparently been canceled. They are telling me we need to be re-scheduled for the next day, so you can see this flight situation is already going poorly so far. They tell me cancellations are due to some lovely weather in Chicago. Who goes to Chicago in January anyway?! While I am a bit annoyed at this change of plans, I guess I should be thankful that we were not rerouted and stuck in some airport somewhere with 2 sleep-deprived children, right? (Shudder) Anyway, if the flight doesn't kill me, there is a good chance that the weather will. But barring these things, I will be back and hopefully will have lots of fun things to update you on from the great United States!      

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Where's Waldo?

Adrienne typically puts up very little fuss over naptime. I believe she enjoys indulging in her beauty rest, much like her mommy used to prior to having children. So on a typical day, Adrienne will go down for nap with a few obligatory protests that her heart really isn't into and she'll fall silent within a few minutes. However, the other day we put her down for a nap and she didn't fall asleep within a few minutes. We know this because we could hear her muffled talking and exclamations from outside her door. This went on for quite awhile--over an hour, at least. Regis started asking me if we should go in and get her out since she obviously wasn't napping. I rejected this idea, seeing as she was neither crying nor calling out for us. I figured she was enjoying a little "Adrienne time" and everybody needs a bit of privacy. At least that is what I told Regis. Inside, I was dying to know what she was doing in there. Sometimes I wish I had a hidden camera in there so I could watch her playing without her knowing. What goes on in that little mind of hers? Alas, that was not to be and we were forced to respect her privacy. Eventually she did fall asleep. Late in the afternoon, I decided I better wake her if we wanted her to sleep that night. It was then that we were given some clues as to what went on, since here was the aftermath of her playtime. It's 'Where's Waldo' style looking for my daughter in the picture. (Hint: She is dressed in pink!) These pictures remind me of scenes from Toy Story and my first thought was (ta da!) I have to get a picture of this. Now upon further reflection, I have to wonder how she got all of these toys into her crib? Either they do in fact come alive like toys in the Toy Story and they crawled into her crib or (gulp) she can climb out of (and apparently back into) her crib. I'm about 80% sure it's the latter. It looks like we ought to be prepping for a big girl bed, folks. 

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Yesterday Adrienne and I spent the afternoon at the pool. This is one clear advantage to living in the tropics. When the rest of the northern hemisphere is battling ice storms and cold spells, we are laying on pool chairs and splashing in sun-warmed water. As we were waiting for the elevators to head down to the pool, all loaded up with towels and sunscreen and pool toys, Adrienne pointed down to her naked feet and cried, "Oh no, Mommy, shoes!!" Seeing as the pool is just 6 floors below us and we were going to promptly take off our shoes anyway, I told her "It's OK, you can just go in your barefeet." She got so excited by this, cheering and dancing around the hallway. I thought it was a funny reaction because we almost never wear shoes in this weather anyway. When the elevator doors opened and I stepped on, Adrienne stood outside the doors saying "No Mommy! No Mommy!" I stood in the door, confused, reminding her that we are going swimming and trying to coax her onto the elevator. "No Mommy! I want to wear my Bear Feet to the pool! My Bear Feet!"

I can only imagine she was thinking of something like this. And, seriously, I have to buy these for her now for our trip to the States, right? What kind of mother would I be if I denied her Bear Feet?!
   Online here: http://piperlime.gap.com

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Big Sisters

They say there is nothing like your first child--the newness and the awe and the first time parenting. This is all true, I'd say. Conversely, there must be nothing like the experience of being the first born--all that attention and love and coddling. I, however, have a special place in my heart for Ignatius as my second born. I too was born second in line with a sister 2 years my elder. And while I can't remember any of it, I am sure my first months were very similar to what Nate is going through. We did our best to prepare Adrienne for baby #2's arrival. We had her patting my belly and holding her dolls like babies. We had several books here that we read to Adrienne about being a big sister and how great it is have a younger sibling. Either we did an exceptional job preparing her or she is just a natural, because, I swear, she has got this whole big sister thing down. She happily greets Nate whenever she walks into the room, she smothers him with hugs and kisses, she watches out for him and tries to notify us if he is hot or hungry or sad, she attempts to engage him in playing and shares (some of) her toys. She has also learned all sorts of big sister tactics that I assumed would take years to figure out. For example, she has already learned to pass un-deserved blame to Nate. Ask her who smells like poopoo and the old "I don't know" has been replaced with "Nate did it". She has also perfected the "flop" when in touching distance of Nate by dramatically falls backwards, claiming that Nate "Pushed" her (And we don't even watch NBA here, folks!). She also usurped all of Nate's Christmas presents. When we remind her that (insert whatever present here) was Nate's, she proclaims tyrannically, "No, its ME's!" Either that or she initiates a trade agreement which involves a much-lessor toy of Adrienne's and the assumption that Nate's non-response is actually a 'Yes' to the exchange. She has also observed what he likes and dislikes...Oh, yes, and can use this to really push his buttons! Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have spent more time preparing Nate for what life would be like with a big sister instead of the other way around.

Hang in there, kiddo. Big sisters are actually pretty awesome!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A year in review

We welcomed 2012 in bed with a case of bronchitis, this time for the hubby. Our last few months have been stained by illnesses, doctor visits, and hospital stays. I must admit that it has worn on us a bit and left us with more of a bitter than a sweet taste of 2011. That being said, writing this has helped me take a step back and look at the big picture. When you wipe away the snotty noses, germy hands, and  excess paranoia, and take the sum of all things 2011, we end up way in the black when it comes to blessings.

Witnessing and accompanying Adrienne during this year has been incredible. From a wobbly one year old to a curious and talkative two year old, 2011 was the year we watched her turn from a baby into a little girl. The transition happened over the course of the year but I feel like it happened overnight. Like we woke up one morning and gone was our baby and in her place a goofy, sweet, playful child. We often ask ourselves only partially rhetorically, How in the world did Adrienne get so big already?! Adrienne has been hosting a gamut of different viruses and germs over the past few months, one that even warranted 5 days in the hospital. While all of this has been much to our dismay and consternation, it has barely slowed her down at all. She remains, in sickness or in health, happy and charming and busy.  

Speaking of growth, another obvious blessing to 2011 was the conceiving, gestating, and birth of our son Ignatius. While pregnancy has its obvious downsides that I could certainly do without, I will admit right here that I love being pregnant. I love the big belly and knowing that a tiny, precious human being is nurtured within. I love that it stops being about me for a bit and it becomes about the baby. I like the way people look at my tummy and ask questions about my growing family. This gives me an excuse to commandeer the conversation with my favorite topic and a good opening to hear about their family and experiences. And then there is the birth, finally meeting and holding the baby you have been thinking about for so long. When I reminisce about Adrienne's birth, the first days with her were the most powerful and intense and amazing days of my life. In moments that I am feeling sorry for myself, I feel robbed of those days with Ignatius. Rather than days full of cuddles and awe, our first were filled with anxiety and fear and depression. I wish that it was the other way. But the truth is, thank God, Nate was born in a time and place where he could receive the medical care that he needed. So it was an incredible blessing and I am extremely grateful to have been handed a healthy baby boy this year, even if it did come 11 scary days later than we might have liked.   

Regis and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this September. Each year has brought new adventures and experiences but Regis remains my constant and best friend. I feel lucky to share my life with him. I have always loved him as my husband and as my friend, but I love him additionally now as the father to our two children. It is fun to see him expand and grow in this role as well. This year we gained perspective as parents. We had adventures traveling to places in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Europe. We weathered some rough patches that life threw at us. And now we look forward (and perhaps impatiently) to the next step of our journey that 2012 brings us.

A final highlight in 2011 is you: our friends and family. You guys are awesome. Thanks for your  support, prayers, laughter, and love. It has been fun to allow you to keep up with us on this blog. We have heard from more of you this year than any of the past years we have been in Singapore and that was really great for me. This year would not have been the same without you. I truly wish you and yours a happy and healthy New Year.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Check this guy out--our bona fide Nebraska Corn Husker fan. (Thanks to Aunt Di for sending us the proof!) If he keeps growing at the rate that he is going, he will likely grow up to BE a Nebraska Corn Husker. What a chunk! He is so soft and round and fat, I could just eat him up. It doesn't hurt that he has these great big blue eyes with lashes that go on and on. That combined with his gummy smile... what a little heartbreaker. Can you tell that I am smitten?!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Best Christmas Pressy EVER

I forgot to tell you I got the best Christmas present this year. Regis and I decided not to give each other gifts this year. I know, that is kind of lame, right? But neither of us was terribly motivated to go shopping and we are trying to pare down our stuff in anticipation of a big move across the pacific, so it just didn't seem like it was necessary this year. Plus, we figured that we were taking a trip as a present to ourselves. I feel it's a sign of age when you stop wanting stuff and relishing opportunities to receive presents. I remember when my parents would say they didn't need anything for Christmas or birthdays and I always thought, well, ya, but don't you WANT something?! As it turns out, I DID want something for Christmas but I just didn't realize it until I got it: 90 minutes of traditional thai back and shoulder massage on a floating lotus pond with no noise other than the sound of water. Thank-you, hubby!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Monkey See Monkey Do

I recently noticed that Adrienne has been using her feet a lot. I mean, not like for walking or jumping or kicking the soccer ball (although she does those things too), but like, to do stuff. Pick up stuff. Move her toys around. I once caught her trying to put a piece of toast in her mouth by using her toes. What a weirdo, I thought. Then the other day I caught myself trying to multitask by holding Nate and attempting to pick up the clutter that is our living room. Rather than bend down to pick things up and disturb my needy cuddly baby, I was just picking stuff up with my feet and passing them upwards. It suddenly dawned on me where Adrienne was getting this monkey behavior. I was telling Regis about Adrienne's new found foot dexterity and he immediately assured me that she gets that from him because he loves to pick up things with his feet. It's funny, I had never noticed. So I guess she is doomed since the genes are passed down on both sides.... So she may be a weirdo but she is in good company in this household. I would just like to add here that I have NEVER attempted to eat my food with my feet. Well, at least not since I was like Adrienne's age. So that part was either Adrienne's creativity or she saw it from her Daddy. Let's hope it's the former.

In this picture, Adrienne is not actually eating with her feet but it's not too far of a stretch of the imagination to envision her doing so. What, with that super lazy pose? It would be WAY to far to sit up and eat. And...my blog so I can say whatever I want, but she totally gets that pose from her daddy!