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Thursday, 24 May 2012

He's Back!

Guess who is back??

This guy!

Of course, this is not his arrival picture. I am not that mean to post a picture of someone after suffering a 24 hour flight. But this IS, like, the only picture we have of the 2 of us in the past 4 months (and I almost deleted it for vanity's sake due to my neck rolls but decided to hold on to it anyway). We have been enduring the necessary evil of 7 weeks separation during this transition to the USA. It wasn't the way that I envisioned our homecoming, which was with a large good-bye party and perhaps an extended stopover at some exotic locale. This, rather, as been drawn out and without much fanfare. But, as I said, necessary and, importantly, now over!

I am obviously happy to have my hubby back. I missed him like crazy. Life just isn't the same without your best friend and partner in crime. Plus, anyone who knows Regis understands that he certainly makes things more interesting for sure. After six and a half years of marriage, life seems a bit more dull without him around. I have gained a new-found empathy for single-moms and military wives (even though, technically, I have not been alone doing this since my parents are a HUGE help!). This, however, was an expected consequence of being apart. There were others which I did not expect.

For example, with Regis in Singapore, I found that there was a lot of extra space in the bed. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, spreading out to have the whole bed was something I was secretly excited about. Rather, I found that, because of the extra space, I became very lazy about putting Nate back into his crib during those nighttime feeds. My logic--there is room here, he might as well stay here and then I don't have to get out of bed if he wakes up again (and there is a really good chance he will wake up again!). This always seems like a good idea in the midst of my grogginess during the wee hours of the night. However Nate, bless that sweet little baby, has no co-sleeping manners. He sleeps loudly, he takes up way more than his share of the bed, he eats in bed (worse still, sometimes that food comes back out either end during the night!), and he feels the need to wake me up every time he wakes up. On top of it all, he is really too small to warm my cold feet on in the cool mornings--so useless, really. Nearly every morning over the past 7 weeks, I chide myself for not taking to extra minute to walk him back to his crib after his feeding. Now with my husband back, there will not be the space for Nate to spread out and I can assign Regis the task of returning Nate to his crib. Win-win!

Adrienne also suffered while apart from her dad, which in turn made me feel horrible. I'm sure Adrienne didn't understand what was going on. All she knew was that Daddy was not here but was in Singapore for a bit. Like Dora the Explorer episodes, she decided what we needed to do was rescue Daddy. So every time she was an airplane or helicopter in the sky, she thought they were there to rescue Dad from "Singypore". She also went around telling everyone who would listen in her saddest voice: "I lost my Dada!" and "I miss my Dada awot!". You should see the disapproving looks that this generated in my direction after that! This always made me feel the need to explain what was going on to total strangers, of whom I am sure either stopped listening or didn't buy a word of my long-winded explanation. "Husband....Singapore....moving back....selling all our stuff...will be back soon...yadda, yadda, yadda.". Last week Adrienne told me that she felt sad because she missed her Dada. My heart broke just a little, I was feeling so terrible about this. Then she told me that she thought a little ice-cream would make her feel happy again. I take this as firm proof that it is ingrained in our female genes to believe that we can fill man-made holes in our hearts with ice-cream. Luckily, we had a little vanilla with chocolate sauce to do the trick and both Adrienne and I felt happy again.  

So now Regis is back and we look forward to the future and adventures ahead. In the meantime, we have some time to reunite and be a family. I am so looking forward to the next few weeks of togetherness! Welcome home, Regis.   

Sunday, 20 May 2012

When worlds collide

It doesn't take long to realize that you and your 2-yr old are living in separate yet intersecting worlds. I come to this conclusion daily (hourly, sometimes!) with Adrienne. We live in our own worlds, co-habitating harmoniously, even joyfully most of the time. Of course, every now and again our worlds collide in the most annoying or frustrating way. Like, for example, when my world is trying to get Adrienne dressed and out the door to be somewhere on time and in her world she is trying to escape the old troll, running around the house and peeling off the clothes I just wrestled on her. Or when her world is having a toy party on the floor at the exact moment my world is trying to organize. And how come, always, the second I sit down to eat my dinner, it's time to go "big poo poo" in her world?? But these are mere cultural differences, I suppose, of living in two separate worlds. On a day-to-day basis, glimpses into her world both amuse and amaze me. I love the innocence, the trust, the imagination of her world.She reminds me of simpler times, of pleasure in the little moments, of happy play. In her world, Bear-Bear is both her baby and her trusted confidant. In her world, toys must be continually paired side-by-side with other toys because, obviously, they are best friends. In her world, Rolly-polly bugs walk across the sidewalk to go to work and all beetles are named Alexander Beetle. In her world, everything comes in 4 sizes: a daddy size, a mommy size, an Adrienne size, and a baby Nate size. In her world, putting on a pair of wings means that she is a beautiful butterfly that goes buzz, buzz, buzz through the yard on a nice day. I am so grateful to get to be an observant bystander to this beautiful world of hers. 


Friday, 11 May 2012

New Do

If you hadn't noticed, we have a new face around Trouble's Tribune. I have been thinking that I should update my header picture to include Nate since...well, since he was born, I guess. I had just been looking for a good picture and this is about the best we have come up with in the past six months. Then once I changed the picture, I started playing with all the other settings and this is what we ended up with. I hope you like it. It seems appropriate to me: a new country, a new city, a new job, a new adventure--why not a new look? 

And speaking of new looks, Nate has a new look as well. When Adrienne was about Nate's age, she had horrible hair. It was that transition period when she was losing her baby hair and the new stuff was growing in. She had a few long strands of baby hair that stubbornly refused to fall out and wisped around the top of her head in the look we later termed the "basketball coach comb-over". At the time, I didn't realize her hair looked that terrible. I mean, I seriously thought she was THE CUTEST baby that ever existed and that may have clouded my judgement about leaving her hair 'al natural'. 

It was only in hindsight that I realized it might have been better to do something about that uneven mop of hers. I promised myself that I wouldn't subject my next baby to this type of torture and would instead be more proactive in evening that hair out. What is it about that crazy Mother's love that makes you see no wrong (a mother's love or exhaustion? Hmmmm)? I started noticing that everywhere we went, people kept commenting on Nate's hair. Love his hair! Look at that hair! Wow, great hair! 

I wonder why?? Anyway, with the encouragement of my parents, we decided that it was high time that Nate got his first* haircut (*technically, he has already had 2 trims, but this was a real haircut--clippers and all). Nate did great!

Along with being Nate's first hair cut, this was Granddad's first time giving a haircut. Not bad, right? (Sorry, Granddad, if you are reading this...I definitely think you should keep your day-job. I don't think haircutting is going to be your second career once you retire either. Nate can pull this haircut off but mostly because he is SO. DARN. CUTE.)

Look at that blondie!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Texas On My Mind

I've got Texas on my mind. You see, if you follow this blog or keep up with us otherwise, you are aware that we are currently in a state of flux as we transition from Singapore back to the USA. In fact, I have been squatting at my parents house with my children during the past five weeks or so while my husband has been wrapping up his job and selling all of our worldly belongings. If you are good at math, you are mentally calculating how many jobs that leaves us, what, with Regis' official notice in and my non-work-sponsered, extended maternity leave. Yes, that's right, it leaves us zero jobs. I see it in your eyes as I tell you this, the oh-my-gosh-that's-a-terrible-idea look that flashes across your face. I would agree with you. It is less than ideal. Regis tells me his father used to advise him that rope acrobatics and job searching are the same--you don't let go of one until you have another. But for us, we eventually got to the point that we needed to make the leap of faith to return to our home country. Which is scary, I admit. You swing through the air praying that another rope is there all the while trying to ignore the fact that there is a high chance you'll end up on the floor with two broken legs. But we have faith that there are always opportunities in life, even for those who have broken legs. Sometimes you just have to have the courage to go looking for them rather than waiting for them to find you.

And look, we have been doing. We have been looking for jobs, mostly the right jobs and, in times of desperation, any jobs to get us back. So even though you may think I have been sitting on my duff doing nothing (at least, certainly not blogging), this in not the case. Well, not totally the case. I managed to arrange some interviews over my vacation in February. So now on to the good news: I was only here a few weeks before I found out that I was offered (and accepted!) the job I was most interested in. So job tally: +1. Broken legs: none yet.

Which brings me back to Pat Green and Texas on my mind. Specifically I have Houston on my mind. This is because I have accepted a faculty position at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. I will be teaching biochemistry though the department of Chemistry. I am very excited for this opportunity. It is the job that I always thought would suit me perfectly: an educator of science at a Catholic university. This job, in a way, encompasses all my background, as if I had always been working toward this. I look toward this next adventure for us with nervous excitement and optimism.

So the Covey's are Texas-bound. I believe Regis once told me that he never wanted to set foot in Texas (although that opinion was changed after a fun visit with my brother in Houston), so I giggle a little at the idea of Texas being our new home. I tell him, in the words of Lyle Lovett, that's right, your not from Texas but Texas wants you anyway. While I have always considered myself to be more of a North-west girl, I am looking forward to returning to the land of cowboy boots, big bright stars and Shiner Bock. For our Texas friends, we look forward to seeing you soon. For our non-Texas friends, we hope to give you a Texas-sized welcome if you ever make it our way. In the meantime, I am hoping to keep you updated on our adventures here so please don't give up on this blog yet!