Friday, August 23, 2013

The Name Game

We went through this with J and it.was.ugly. J almost didn't have a name thanks to her early arrival. We literally decided on a name as we were headed to the fateful doctor's appointment where they turned my world upside down.*

Not so much with A, since I was pretty adamant that this was the name I had always wanted to give my son should I be lucky enough to have one. With the Pu family propensity for birthing girl babies, I was pretty sure we'd never have to deal with this again, but now the name wars have reared their ugly head once again. Husband has the absolute worse taste names. If it were his choice alone all of our children would be named after old, fat Italian New Yorkers. And I just cannot imagine having a baby named Frank. Or Jimbo. He, natch, cannot stand any of my names choices. I like names like Nicholas, Ethan, and Isaac.

J likes the name Peter because Peter Pan, Mom, duh!

Of course, if it were up to A, we would name the baby Farticles McJumpJump, so I guess there are always worse options.

On a totally different note, wtf is up with this? My nose isn't located anywhere near my fucking uterus, so I'm not sure what the connection is, but it is really fucking annoying.

*Plus side being that J came out just fine and even had perfectly functioning lungs.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Well after such a mild summer*, rainy season is truly upon us. The Embassy was closed yesterday and today, and even the school closed today.** Although I love having the extra time with my kids, being trapped in the house without respite is less than ideal. Cue the maniacal laughter. Not such a happy birthday for me. :( But we are truly the lucky ones. It is so much worse for so many others. They're saying it's already worse than Ondoy. Husband took the older kids out in our very high clearance Land Rover to check out the damage.

These pics are from our neighborhood and the surrounding area. It's so much worse in other parts of Manila.

Although waking up to this:

kind of makes up for it...just a little bit. :)

*Summer being the 3 months the Western world designates as summer, that is.
**The Embassy is right on the waterfront, but the school is on much higher ground. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Embracing the Bump

***Warning: pregnancy bitch ahead****

I am trying so hard to embrace the bump, but it seems at odds with me. I would like to meet these crazy women who don't know they're pregnant until the baby falls out because they must be the most fucking clueless people in the world. I'm only in month 4, and already I feel like an enormous cow. My thighs have definitely expanded, my arms are softer, and I have no waist to speak of. My skin, never a smooth, clear palette, is rebelling against me by erupting all over the place. Cause, you know, the weight gain alone is not enough to make you feel unattractive. My hormones are all over the place, one minute I'm fine and the next I'm blubbering about toothpaste commercials or giving my husband the evil eye.* I can't do any of my workouts because the minute my feet leave the ground I feel like I'm going to pee.** Half the time I feel like this baby is about to fall through my pelvis even when I'm just sitting around. And did I mention that it's only month 4??!! Ugh.

On top of all that this is our last week with the s-kids, so Husband is a moody bitch, and it's raining like crazy so there's not a whole lot we can take them out to do. I'm working on how to best arrange my preggo medevac back to the States, and just found out that I have to identify a dr and hospital before they can cut my orders. Not having given birth in the DC area, I don't even know where to start. The other 3 kids are back to school, thank goodness, but that means parent-teacher meetings (all of which have to happen sometime during work hours, natch), learning support meetings for A, and all sorts of other appointments that take me away from the office. High school kids here are required to have a laptop (cause in order to afford going to this school we must all be rich, right?) so we got her a cheap one that turned out to not be compatible with some of the software her teachers are using (like the special software for her Chinese class that only seems to be compatible with Mac). So we had to return it and shell out a shit-load of cash for a used Mac anyway. Because what I really wanted to do while buying all new baby gear*** and a short notice ticket and hotel arrangements for Husband to go back to DC to take the FSOA is shell out a thousand dollars for my 14-year old to get a new laptop. *sigh* Wah, wah, wah, wah!

Anyway, the good thing is that we're definitely on the slide out from out Manila adventure and getting ready for our next chapter.**** As much as I complain, I am so excited about this baby. I have so missed having a newborn, and I cannot wait to finally have a baby in my arms again. I am blessed to be healthy and active, and everything with the pregnancy is going along swimmingly.***** Things seems to be falling into place. W've made all the big decisions about who is going where and when in terms of medevac-ing and PCSing. I've made my list of things to do (as overwhelming as it is), so all that's left is to start crossing things off. And we've got a whole slew of trips already paid for in the wings. In two weeks we head to beautiful Malapascua, and while I won't be able to dive down to see the Thresher Sharks, I will be able to hang out, sans kids, with some very dear friends in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Then we head up to The Farm for 3 days of pampering (a birthday gift from Husband) before we jet off for a family vacation with some dear friends and their kids at the Shangri-La Hotel in Cebu. And that's just in September, yay! We are determined to get in as much travel as possible before we leave the Philippines for good. :) Husband is getting ready to take a very challenging test/interview for a great job, but even if he isn't successful, he has an almost guaranteed job wherever we go thanks to his special designation with the State Department. We are very fortunate to be in such a position, as stressful as it may be sometimes.

See, I don't take my good fortune for granted, but that doesn't mean that I can't bitch a little...or a lot...if I want to.

*Even though he totally deserves it most of the time.
**and sometimes I do, so fuck off.
***after al, it has been 6 years, 2 counties, and 4 states since the last time I squirted one of these little monsters out. 
****Hong Kong here we come!
*****Genetic testing says: low risk for abnormalities

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Singapore Fling Part Er

So I meant to post this about a week ago, but I am pregnant and that is my excuse for everything nowadays so just go with it. Anyway, I spent my free day in an epic skype chat with the parents (child-free!), and then explored the city. I thought I took so many pictures, but it seems my memory has failed me as I did not have nearly so many as I thought when I downloaded them onto the computer. I started off in Chinatown, which I just love, love, loved. It's everything you love about Chinatown without the hordes and hordes of people streaming around.

Plus, yum! I dined on Soy Sauce Chicken in one of the main hawker centers. I picked the stand with the longest line because I figured it had to be good, right? It also meant I had to stand around sweating for about 20 minutes, but the result was worth it.

Sorry, I know my shitty photography does not do the meal justice, but it was dee-lish. And I was the only white girl in the joint, so I figure it had to be pretty authentic. :)

Next up was Clarke Quay where I wandered around the waterfront and completely forgot to take pictures. :(

Then it was on to Little India where I had the most fabulous samosas (and also forgot to take pictures of those. Sorry, ya'll. I blame baby brain. I did however take some photos of the various, so just feast on those instead and pretend they taste like samosas.

All in all, this little trip just whetted my appetite to discover more of this awesome city. I'm so excited to be coming back here with Husband and parents in a few months when I'll have more time to really explore the city and all it has to offer.* Plus, my mom will be doing the photography, so you know the pictures will be a million times better!

*Read: FOOD!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Singapore Fling

So I've jetted off to Singapore for a few days on my medevac and immediately began my love affair with this beautiful, wonderful, amazing city. Although I've only been here for a day, I can already tell that this is a place I would love to live. From the moment I stepped off the airplane into the gorgeous, clean, quiet airport* to the lovely greenery and parks that whizzed by as I took my clean, sleek cab down traffic law-obeying streets and through the working infrastructure of an Asian city that clearly works. It was like Japan except everyone speaks Chinese. Yay! Actually, I shouldn't say everyone. True there are many Chinese speakers here, but I have been astounded at the multi-culturalism I've encountered. In my hotel I've already had pleasant exchanges with other visitors from Japan, Australia, India, Brazil, and the UK. Jus in my small doctor's office I heard French, English, Chinese, Hindi, and Japanese. I loved it!

Today was mostly full of doctors appointments and a quick visit to the Embassy here to get my medical clearance back.** I did a lot of walking up and down Orchard Street, which is the main shopping drag but also the street where my hotel and the hospital were located. Tons of high end stores like Gucci and D&G mixed with other smaller malls touting more reasonably priced good and hiding tons of little food courts. Malling here is even more of a national sport than in the Philippines! After my walk to the Embassy, I stopped by a grocery store in one of the malls and had a bit of sticker shock (a liter of milk is about $10!). I did splurge on some cheese and cold cuts, though, because you simply can't get them in Manila. I also picked up a delicious spicy tofu soup from one of the food hawker stalls, which was just what I needed for dinner. Despite the tropical weather*** I was just really craving soup. French picnic and spicy Korean soup, sounds like a perfect pair, right?

Tomorrow is basically a free day. They make your medevacs for 3 days just in case there is a problem and they need to do additional testing. My appointment went smoothly. Everything looks good, healthy. They were not able to do the test I had originally come here for because it turns out I am too far along! The test is supposed to be done between 11-13 weeks. According to the ultrasound, I am 14w2d today. So they had to do a different set, an older test, which is only 60% accurate, which ups my chances of needing am amnio (which I had wanted to avoid) should the results come back positive, which is a bit of a bummer. I won't get the results of that test for another week, so it's more uncomfortable waiting I'm afraid. So I'll console myself by trying to enjoy as much of this lovely city as possible in the time that I have here. I'm excited to go explore Chinatown and Little India tomorrow and maybe to scout out some neighborhoods where we might consider staying the next time we come to Singapore.**** Orchard Street is very nice, but it's quite high end and not so much the down and dirty, street food experience we'll be looking for next time around.

Anyway, it was so cool to get my 3D ultrasound today. When I had my first pregnancy they could barely tell the sex at 20 weeks. Today I saw everything! That baby looked like a little freaking baby, not some crazy alien blob. It was so cool. Oh, and we do know the sex now. :) It made me a little sad seeing all the other couples in there, and I was the lone singleton sitting in the room. We just couldn't justify shelling out the cash for the Husband to accompany me, particularly when we just got back from our R&R, so I came here sans family. I really wanted him to experience getting to see that ultrasound, too. But then, everything seems to bring out the tears in me now, and it reminds me that I haven't posted anything even remotely funny in a while. My last pregnancy brought out the sarcastic wit in me, but this one seems to be making more more emotional and nostalgic. Sappy posts are great every once in a while, but no one wants to read sad things all the time. For realz, I just watched a McDonald's commercial (in Chinese, oh I'm so rusty!) with a grandma and her granddaughter and started crying. I need to get my shit together, people! So here's some funny kid stuff that I keep meaning to post but never get around to randomly thrown into this post for no real reason at all.

J: Want to play doctor?
C: Sure, whatever.
J: *tugs on C's left ear* Does that hurt?
C: No.
J: *tugs on C's right ear* Does that hurt?
C: No
J: *hauls off and smacks C right in the face* Does that hurt?

A: I want oatmeal, please.
Me: Would you like it with raisins and brown sugar?
A: I would like it with all the oatmeal things...except pickles.

J: I want the blue bowl!
A: Can I have the red bowl?
Me: *sarcastically* No, J will be get both bowls.
A: I have to eat off the table? Cool!!

*A total 180 from the gross chaos that is Terminal 1 at Ninoy Aquino International. It was like stepping into a dream!
**Turns out when you medevac for any reason (even just for routine testing) you automatically lose your medical clearance, so I had to see the Regional Medical Officer to get mine back before I head back to Manila.
***Nowhere near as oppressive as Manila but still pretty dang hot, especially if you've been walking around all day.
****Already planned in Dec when my the 'rents are visiting.