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Day 137/365: May 17, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Cuddling a teething baby nephew.
  • Having an abundance of family while I miss my husband.
  • A sensible brother-in-law.

Look at the expression. I don’t know what he thinks about the camera.

#14 = Worthy Cause

We love living in Singapore. It has been a blessing and answer to prayer that God moved us here. The one thing we don’t love about living here is how far from our families it is. Singapore is nearly as far away as you can get from the US East Coast. While travel between the two locations isn’t impossible, it certainly isn’t convenient; nor is it cost friendly. The number of people in either side of our family that is rolling in money and time is zero. Consequently most of our familial contact is through Skype. The times that we visit our family or some family visits us are extremely valuable.

Since moving here, it has been on our minds how much my mom would like Singapore. Two primary reasons: it’s always lusciously green and it’s always summer (aside from rainy season). But we always joked that a sure way to get her out here would be to have a kid.

Well… we got pregnant. And guess what followed the announcement that we were pregnant: my mom (Maureen) started making plans to come visit. Honestly, we don’t know if she would’ve made it out here if we didn’t have Gideon. She might have. Or she might not have. But we were glad it merited a trip.

Due to her work schedule, my mom needed to plan her trip here several months in advance. Add to that the fact that plane tickets are typically cheaper if you don’t wait to the last minute to purchase them. We did our best to estimate when we thought the most useful timeframe for her visit would be, but in the end, it was really just that, an estimation. We didn’t know if he would be early, late, or on-time. It was important to avoid the potential of her visit being before the due date, and then him arriving 2 weeks late. We decided that it would be better if she came after his due date, even if he was already here. Accordingly 3 months before Gideon’s arrival, my mom booked tickets to come out. His due date was the 12th of November. The itinerary my mom had planned had her due date on the 17th. At least even though we weren’t sure when Gideon arrive, we could be pretty certain of when my mom would come.

As the due date approached, we started to wonder if our preparation for him arriving early was in vain. My mom asserted that he was waiting for Grandma since she told him to do so.

The day before my mom was set to arrive, labor began. Go figure. Thankfully we had previously asked friends to be at the ready to take care of picking up my mom from the airport/etc just in case we were in labor or recovery when she arrived. All we had to do was let them know we were in the hospital, and “Operation: Just-in-case” was put into action. We labored through the night while our friends picked up my mom in the middle of the night from the airport. She got some sleep at our friend’s home and then was driven to the hospital. By the time I was wheeled with Gideon to the recovery ward, my mom was waiting in our room for us.

Talk about excellent timing! Thank you Lord!

When we finally made it home from the hospital, we were welcomed home by mom. In addition to recovering from jet-lag and visiting us in the hospital the first two days she was here, she also took it upon herself to tackle some cleaning. Consequently we were also welcomed home by a clean apartment.

Our recovery from childbirth and adjustment to life with a newborn would’ve been a MUCH different story had my mom not been there. As it is, the first three weeks I didn’t have to worry about any housework, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc… Instead, I was able to solely focus on breastfeeding and sleeping. Recovery went SO much better than we all expected. We thought we would be doing good if we got in one or two outings by the time she left. In the end, we were able to space out several outings during her 3 week stay. (Posts and pictures from the outings to follow in a future post.)

Our first “outing” after coming home was to Gideon’s first Doctor’s appointment. This was also the day that Andrew went back to work, so I was accompanied by my mom to the appointment. It was the perfect opportunity to try out our new baby carrier (from my mom no less)!

Gideon’s first outing in the Boba 3G carrier

I was impressed with how comfortable my mom had already become with traveling using the mass transit system in Singapore. I’m so proud of my mom. Even though she had lots of direction from us and maps galore, the first several trips on the mass transit she did solo! (To be fair, mass transit in Singapore is fairly user friendly.) She got herself to/from the hospital and our home while we were still in the hospital. So by the time she accompanied me to Gideon’s appointment she was already a pro! 🙂

My mom showing off her EZ-link card, proud of her mass transit traveling skills

Notice that my mom is sporting the new diaper bag!? She was a very willing pack mule for various outings.

Now lest you think that my mom spent all her time slaving for us in Singapore, she did take time out for herself. I would tell her that I felt bad that she was coming to Singapore at a time where we couldn’t take her on as many tourist adventures as we would like. She would reply that she was thoroughly enjoying her down time and that it was a lot more fun and relaxing than her typical life. Often my mom would take a morning break to take a walk and get coffee. She also had ample cuddle time with Gideon. (And she didn’t mind the fact that some of that holding was when he was fussy.)

Gideon sporting the onesie that his Grandma made especially for him!

Grandma also spent a good amount of time playing Scrabble/Words with Friends and surfing facebook. (Maybe I helped slightly feed the Scrabble addiction…) But she did take time out to watch Gideon so Andrew and I could go on a date. Yes, you read right; a date!

Enjoying a dinner date at our favorite Japanese restaurant

My mom told us that her very first OB doctor had one rule: that the couple go on a date, somehow, someway, within 2 weeks after the birth. Thanks to my mom, we were able to follow in her footsteps in terms of following that rule 🙂

We weren’t the only ones that enjoyed a nice dinner out.

Happily waiting to try some traditional Singapore fare

We treated her to dinner at a local restaurant.

Chili Crab & Ostrich

(Okay, maybe the ostrich part of the dish isn’t exactly traditional Singaporean.)

We enjoyed the dinner too!

Enjoying sharing life together

It was wonderful to share life and a little bit of Singapore with my mom. But most of all it was great to share our son with her.

Relaxing in Grandma’s arms

One of my favorite stories from her visit was one morning while we were at home. Someone knocked on the door, and lo and behold it was the Mosquito Police. (I don’t really know their real term, but they are people that come around checking to make sure there aren’t any mosquitos breeding in your home.) One of the gentleman asked my mom if it was her first grandchild. The proud response was that, no, it was her fourteenth!

Fourteenth or not, my mom spend so much time making sure that Gideon was loved on. And she also went out of her way to help out Andrew and I in so many ways. We can’t begin to express how much she did for us and how thankful we are that the Lord orchestrated it for her to be her for us during this time.

The three weeks went so quickly. I wish my mom could’ve stayed longer, but am so thankful for those weeks. Since her time was limited, she made sure to pack in as much one-on-one Gideon & Grandma time as she could. He didn’t seem to mind.

“Mom, does Grandma really need to leave tomorrow? Can’t she stay?”

But her time came to an end. The night before her departure, we made sure to get one last group shot:

Our last night together

The next morning, before the sun was up, my mom was on her way back to the States. Now that we’ve been solely responsible for the little guy and the house, we’ve been working on adjusting to normal. But our adjustment is still being helped by mom’s visit even though she is no longer with us. Our fridge and freezer are full of goodies. And the house is still mostly clean. We will savor all of the memories we made during her time here. It’s hard to imagine how much Gideon will change before we get to spend more time in person. But at the same time I can’t wait to see how much the Lord does in the time.

We love and miss you mom! Looking forward to the future when we’ll meet again.

Bump, Fish, and Baby Gift

Now that I am making renewed efforts to get off my procrastination trend, I’m posting about a few things that are new in my life. I’ll put them in order of newness.

FIRST: Baby Bump

Enough to take a picture

The good news: the bump is here.

The bad news: fewer and fewer clothes seem to fit like they used to … or at all.

I have to say, there were quite a few times that I felt like I was silently suffering during the first trimester. I looked normal from the outside, but nausea and other hormonal changes going on, I did not feel normal… Consequently it is nice though to have a few friends making comments of, “Oh, finally showing!” It makes me feel as if what I’m going through isn’t so invisible to the rest of the world.

The baby must like getting its picture taken. Because Sunday evening after getting Andrew to take some baby bump pictures, I felt the baby kick for the first time. The kicks have been pronounced enough that Andrew was able to feel the little one kicking around Monday and Tuesday. I think it was the first time during the pregnancy that my husband has said he’s jealous 🙂

In other news: NEW FISH

Recap from one evening the other week:

Andrew: Where’s the fish?

Me: “Did Eppy escape!?!”

Andrew: ” I don’t know. I can’t find him.”

A few seconds go by.

“Uh-oh.”

Somehow our dear Epsilon had burrowed himself deep within the root mass of our lily/plant that sits in the tank. Either he decided it was a good resting place, or he couldn’t find his way back out. In any case, that was where we had to extricate his lifeless body from 😦

So, on our day off last week, we made a trip to the Aquarium store. (Hurrah for unusual date outings.) Andrew picked out his new pet.

Meet Kappa!

Shhh – don’t tell him he’s a “replacement pet”!

He seems friendly enough to the new snails. (Our concern with Eppy was always that he seemed a bit too intrusive of the snails’ space.) And, thankfully, he has the same knack for getting all excited when Andrew gets home and gears up to feed him!

For 50 cents we bought another snail to add to our tank family. He seems to have settled in well enough. However, due to his significant size, he makes the other snails seem… well… less. They weren’t cooperative enough to be part of the picture.

First Baby Gift

Recently, I’ve been missing my friend Jennie 😦

The Lord moved my dear friend and her hubby back to Texas.

Sokolik and Randles families say goodbye

She was thoughtful enough to bequeath me all her pantry goods that she didn’t care to transport back to the States. Yay!

While I picked up a load of her hand-me-downs she surprised me with a gift.

I get my very own jslik designs, hand-made, baby cover! I am stoked.

“R” is for “Randles”

Just in case there are those who are wondering – No, we haven’t picked a name out. Jennie wanted to monogram something, and figured an “R” for “Randles” was a safe bet 🙂

I love the cute print, especially the adorable turtles! And it already matches our soon-to-be baby room. Double score.

Anniversary & Announcement

Some anniversaries are very much worth celebrating. Today marks one such day. Not only is it one of my sister’s birthdays, but today marks:

Andrew’s One Year Anniversary at IME!

It’s time’s like these that are good reminders of the Lord’s goodness and sovereignty. For fun, I went back through our pictures and looked up what was happening a year ago today:

Andrew was welcomed home from his first day of work by this message painted on our "pink" walls

We were learning how to dry clothes the Singaporean way

After living in SG for less than 2 weeks, we had already started making some favorites, including the Strawberry Soursop smoothie

After spending 4 days in our new apartment we were already saying goodbye to our pink ... no remorse here

Fast forward to today, April 4, 2012

Today was a typical day in Singapore with a few exceptions.

Typical:

  • It was raining when we woke up
  • Age went to work to have fun doing Chemistry labs with high school students
  • Andrew went to work to do his magic
  • It cleared up and got sunny, hot, and humid

Atypical, but very welcome:

Our spare time reading these days

  • A first trip to the NUH (National University Hospital)

An appointment at the Fetal Care Clinic

  • A look at Little Randles

What the littlest member of our family was up to today

The day ended with a celebratory dinner at Pasta Mania where we shared our stories from the day and poured over the pictures/measurements of our little one. Apparently he/she is big for their age and is measuring about a week ahead of schedule! It was definitely fun to see him/her wiggle around on the screen.

How things have changed in one year. Our former favorite past time: painting and banishing more pink day by day. Our new favorite past time: thinking about and finding out more about the little one… hopefully they won’t like pink!