Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daddy's little Ewok

After a busy day we relaxed at home this evening before Addie's bath time. Justin put on her Star Wars t-shirt and just left her in her diaper. It brought back memories from last October when I went back to work and Justin stayed home with Addie for his paternity leave. I'd come home from work and Addie would just be hanging out in her diaper and a t-shirt. Most often this one. Funny that at 4 months she could wear this and at 16 months she can still wear it. I think it fits her properly now though.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baby #2

Yep, you read it right we are pregnant again! Due May 1, 2009. Addie was affectionately nicknamed Hokie Bird because we didn't find out the sex before birth so this new little edition is going to be lovingly called Hokie Bird 2. Anyway, Hokie Bird 2 is 9 weeks along and has a strong fast heart beat according to my doctor. On the sonogram today not only did we get to see the little heart beating but also watched him/her wiggle around a little. It's just amazing and has calmed so many of my worries. I've been a tad consumed with exhaustion and nausea let alone the fact that one moment a apple will look delicious to me, the next it makes me want to vomit. The joys of early pregnancy! The good news is that all this tough stuff disappeared after week 12 with Addie so God willing, I will feel more like myself in three weeks or so.

Beyond all that Justin is just giddy with excitement. I think the husbands get to focus on the excitement so much earlier because they don't anxiously wait for the sonograms with the heartbeat and have to deal with all the pregnancy symptoms. Justin can't stop smiling and smothering me with sweet nothings about how amazing I am to be carrying his baby...again! I'm so lucky. Addie is clueless as of now, and will probably be too young to completely understand the implications of the baby in Mommy's belly arriving come May. Besides that, she is going to be a great big sister if the adoration she had for her cousin Riley is any indication of how she will be with her little brother or sister. It's all very exciting for us.

And if this isn't too many details yet I've attached the sonogram pictures!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dancing Queen

When music comes on our girl is dancing. Yesterday she even started grooving to the sounds of the hammering and sawing that was going on upstairs in the construction. I guess she thought it was a funky beat. Note: I don't make her wear her sunhat inside, she insisted on wearing it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Filipino "art"

Jeepneys in the Philippines are a major source of public transportation for the locals. They barrel along the road producing massive amounts of pollution and are always decorated with artwork, tassels, and curtains. On the way to Subic this past weekend we came across an especially ridiculous Jeepney picture. Justin's statement was "How did they get in my head?"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Subic Bay

Yesterday we took a road trip with friends to Subic Bay. It's about a 2 and a half hour drive northwest of Manila. We packed up the cooler and the Jeep and hit the road early to get out of the city before traffic could slow us down. Once we hit the open road it was blissful. Green rolling hills and jagged rock formations covered in palm trees lined the highway. Lots of little villages and fields and fields of rice patties. The drive itself erased the stress of Manila from our minds. Once at Subic we set up shop at Cayman Beach Resort with a "deluxe" cabana and charcoal grill. Our friends we were with have a daughter Addie's age, so Stella and Addie played in the sand together and became fast friends. We grilled pork ribs and ate fresh fruit. The weather was sunny and the water was refreshing. It was a perfect day-trip out of the city. Addie had no reservations about the beach this time. She immediately covered every inch of her skin in sand and pulled our hands towards the water. She walked a bit with her Daddy picking up coral and shells. For two little girls who didn't have a nap that day they did fantastically well at the beach. Towards the end of our beach day we were visited by wild monkeys! They came out of the jungle behind us looking for food. You can see Justin, Addie, and I peaking out of the cabana to get a look at the monkeys up in the trees. Addie (the animal lover) loved the monkeys. The girls crashed on the ride home. Our fun-day-at-the-beach officially ended when we hit Manila traffic which added an additional hour and a half on the trip home. The only other downer was when we stopped at a rest-stop for food. All of us were excited to see the Wendy's Hamburgers sign, only to have our hopes stomped on when we found out the store had closed. This left us with a bunch of other gross choices, KFC being the least nasty of them all. It's strange ordering at familiar fast food chains in the Philippines. First of all they had no biscuits (what the?), so we ordered two "fun shot" meals (basically chicken nuggets, fries, and a soda pop) for about $4 total. Needless to say it wasn't so "fun". There is a reason we don't eat KFC in the States and now we will never eat at KFC in the P.I. again.
After we had one panic-inducing mix up in Quezon City trying to get on EDSA the right direction toward Makati (home) we sat in traffic until we were in familiar territory. We were never so glad to see Spendido Gardens! The day was exhausting but in a good we-did-something-fun-today way. We will definitely be making our way to Subic again soon. Getting out of the city was just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Adelaide Updates

Since I bummed everyone out including myself with the last post I'll now get back to the stuff everyone really wants to hear about...Adelaide Rose.

Our little baby is now officially a toddler. Here are a few of the new things she does:

- Climb everything, couch, chairs, toys, baskets, thanks to Gymboree
- She's become a bit more picky at mealtimes. She still likes broccoli and asparagus but generally is choosier about what goes in her mouth. Crazily she loves black olives like her Aunt Rachel
- Talks! Addie says Mama, Dada, Lucy, baby, ball, this, fish, puppy (or doggy it's tough to tell), up, yaya, bye bye, Hi, and a few more words that are her made up language to communicate with us.

- Yesterday she repeated me when I said "so cool" she also blurted out "oh wow" while we were reading a book.
- Makes up her own little games with her toys- adorable and I love watching her while she plays.

- Runs! Loves going down the slides at the park and climbing the stairs mostly by herself.

- Favorite playtime activity is reading books and looking at the pictures. She hands them to me and Justin to read and flips through the pictures. She points out the animals in the pictures. We do this off and on for hours during the day and before bed. I'll also point out that when Daddy gets home from work he takes over for story telling. She prefers him to read them aloud. Who wouldn't though with that great Daddy voice.

- At bedtime she now likes to skip being rocked and sung to and prefers to go straight to bed (I cried the first time this happened!) she reaches her arm out for her crib while I'm kissing her goodnight.

- Dances, while this is not a new thing for Addie she's now got some new moves that involve picking up her feet and waving her arms. We love catching her dancing to music.

- Rocks and sings to her baby doll. She kisses her and gives her sips from her sippy cups. Baby even gets to share her goldfish crackers at snack-time.

- Loves rough housing with her Daddy. As you can see in the pictures Justin is just as excited as Addie that she's getting sturdy enough to play big kid games like "horsey" with her Dad.

- Loves Oreos (well they're actually Trader Joe's all natural version but exactly the same). And if you are curious she immediately takes the two cookies pieces apart and scrapes off the filling on the inside with her teeth.

- Addie's clearly growing. Her hair is getting so long in back and most of her baby fat rolls on her legs are melting away. There is still one little crease that won't budge and I'm secretly hoping that one little baby roll hangs around for a while longer. She's got a mouth-full of teeth and molars to chew with.

- I could go on and on. My baby girl is not a baby any longer. Everyday there is a moment that melts my heart. Most of the time it's when she throws her arms around my neck for a voluntary hug or when she touches her nose to mine in a sweet little Mommy-Daughter eye contact moment which I'd like to believe is her way of telling me she loves me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

the honeymoon is officially over

We just might have took a vacation back to the states too early in our overseas tour. Spending the week in Hawaii has made it very hard to get comfortable being back in the Philippines. We were warned over and over that there will be a period in our tour that is considered the honeymoon phase when everything is new and exciting and you want to explore you're new home. The little annoyances of a foreign third world country won't really get to you and everything is hunky-dory. Well the bad news is that after the honeymoon phase is over you sink into a low point of your tour. Our honeymoon phase is officially over starting a week or so ago. The annoyances are maddening now, the whole city stinks like diesel, fried Filipino food, and dog poop. We can't go anywhere without being pointed at, talked to, or bothered for money. Traffic is so terrible on days it takes 30 minutes to get to the next neighborhood for a play date. Justin and I officially knew that the honeymoon was over when our plane landed in Manila from Guam. The pilot turned the fasten seat belt sign off, the passengers all stood up and readied themselves to get off the plane. The pilot then got back on the intercom to announce that the ground crew had directed them incorrectly to the gate and that we needed to return to our seats to reposition the plane for off loading! Only in the Philippines. When we finally got off the plane, we waited for our stroller beside locals who wouldn't leave Addie alone. "Hi baby!" they exclaimed as they grabbed her hands and feet. Then they gave us what used to be our stroller which was mangled and broken. If we weren't sure that the honeymoon was over then, the walk out into the hot, humid, polluted, Manila night did it for us.

Justin and I always say it's a good thing we are each other's best friends. Having each other and our beautiful daughter makes this adventure manageable. The only thing that has been saving us lately is that the rainy season tends to blow a lot of smog out of the air. The last few days have been sunny with blue skies and a breeze. My family and that little bit of relief has helped me keep my sanity.

The good news is that it's normal to have strong negative feelings about our post for awhile and over time we'll bounce out of it and find a good happy medium in our new home. We won't ever look at Manila with honeymooners eyes again but we'll find our place here, that much I'm sure about.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

locals for a day

Trey took the entire family to a quiet little beach on the north shore for our last full day in Hawaii. It was a completely different experience than crowded touristy Waikiki. Kiki packed a cooler with PB&J and water. The guys got beer (Kona Brewing Co. for Justin and The King of Beers for Trey). We threw down our towels and just played in the sand. All of my childhood memories at the beach came flooding back as Justin and I helped build a sand castle for Addie. We dug a huge moat across the front. She enjoyed pushing down our sand towers and sitting in the moat more than anything. Such a typical kid. She wasn't afraid of the waves and actually went out in the water with her Daddy and Uncle Trey. She resisted dry land after experiencing the waves and Justin had to take her back in time after time. For all the Oregon Coast lovers, this was not just getting your toes wet, no jumping over the waves or running from them before the icy water hits your legs. This was sprawling out across her Daddy's arms floating on top of the waves. She even got daring and sat on the boogie board and road the waves. I'll admit that I sat watching on the sand in awe that my daughter is such a brave little girl and also terrified that Justin didn't always have one hand on Addie. I guess it's just a Mom thing. Addie came out covered in salt water, sand in her ears and diaper and completely happy. The day was topped off with a shave ice on the way home and a big Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. Addie and Riley took naps at the house and we just relaxed. What a great day.

the lagoon

We discovered a quiet little spot at the Hilton lagoon (totally man-made) that made Addie ridiculously happy! We enjoyed a girls day again and Kiki, Rachel, and Riley came over to play in the lagoon with Addie and I. Later that week on one of Justin's early-release days from the conference we spent the afternoon as a family relaxing in the lagoon as well. Addie just sat in the water and played with her sand buckets and tools. She loved the little tiny minnows that were in the water and insisted that we catch a few in our bucket like the big kids (that's why she's pearing inside so intently). When Daddy came to play she got a ride all the way out to the rocky island in the middle of the lagoon. By the end of the week we really had to watch her because she would just walk out in the deeper water without a care in the world. She fell a few times with her face under water and it didn't phase her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Honolulu Zoo

For Rachel's birthday she requested the zoo...just kidding. We went for the kiddies, Addie mostly. Riley hung out in the Baby Bijorn the entire zoo trip and just watched the world go by like the angel she truly is. Addie got to experience the zoo hands on with her Mommy and Kiki! We saw monkeys, reptiles, elephants, and fish. They had a little children's zoo which was just the right speed for Addie. She got to see animals up close and personal. Even petting a few. The zoo experienced completely zonked Addie out for the rest of the day but it was worth it. I love seeing the excitement in her eyes when she sees an animal in person that we've pointed out in books or talked about. We had a little run-in with the peacocks during lunch time. One almost snatched a piece of sandwich out of my hands. Rachel and I were both a little concerned about our girls fingers and the beak of the peacock. I strutted my Mommy feathers and shooed it away. I guess that's a hazard you gotta watch out for. Going to the zoo just girls was one of my favorite memories from our vacation.
This picture you can see how excited Addie was to be sitting on the cow. What you can't see is that there is a sign on the cow that says "no sitting". Leave it to Kiki to break the rules for her granddaughter's happiness!

friends and cousins

We met baby Riley for the first time in Hawaii since she was born the day Justin, Addie, and I moved to the Philippines. The girls had seen one another on Skype through the computer and Addie always pointed at Riley, said "baby" and would wave. Seeing Riley in person was a whole other story. Addie was enamored right away and couldn't let Riley out of her sight. She was mostly very gentle with her. There were only a few gabs in Riley's face. Addie mostly liked handing Riley toys and playing with her while Riley was in her Jumperoo. Riley just stared up at Addie in awe. When they both get a little older I'm sure there will be a real friendship. It was so sweet to see the girls together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hawaiian playground

What really made our vacation so wonderful was being able to spend some quality time with family. Rachel, Trey, and Riley only lived a short drive away so Addie and I spent lots of time at their house playing. Addie adored her cousin Riley, Aunt Rachel, and Kiki. Addie really took to her Uncle Trey after he flew her around in the air with the Bumbo seat. That's a surefire way to make friends with a toddler. One gorgeous afternoon the girls all took a walk to the playground. Kiki and Addie had fun on the equipment. Addie had her first ride on a swing all by herself. She was so excited that her eyes were watering and her nose was running. She couldn't stop giggling.


Justin and I have concluded that Addie may very well be the next Jack Hannah or Bindy Irwin. She absolutely loves animals. Luckily the Hilton has it's own wildlife preserve (and I don't mean the prowling singles) just a walk away from our hotel room. Every day Addie and I walked to see the penguins, turtles, flamingos, macaws, ducks, and koi. It was a definite perk to the resort. She even learned to say fish (sounds more like "ish").

Monday, September 1, 2008


The Hilton Hawaiian Village was situated right on Waikiki beach. We quickly discovered that Waikiki is a bit more populated than any beach we enjoyed in Kauai during our wedding and honeymoon three years ago. Oahu and Kauai are very different islands. Besides the expensive Hilton burgers and $30 umbrella rental (note we have no umbrella) we enjoyed the beautiful weather and blue waters. The entire crew came over to the Hilton for the day on Sunday. We all took in some rays and watched the babies. Addie enjoyed some french fries with her Kiki. She warmed to the sand and the water as the week went on. Look how cute Riley is in her tankini!