Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Monday morning the first words I heard were "Houston we have a problem" as my husband handed me my daughter who was covered in a red itchy bumpy rash. My initial hunch was an allergy to the sunscreen we had slathered on her the evening before since the rash was concentrated on the areas where her swimming suit was not. I dug out our antihistamine and called the medical clinic at the embassy to check what dosage they'd recommend I give Addie. She was kind of warm too so I thought I'd give her some infant Tylenol. The ever-indecisive clinic staff actually advised us to head to the emergency room since the rash was all over and she had a slight fever. (the emergency room is used like a urgent care center here for expats. It's cheap so the clinic just directs us there instead of try to solve the problem...rather irritating). Long story short we were seen at the E.R. and they diagnosed Addie with an undetermined viral rash and prescribed us a fever reducer and antihistamine! Hmmm, oddly the same thing I was going to give her hours earlier. Anyhow, by the afternoon she was rash free and no fever. Ok, maybe it was a virus?

So yesterday, I get Addie dressed and ready to go to the park. It's sunny and hot here again so I put some sunscreen on her before she heads to the playground with Cora. By 4 PM she has the rash again where I had put the sunscreen. You can actually see the rash stops where her shirt and pant sleeves were. The worst is on her face because I of course focused the sunscreen on her sensitive little cheeks. After another dosage of antihistamine (no fever this time) and a good night sleep she's fine and I lathered her with an organic Zinc based sunblock for today's outings. The strange thing is that we used the Coppertone Water babies since we arrived in the Philippines, stopped during the holidays when the sun wasn't out as much and then just started it again on Sunday. Very strange that she's developed an allergy just now.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that Mother knows best. I should have thrown out the sunscreen right away and just given her the antihistamine and Tylenol and called it a day.

swimming in February

It's tough for me to wrap my head around how summer has arrived in February (apparently a month early according to the locals and expats who've been here a few years). Does that mean we are just the lucky ones that get close to 100 degree weather at Valentines Day? Yikes. There is still a nice breeze once in awhile that blows. Yesterday, our driver, Gary, explained that February produces a "cold wind". I just laughed at him. Over the weekend we went to the pool to kick-off summer. Addie loves the pool and now that she's a bit older we are working on blowing bubbles and putting her face in the water. She likes to stand on the side and jump into her Daddy's arms after we say "ready, set..." and then she says "go"!

indoor beach

It's rather ironic that we live in a nation of 7,100 islands and we have to go to the local outdoor sporting goods store to play in the sand. A friend tipped us off to this fun play area. We took Adelaide to the indoor sandbox over the weekend and she was in heaven. The big excitement was uncovering two marbles in the sand, burying them, and then finding them again; over and over. Being that it was a sandbox we knew there wasn't any nasty trash in the sand but it didn't prevent the sand from infiltrating her diaper.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

potty progress

Right now this photo sums up our progress potty training. Adelaide sits on the potty before bath time and possibly other times during the day while we sing this silly song Justin made up (lots of versus with the words potty, pee pee, poo poo, bum, flush, bye bye...etc). She sings along with us but so far no more luck with going on the potty. I guess we are working on the routine, she's good at the wipe and flush part.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

a baby shower

A few of the ladies from Justin's office threw a lovely baby shower for me yesterday. There were even pedicure/manicures for all the ladies. The food was delicious and the cake was beautiful (and delicious). Everyone was extremely generous with gifts. It was nice to receive some pretty little girl clothes since the gender of our little bundle was leaked this time around. I brought my camera so I could share the shower with everyone who couldn't be here for it. I love the picture of my friend Sunny and I. She's having her little boy about a month after me. Be careful drinking the water over here. Pregnant is catching in Manila. I am going to try to take a few pictures of some of the little outfits we received for Bella. She's going to be a well dressed little monkey. After I got home, Addie helped me take apart the diaper cake and put on her "world's best big sister" t-shirt we received.

30 weeks

Here I am at 30 weeks. We've settled on the name Arabella Jun for our new daughter. (I hesitate to announce the name because you always hear praise and disgust. So if you love it; by all means let us know. If you hate it; keep your comments to yourself). Justin has officially picked out both Adelaide and Arabella; both from books he's read (Adelaide from Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle and Arabella from Susanna Clark's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell). Arabella hit me the same at Adelaide. At some point in the pregnancy this baby just became my little Bella. I can't picture her name being anything else. So everyone asks how we decided on it and in some ways I feel like she picked her name more than me and Justin choosing.

Anyhow, Arabella is getting big and I am officially uncomfortable now. My support belt and I are becoming close friends. I will be leaving for Washington at the perfect time here because the summer has started. Yesterday it was 97 degrees. Not cool!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Lucy gets zero air-time on the blog these days so I thought I'd post my new favorite pictures of our dog. She's a faithful friend and the "girls" fight like sisters. Lucy is never far from Addie and I when we are playing, usually she's right there with her ball begging us to take a moment to throw it for her. Sometimes she cuddles up with the baby dolls like in this picture. One of Addie's new favorite games is to throw all the couch cushions on the floor and then jump or dive into them. Lucy loves this game too since it's abandoned as soon as it's started and she gets to curl up on the cushions that are left in the aftermath of the toddler tornado.

surprise packages

I had forgotten that Megan mentioned a Valentines box was coming our way, so when it arrived this week we were extra surprised. Inside were lots of goodies plus a beautiful homemade toy for Addie. Crafty Aunt Megan scores major points again with her niece. This time Megan made a dog house full of dogs and all their accesories. There is also one cat which likes to hang out in the tree. It's titled "Puppy Playtime". Addie immediately started playing with the dogs and it's been played with every day since the box came. I told Megan she should market her ideas to Melissa & Doug. Then on second thought all the homemade touches are what make her gifts so unique and special. A major toy manufacturer would ruin that homemadeness of the toy. Thank you Megan for the box and for all the time and love you put into Addie's gift.

Monday, February 16, 2009


A huge perk of living overseas with a full time housekeeper/yaya is that Justin and I have had more opportunities to go out alone than we normally would. Every so often we will leave Addie with Cora for a few hours and go to dinner or a movie alone. They are heavenly hours of holding hands and smooching and just being the two of us alone like old times. I don't feel guilty for needing this time alone with my husband. It's completely necessary for us to be good parents.

Yesterday, since Justin had President's Day off, we celebrated by going to the movie Valkyrie (strange rooting for the Nazis). All in all it was an entertaining movie. Justin and I were excited to have a full three hours to ourselves. When we returned home Addie was asleep on the couch with Cora. I transferred her into bed with me where she slept for the next 30 minutes in my arms. As nice as it is to have time to ourselves, it is just as nice to come home to our sweet daughter.

I like to have pictures for my posts and this post really deserves a picture of just Justin and I. I can't recall the last time we had a photo of just the two of us so that's my next mission. When I get one, I'll add it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Big day

We celebrated our Valentines Day with a first of the morning exchange of Valentines. Some homemade and some brought back from Australia. We had special chocolate chip flower shaped pancakes for breakfast and then walked the farmer's market for lunch. We enjoyed a little pool party with some friends this afternoon and topped off our Valentines Day with a family dinner at a German restaurant for dinner. It was a great family day full of lots of hugs and kisses all around.
The big news is that Addie went pee pee in the potty for the first time this morning. She woke with a dry diaper then sat right on her little potty and started to go. I think the whole experience surprised her a little, especially our excitement and praise. Later in the day she agreed to try to sit on the potty again and go. This time she didn't stay put and ended up with an accident on the floor. For her first day trying we did pretty good. We are so proud of her.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

After having to sadly cancel our cookie making date with our friends Sunny and Stella I was craving sugar cookies. I made it all from scratch and the butter cream icing turned out delicious (butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla-totally low fat). I tinted it pink for Valentines Day and then sent them with Addie and Cora for snacks during their play date today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Some rare shots of my daughter in pigtails. She never keeps them in long so I thought I'd share. She's taking her baby doll's temperature if you didn't catch that.

a few of her favorite things

Addie has been experiencing big developmental changes the last few weeks. New words are spewing out her mouth every day, she initiates imaginative play with her toys and dolls, and she knows her letters and their sounds. When she sees words on books, signs, t-shirts, really anywhere she points out the letters. Nap time has become a challenge. She used to almost beg me to lay her down at nap time but now she cries and stalls trying to get out of her nap. It's like she's got so much going on in her head she can't possibly rest. It's really amazing to watch and experience. Her personality and likes and dislikes are really starting to blossom. Some of her new favorite words are: sun, bug, bus, star, spicy, sassy, hot, sticker, snake, hand, play, fly, friend, bed, kiss, phone, chocolate, and I'm sure I could go on. Some of her favorite things are puppies, butterflies, stickers, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, dolls, shoes, and cats. She's even catching on to the Disney princesses (both alarming and adorable at the same time). She likes Princess Aurora and the Little Mermaid. She's always really liked her baby dolls and now since Christmas she has a few more. She plays with them and puts them all to sleep, kissing each one. She sings to them and feeds them. It's pretty sweet.

Duplo tower built all by herself.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

totally grossed out

I am pretty disgusted right now because I went to make some brown rice for our lunch to go with our leftovers from last night and found the rice to be infested with nasty black bugs. I'm more grossed out that I actually cooked this brown rice and fed it to my family last night for dinner. I am so revolted that I almost lost my appetite for lunch today (almost). Just another fun part about living in the Philippines.

just reading

Addie is definitely ready to begin potty training. She can point out to us that she needs a diaper change after she's done her business and when asked if she wants to sit on the big girl potty she always answers "yes". So far we are taking it really slow. Yesterday she sat on the potty for a little while. She ended up just reading but it's a start.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

antique shopping-Philippines

I treated myself to a few adult hours with a friend this morning. Jenny and I did some antique shopping at an unassuming warehouse type building filled to the brim with old and new treasures. There were lots of beautiful furniture, tons of old Asian treasures and a few random new things thrown in to give us laughs. My favorite "antique" was the red cake plate with a reindeer painted on it. Second favorite were all the Jack-o-lantern treasures. Halloween isn't widely celebrated here so I guess they consider those things rare. I really like a few items, one being a set of Fire King jade-ite oval dinner plates. I totally fell in love with these plates (or maybe they were small platters). Being that they were made in the USA the price was jacked up. Knowing nothing about Fire King I passed on the Php 1,800 ( $40) per plate price. Still thinking about them though-I guess that's how you know you really liked something. Anyway, I did bring home this fun bamboo ladder that now proudly displays Addie's beautiful baby quilt made my her Great Aunt Mary K. I have visions of this ladder displaying everything from throw blankets, Christmas ornaments, and magazines, to fluffy bath towels and vintage table cloths. Totally fun.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

big sister practice

A few moments the past few days have me really excited about our new baby arriving. The common thread is Addie practicing as a big sister. Today we reorganized the amazing indoor storage compartments that are hidden throughout our condo. We moved the baby swing and bouncer out and put the Christmas boxes in. Adelaide immediately grabbed her baby doll and started pushing her in the swing. She even lent her doll an extra lovie so she could sleep better. Baby and Addie sat in the bouncer as well. When baby was in the bouncer lots tender touches and sweet talk came out of Addie's mouth soothing the baby. It was pretty cute. The day before Addie insisted that I bring her musical snow globe down from it's shelf and turn on the music. She then curled up in (what's left of) my lap and rubbed my belly while we listened to the tune. My heart melted. I think we definitely have a great big sister in the making.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

missing Daddy

We aren't even half way through the week and we are totally missing Justin. In fact we missed him the moment he left. Addie asks for her Daddy in the morning and at bedtime and whenever she hears someone at the door. We both miss you Daddy/Justin! We know you are having lots of fun in the Land Down Under but hurry home to us. We are way more fun than those Aussies.