June 2011

I ran today, yesterday I lifted weights, and the day before that I swam.  I am sore, but I feel great.

I went almost 2 months without doing anything; I was completely sedentary.  Any physical activity at all left me feeling dizzy or nauseated or just plain exhausted.  Apart from not feeling like myself in every other way, not exercising really made me feel like someone else.  It hurt to sit in wooden chairs because I lost all the junk in my trunk.  My calves reminded me of the time when I broke my foot and was in a boot for 6 weeks (itchy skin and everything – how did I forget all these pregnancy side effects??).

My first (very conservative walk-) run changed all that, and I love the burn that reminds me of the muscle underneath.  I guess I am back to being hooked.  I even feel motivated enough to start thinking about starting a pregnancy yoga group; it helped me so much during my first pregnancy, and there are no such classes available here.  Hope I can keep up the activity, and that the motivation remains.  I love it!  Hello, second trimester!


What do you call the second?  Number 2?  the new baby?  Miles’ brother or sister?  This baby?  From the very start, it seems obvious that things are going to be different.  However, this pregnancy made itself known much as the first – a negative test followed by symptoms that were obvious to me, but that I pushed to the side since the pregnancy test was negative.  Then another test a week later that I didn’t need to look at the second purple line slowly fading in on a Saturday afternoon to know it would grow to be two solid distinct lines indicating that another life was forming within.  Physical signs this time included fatigue, extreme hunger but loss of sweet tooth (seriously, I turned down cheesecake), almost vomiting from garbage truck and durian smells (but that’s normal, right?), and a distinct metallic taste when I drank cold water.  It’s not jetlag or not being used to the heat – we’re expecting a baby!

Expected Date of Delivery: 12/25/2011.  Christmas.

Since Miles was born I knew I wanted another one, soon.  Close together so they can play with the same kind of toys, enjoy the same kind of things.  We decided to wait until Miles’ first birthday to start trying again.  Mother nature made sure that was possible, the hormones released from breastfeeding kept my fertility at bay until I completely weaned Miles at 13 months.  A single visit from my old friend and its gone again, perhaps for another 2 years.  So we had planned on this, and we got what we planned for.

We’ll have this baby in Malaysia.  Its a US export, since it was certainly conceived on our last visit there.  The hospitals are great here, medical care is advanced and I know lots of moms who have had babies here.  But here’s the fact: I will have this baby in a hospital.  Not a suped-up B&B with a jacuzzi tub like we had in Austin.  That is kind of a hard bite to swallow, but it will be an experience.  The OB we see actually does do waterbirths, in a large tub in the middle of a (freezing ACed sterile) hospital room.  It worked out well for me last time, perhaps I can try again.

I wanted to keep a little blog of what is going on with this tiny little seed inside of me right now.  Of course I won’t share it publicly until I am good and ready.  Lots of this will be post-dated.

Five weeks(4/26):  I went in for a super early scan to see what’s up in there.  I

See the little black dot left from center?

didn’t go into the doctor for Miles until I was 11 weeks.  Turns out there wasn’t much to see, just a tiny little water sack stuck to the side of my uterus.  Wow!  It’s really real.  I’m feeling OK.  Slight tingling under my tongue, a reaction to the bile leaking up my esophagus, I assume.  Eating suppresses it.  And eat I shouild!  A recent flare up of my Graves disease (controlled now – all levels normal!) left me a bit underweight.  I am starting this pregnancy off 10lbs less than I was with Miles, only a pound up from where I was at my lowest-morning-sickness-low.  At 130lb (59 kg), I am trying my best to gain a bit before week 7 and the highly anticipated real fun begins.  My fingers are crossed, I am eating beans like a madwoman, but unfortunately the thyroid hormones can act like the morning sickness hormone and so I am pre-disposed to 6 weeks of misery.  Tim and I have moments where we look at Miles, than at each other and think, can we do this?  The baby is apparently the size of a poppy seed, and Tim has taken to calling him/her “kas kas”, Tamil (south Indian) for poppy seed.

Seven Weeks(5/9): I am slowly emerging from what I hope will be noted down

Look between the X's

as the worst week of this pregnancy.  I started throwing up over a week ago.  I was 5 weeks pregnant.  Not good.  It escalated until I was visiting the toilet (to puke) every hour and Miles had abandoned his initial scared reaction of mom throwing up and was pretending to throw up too.  I was pretty dehydrated, and looked gaunt and sick.  I had no energy.  Screw you, bean cure.  I couldn’t keep down water.  So I called the doc and started some OTC anti nausea drugs.  He wanted to check me in over night and hydrate me, I opted to do that alone at home, but it took days until I could stand without being dizzy.  Finally 5 days later, I am feeling better.  Vomiting has reduced significantly, to just once and a while, and I am feeling more like myself.  Well, a very tired pregnant version of myself.

We went in for scan #2 today, an abdominal US that showed us a tiny 7mm baby with a tiny beating heart.  I measured exactly 7 wks 0 days, which is right on.  We’re not out of the woods, but the beating heart assured us this is a viable life inside, so we’re starting to spread the news.  Not on the blog, though.  Not just yet…

Eight Weeks (5/18): Time is crawling by.  Days feel like months, a week a year.  I’m trying to take this one minute at a time, but I am getting a bit sick of being sick.  So often I find myself right on the edge, just hanging on.  This will go on for an hour or more before I finally either slide into sleep or end up with my head over the toilet.  Its taking its toll not only on me, but on Tim and Miles, who if they are lucky get a tiny fraction of the mom and wife I was 3 weeks ago.  It gives me a new appreciation for people who live through serious illness, and a deep appreciation that there is a light at the end of this very short tunnel.

Ten Weeks (5/31/2011): Things are settling down, and I realize that if I just don’t get too tired out I can manage this pretty well.  We had visitors from Singapore, and I am so grateful for their easygoing attitude that allowed us to just chill most of their visit.  Last weekend we went away to Pangkor Island and I ate and ate and never threw up.  It was a great weekend, reminicient of the trip we made to CO when I was 9 weeks preggo with Miles, not the weather or surroundings at all, just the change of scenery that allowed me to break out of the sick routine.  Another thing is that one night before I went to sleep, I was just laying there and felt some kind of distinct movement in my low belly I could not write off to indigestion.  Not sure if this walnut sized little one to recently be upgraded to fetus is capable of any kicks yet, but I might have felt it…  Help arrives in one week in the form of family, and I can’t wait.  Miles will be happy too 🙂

People ask me if I am having cravings.  Well, I can’t eat almost everything, opening the fridge or freezer is sure to set off some retching, but I do experience cravings.  In the form of I must eat this now cravings.  My shopping cart is sad: beef, bacon (the imported, pork kind), mac & cheese.  I want Chili’s and BLTs and pizza.  Western food for sure (one Thai craving was discovered to be sorely misguided).  I want sandwiches.  Fricano’s spicy Reuben with Boar’s head meat on good rye bread, grilled in a panini press.  The closest we have is subway.  Very, very sad.  Last night it was roast chicken dinner (not the first for this particular craving, the last was satisfied by KFC).  I had been on the couch nearly all day when I bounded into action for this 30 minute cook-a-thon which produced chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and salad.  At least this stuff is going down and staying down (for the most part).  Still no weight gain, I hover at 124 lbs.

(almost) Twelve weeks (6/10):  My sister came early and has been here all week.  She’s excellent at getting in the kitchen and making up what I need, bringing me water, keeping the dishes done, keeping my mind elsewhere.  Then Tim’s parents arrived and some more help in the form of diversions for both me and Miles.  I’m still tired, throwing up about once a day, but being in the double digit weeks and so close to what I hope is the end of this puts my mind at ease.  Scrambled eggs are awesome.

Tim came with me for another check up.  I asked for Zofran, a strong anti-nausea

a calm baby

drug meant for chemo patients but often described for pregnant ladies in the states.  The OB responded shocked, and told me I didn’t need that.  I guess he is a bit more conservative than I gave him credit for, and for that I’m glad.  Still no miracle drugs for me to take to Borneo (a 9 day vacation I had planned for us all with some hope of being OK by then).  He promised things would get better 1-2 weeks tops, and we went on to the real fun.  The abdominal ultrasound immediately displayed the complete profile of a BIG and fully formed baby!  Holy crap!  By big I mean 5cm (2″), but it looked big on that screen.  Doc froze the screen and took some measurements – neck fat, nasal bone and spinal – that were all normal indicating the lack of likelyhood of certain chromosomal deformities.  He kept saying “beautiful!” “perfect position”, making Tim and I think we had another ham-bone on our hands (Miles loves being cute in front of others).  Once he unfroze the screen, we noticed something else a little different about this one.  We remember distinctly watching Miles the Mexican Jumping Bean on the screen of our 12 week ultrasounds – never still for a minute.  This one was calm, slowly rolling onto its side and then back over waving arms and legs up in the air.  We smiled at each other – is it a sign?  We are going to get an angel baby?  Of course we would welcome another active spirited child to our family with open arms, but that glimmer of something different was fun.

Twelve weeks, 6 days (6/19):  Back from Borneo, 9 days of no puking, no meds, (relative) relaxation.  It was a good holiday.  I ate what I needed to – mainly in the form of massive amounts of western food (especially toast with butter and jam) and satisfied strong cravings (mostly for watery fruit).  Tim was there with Miles and family carried some of the burden – literally for Aunt May in Kuching.  I’ll write more in the trip report.

I was feeling great – my belly is swelling so that evenings I look obviously pregnant.  I took long rests in the afternoon while Miles napped and went to bed early with him at night.  Then maybe the traveling caught up with me, and not an hour after getting home, I was back at the toilet.  Maybe it was opening the fridge again.  In any case, I hope this passes, quick.  There’s only a week left in this first trimester.

Fourteen Weeks (6/27): Today marks the end of the first trimester and the start of the (glorious, motivated, energetic, I am hoping) second.  I’m eating, it’s been almost a week since I threw up.  I’ve been craving, and eating, healthy things like veggies and fish.  Still tired, but I’ve managed a few late nights as well.  I’m getting a bit thicker around the middle, and the bump is obvious if I stand with bad posture (when I hold Miles!) or at the end of the day.  I’m looking forward to the time ahead, and can officially say I am done with being sick!  (**hour later update – not done with being sick apparently, but definitely through the worst of it)  In fact, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and the slope is looking positive for the next 26 weeks.  Bring on the elastic waistband.

14 weeks - a little bump 🙂

Summer dinners up north at Grandma’s often started with deviled eggs.  They were served in a special glass cutout dish that had little oval depressions to put balance the eggs in, something only your grandmother would own, but I now covet.   We ate them standing at the island counter while we finished our pre-dinner Manistee cocktails.  I now know it was my grandpa who submitted most of the early requests for these, later it was my sisters or me.  A few years back, I had to bring a dish to a potluck and emailed grandma for her recipe.  As with the up north dinners, these were a huge hit, with many people requesting the recipe.  As you’ll see, its extremely simple in terms of ingredients.  The work comes in boiling, peeling and extracting the yolks from the halves, then getting the filling back in.  But it’s therapeutic in the way most old-time American recipes are, and makes a big impression with the most basic (and cheap) of ingredients.

A couple notes.  I think grandma used yellow mustard; we stock dijon, so I used that.  If you are making this with a toddler in the house who is into throwing things he is not supposed to have if he is caught with them, buy an extra box of eggs.  I wrote this based on 10 large eggs; we are on the metric system here, egg cartons hold 10.  Does a dozen even make sense?  The donut shop here serves in boxes of 9, however (makes sense from a packing perspective).  Also, it seemed the umbilical cords on my eggs were extremely short, pressing the yolks up against the shell in almost every egg, leaving little if any white cup holder on one side and making for some funny looking deviled eggs.  Not sure how to avoid this.  I provided instructions on boiling eggs.  I don’t think you’re stupid, I just want to help you get them cooked all the way through and peeled without pulling out your hair.

Deviled Eggs (via Grandma Bolhouse)

  • 10 eggs (or a dozen)
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  1. Place the eggs into a single layer in the bottom of a pot.  Cover completely with cold water.  Uncovered, heat over a high heat until boiling, then turn to the lowest setting and start your timer.  After 10 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, go to the sink and immediately start running cold water into the pot, allowing it to overflow until water runs cold out of the pot.  Meanwhile, shake the pot decently vigorously to make tiny cracks on the sides of the eggs, to allow the cold water to get between the shell and the white.  Pour off most of the water, but leave eggs submerged, and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Peel the eggs.  Hopefully it is easy for you.  Cut each egg in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a separate bowl.  If you can tell where the yolk is before cutting into it, make an effort to go straight through it, dividing it evenly.  Place whites face up in a serving dish.
  3. Mash yolks thoroughly with a fork.  Add mayo, mustard and a bit of salt & pepper.  Mix well until a smooth paste forms.  Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  4. Spoon the yolk filling into a plastic ziploc bag and press it all to one corner.  Snip off that corner and use the bag to fill each egg white with a nice mound of the yellow stuff.  Sprinkle with paprika for some color.
  5. Enjoy!
If you are wondering what that gorgeous maroon dip with crostini is in the far right of the last picture, its a very simple and delicious beet-walnut-feta pate I served along side the eggs at a playgroup I hosted.  Pulse roasted beet, toasted walnuts and crumbled feta in a food processor with salt & pepper to taste.  Serve on bread, or use to fill ravioli.  Yum!

This little bean is getting more fun and more cheeky all the time!  I think this is the fun part of toddlerhood, and I am fully enjoying it.

  • Inevitable.  I knew it.  With parents like us how could he avoid it? (No, he’s not already doing calculus…that will be in the 18 mo update.)  Miles is a runner.  He no longer walks anywhere, his flat feet smack on the floor as he rushes from room to room.  Fortunately, his balance seems pretty good and no major accidents thus far.  He also likes to show off on steps, putting one foot only on each going up (not step, meet, step, meet, like he did before) and not holding on for the way down.  Luckily here he’s a pretty good faller.  Is that a notable accomplishment?  Miles has the tuck and roll down.
  • Blah, blah, blah.  The constant babbling of last month started to come together into coherent (to me, anyway) words.  Mama and Dada are favorites, and used almost constantly in any new situation where we are not within his sights mamadadamamadada…  He will try and say any new word if you start it with “can you say..,.?”, except for those he has mastered by signs.  The only two I can see that transferred over to verbal at this point are dada and banana, although those signs are often used in conjunction with the word.  Food words are favorites: eggs, cheese, juice, grapes, milk…
  • No-No. He’s 17 months.  Of course he is all about the no.  For Miles, its in the form of a very solemn bowed-head-wide-sweeping-side-to-side head sweep.
  • Yes.  Fortunately, he says yes almost as much as he says no.  Here’s one where he foregoes his previous breathy “yeah” for a more vigorous full body jolt that comes from the solar plexus and eminates through his body.  I need to get these on video.  They’re emphatic.
  • Food.  Miles will only eat things he wants to eat, and only things he brings to his own mouth (with an exception for ice cream, it seems).  I am just trying to go with the provide several healthy options and be OK with whichever goes down, even if its not the healthiest one.  I have not exactly been a pillar of reference in this department the last couple weeks, anyway…pickles and ice cream?  Miles loves it too.
  • Others…Tooth seven made its appearance in Borneo, leading me to believe Miles will never cut a tooth at home in his own bed…We counted that Miles was on his 30th flight, making it almost one flight every 2 weeks of his life.  He does have massive feet, but I think his carbon footprint is even bigger…That being said, his traveling days are over it seems, after a particularly needy night at a hotel in KK, Tim swore he was never taking Miles anywhere again…Miles sings and does the hand motions to “itsy bitsy spider” and was showing off for some friends during dinner the other night.  I think I was the only one who got what he was doing…He’s a dancing fool when some good music comes on (his interpretation of good music that is), incorporating moves such as the high stomp, low squat, side to side shuffle, and the arms up spin (but only to the left).

Borneo is a big island in the south China sea that has been split diagonally and allocated to the countries of Malaysia (1/3), Indonesia (most of the rest) with a tiny notch cutout for the country of Brunei.  It’s a little confusing to tell folks at home we went to Borneo, as most post-WWII people, including myself before moving here, can’t imagine where to look for it on a map.  Hint: West of peninsular Malaysia.

I had heard it was different over there, but was not sure what to expect.  Afterall, Kuching, the capital of Sarawak (the more southern of the 2 Malaysian states, the other being Sabah) sounded similar to Penang, with strong influence by the straits Chinese.  I was surprised to find when we arrived that Sabah and Sarawak have independent immigration, so we had to get stamped at each new airport.  I’m also not sure if it was just a fluke, but the weather was also extremely different.  Cooler, less humid, clouds and rain.  Ahhhh….

Our first stop was the remote beach residence of Tempurung Seaside Lodge, a 2 hour drive south of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.  Located on a steep cliff right on the sea, the residence-turned-hotel was built in a long house style with a big common living room and a separate dining area where we took all our included meals.  The stairs made for a bit of a physical challenge getting Miles (and me, and Tim’s parents) up and down each time we wanted to go to the beach, but the serenity was worth it.  The sea was swirling and angry as there were massive wind and rain storms each night.  This made for some interrupted sleeps (Miles’ emerging 7th tooth didn’t help) as we went to bed with the windows open, only to wake up to howling winds whipping through our room!  Tim, Mariel and Linda went on a wildlife watching boat cruise, while Miles, Wally and I spent some more time at the beach, collecting sand.

Next up we split into two teams: team 5-star Shangri-La and team Mount Kinabalu.  I stuck with the mothers and children (guess where we went?) while the dads and Mariel went off to summit SE Asia.  Unfortunately for them, the weather patterns continued, and horrible storms kept them from the actual summit.  The resort, however, was fabulous.  Totally set up for kids, it was a great place to bring Miles and a wonderful relaxation spot for us.  I spent lots of time sleeping, reading and relaxing and Grandma Linda got to play with Miles in the pool on the up-down (slide).  He had a blast!  We loved our ground floor room with its tiny patio and garden that looked over the ocean.  The food was amazing (I ate! And ate, and ate…).  Right before we left we even got to see up close and personal a baby orang utan from the on-site nature preserve.

Lastly, we left Sabah and headed to Kuching.  Again, great, cool weather!  I was feeling so much better at this point, and I think it was due in part to the lower humidity and cool temps.  We were all charmed by Kuching with its riverwalk and temples.  It seemed quaint, and just walking around the city was fun enough.

We did make a few outings, though.  One to a nearby orang utan preserve with “semi-wild” animals.  Here we saw about 5 adults and one baby swinging around, peeling bananas in one fell swoop and cracking coconuts.  Miles tried his hardest to scare them off  by screaming and crying, but luckily they stuck around.  We also visited a cultural village, an extremely well set-up if a bit contrived collection of seven typical tribal dwellings, people and customs.  Miles went crazy for the dance performance at the end, watching the performers with rapt attention and fussing and signing “more” in between songs.  That night, Mariel and I got to have sister night of shopping, massage and Italian dinner while Tim, his parents and Miles headed across the river to the Malay side (Kuching seems VERY segregated).  The next day was our last, and we visited the weekend market, blocks and blocks of veg, fruit, fish, crackers, cakes, meat, etc, etc.  We finished off with an early Fathers’ Day dinner out in Kuching.

All in all, a great trip, and somewhere we wouldn’t mind going back and doing more exploring.  We missed out on the National Parks in Sarawak and all the diving spots in Sabah.  My guess is there may be a Borneo, part II, sometime in the future!

I know exactly what will be in our stocking this year:

Stelzer #2, due Christmas Day 2011.


A few pictures from our recent trip to the beach at Pangkor Island.

Collecting for Momma

Tim & Miles' favorite game - Dolphin Rides

Something so special about the sand and the sea...

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