November 2011

Thirty-Three Weeks (11/8/2011):  Just got back from our last little “babymoon” trip with 5 days left to spare on the ticking travel clock.  I know I said I would be too tired to go anywhere.  I was, but it was worth it anyway.  Feeling pretty good these days, although definitely pregnant.  I walk pregnant.  I sit down pregnant.  My belly leads most activities that I do.  I am not comfortable carrying Miles or a heavy backpack.  I am hungry all the time.  Guess this is what it’s all about.  Also, I have to tell people that I am having this baby NEXT MONTH!  Holy cow, doesn’t feel real.

Thirty-Four Weeks (11/14/2011): The last two days have been filled with contractions, the non-painful “practice” ones called Braxon-Hicks.  I didn’t notice these when I was pregnant with Miles until about the 36th week, when the midwife asked me if I had had any contractions.  I replied no, she felt my belly and informed me I was in the middle of one right then!  Well, they’ve started.  Also, the baby’s elbows and knees seem to have grown sharper, or else (s)he is just stronger and able to push a bit harder – I’ve been having pointy protrusions lately.  One yesterday made me thing the baby was planning to escape through my belly button!  I have days of giddy energy and those of extreme exhaustion.  Took Miles to visit a friend with a newborn today and he was so sweet with him, patting his head and belly gently and looking for milk for him (I don’t think he believed it was coming out of my friend’s boob).  I can only hope for that kind of behavior in 6 weeks!

Later in the week (11/18/2011): I am the “last” one.  The second to last one in our group gave birth yesterday, so that leaves me.  She invited me to visit at the hospital today, to go see her and her gorgeous daughter.  I about had a panic attack in the ward.  I didn’t realize how much anxiety I have about the hospital, but its apparently enough to cause a very physical reaction from me.  Fortunately, she calmed me with her amazing story of a beautiful water birth, good news about our doctor, the midwives, nurses, and facilities.  Tim and I are planning a tour next week, and I think a few more visits to the ward will help with my fears.  Augh!

Thirty-Five Weeks (11/25/2011):  Another trip to the doctor today and things are looking good!  We saw the baby’s face clearly on the u/s and (s)he is getting chubby.  All my weight gain this month went straight to baby (1.5 kgs) making baby just under 6 pounds now!  We did another visit to the ward, one without a panic attack (I think it was the elevator).  I saw the pool I’m to use if I have another water birth, and we went through our birth plan with the doctor.  I love this guy, and am so happy he is delivering our baby.  Hope everything goes well on Labor Day!

36 weeks

I am really looking big.  I guess that’s because I am going to have a baby in about a month (yikes!).  I was laughing at my profile as I looked at myself in the ballet mirrors at yoga last week.  It’s kind of ridiculous.  I’m only getting bigger too!  I’ve been ravenous for the last week or so (good timing – thanksgiving!), and trying to do my best to fulfill the (healthy) cravings, including a burger at TGI Fridays.  I have a lot to be thankful for this pregnancy – lately I’ve been feeling fine and relatively energetic.  So far, I have avoided any swelling and elevated blood pressure like I had in my first pregnancy.  It’s hot every day, but that means I can wear practically nothing around the house and be comfortable, and I can go to the pool every day for weight relief and cooling down.  Very thankful. 🙂

The Brits say I'm "tidy" and "neat". I'd hate to see sloppy!


We went last week to watch Tim play Ultimate frisbee, but he ended up in a pickup basketball game with some barefoot teenage ballers, one even had a 90s-era haircut with a star engraved on the side of his head.  Miles wanted to join in so bad, he even brought his ball, but ended up warming the bench the whole time.  Luckily he had Ronnie to explain the game to him.  Action shot of Tim:

Very much a little boy at this point, so so much fun to play with and interact, Miles is a joy in our lives.

  • Serenader. Miles LOVES to sing.  You saw his rendition of “Happy Birthday”, he also does a great “Wheels on the Bus” (Bus. Round-round-round. All…Day….Loooonnnnggg.) and “Old McDonald” (E-I-OOOOhhhh).  We do a music class once a week on Monday afternoons, and he delights in picking up (and putting away) the instruments, dancing around and being the class “monitor”, helping others put things away or passing out toys.  His sign for music remains intact: clicking his tongue while attempting to snap his fingers.  He’ll point down the road where the class is held if we happen to drive by, and Mondays are worth looking forward to.  She taught us the “tidy up, tidy up” song, so now Miles even serenades me while I do the dishes.
  • ICE! A slightly disturbing development. Tim was taking care of his toe after he smashed it on the couch, putting frozen peas on it.  Miles wanted the same attention, and so he proceeded to smash his hand on the ground, do a fake cry, tell him “owwww” and ask for ice.  Two minutes later, the injury had miraculously moved to the other hand.  He continues to pull this owie move, and ask for “daddy ice” (frozen peas), especially when someone else gets an owie.  I’ve seen him invoke similar logic when he wants to put something in the washing machine (like his stuffed elephant) and I tell him its not dirty; he’ll rub it all over the floor and walls and say “dirty, wash.”
  • Hiding.  Another new move this month: climbing into the kitchen cabinet and completely shutting the cupboard door.  This is a little disturbing.   At this point he is popping out after a few seconds, but I can imagine these turning into his secret spots.
  • Un- Child Proofed.  I knew it would happen one day, Miles learned to use the drawer pulls of the stacked drawers as a ladder.  Nothing is safe.  He can open the child-proof locks, and loves to take out the rice cooker and ask for rice.  He knows to steer clear of the knives, stovetop and oven, though.  And for that I am thankful.
  • Tropical Kid.  I don’t think Miles has ever felt cold.  He thinks squirrels are monkeys and pumpkins are coconuts. If I put him in sleeves, pants or socks, he tries to pull them off. M in his alphabet book stands for monkey and mittens, and he thinks the mittens are finger puppet books (he has one of those, the only thing we put on our hand besides oven mitts).  If we ever move to a seasonal climate he is going to be in for a shock!
  • Food.  After the marathon eating stage a few months back, Miles seems to have settled down slightly, and the variety of food he will eat has expanded tremendously.  He likes cooked greens, like spinach and kailan (kind of like leafy broccoli) which is a shock to me.  Favorites remain: fish, grapes, raisins, honey, bread, rice, noodles, eggs, cheese, pears, etc, etc.  He has a pretty impressive tropical fruit vocabulary which includes coconut and passionfruit.  Also, his 100% Bolhouse side has emerged with his love of olives.  He calls toothpicks “olive sticks”, Dad’s rock glass is “olives!” and I can motivate him to do almost anything with the promise of an olive.
  • AND…No major update on potty training, still getting 95% of #2 in the potty…Lots and lots and lots of naked time, it is hot after all…Kindy is going great, no crying at all for drop off and coming home like a champ on the “bus”…seen lots of newborns the past month, and the interactions are going well, here’s hoping…slight backfire from me attempting breastfeeding education – Miles tried to nurse me, Tim, even his own “boobies” in the days following, this should be fun in a month…Miles has all our books memorized – photographic memory!…Frustrating communications ensue when he is fixated on showing/telling me something and I can’t get it, it took me a good 15 minutes to figure out what he wanted when he repeated “det-ko” 1000 times pointing toward the cupboards (there was a gecko on the ceiling)…
  • Enjoying this last month of our little family of three.  And being able to write in this blog.  Free time!

Oh, in November you want recipes that give you an excuse to turn on the oven?  What do you think this was all about?  Sorry, this one is too good not to share, even if the season seems a little off.  And I know there are readers out there in Penang and Australia where it is very much NOT oven weather.  This is good in that it takes 5 minutes to make.  Good in that I recognize all the ingredients as wonderful for you stuff, and yet Miles slurps it down bowl after bowl.  Good as in keeps in the fridge for days, has a relatively adaptable ingredient list, is a delicious guilt-free snack, doubles as a sauce, need I go on?  Oh, it tastes GOOD.

I served this along side our mole enchiladas, and it provided just the right amount of cooling needed for a hearty dish.  If you absolutely must, turn on the oven and roast up a shoulder of lamb with a side of moroccan spiced sweet potatoes.  Serve this soup on the side, garnished with ruby red pomegranate seeds.  Now, how’s that for seasonally festive?

Green Gazpacho

  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 bunch mint, picked from stems
  • about 5 spring onions, rough chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.  Blend on high until liquified.  Taste to adjust lemon, salt and pepper.  Chill for a couple hours and enjoy!

Here’s a little video for your enjoyment.

Today I am so thankful for the lovely mommas in Penang that I call friends, and for the wonderful shower they threw for me this morning!  We had salad, quiche and pastries at a lovely little French cafe, followed by a trishaw ride through Little India, finishing at a private room at a new cafe for champagne (and lime juice, for those less inclined!).  It was a great morning, with a beautiful flower theme (those are fresh jasmines around my neck).  There was a prediction pool, apparently everyone thinks I’ll be right about on time, and a name like Holly or Noel (or Jesus).  We’ll see!

Our amah, Suzi, prepared an amazing and extensive feast for us last weekend to celebrate Deepavali, the Hindu festival of lights.  Even though we had 10 adults and 3 children, we hardly made a dent in the extravagance here.  Everything was delicious.  Yum!!!

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