Thursday, December 22, 2011

Woh... What Just Happened?


On Monday morning I was discharged from a nine-day stay in the hospital. I woke up slowly, took a cup full of pills from the nurse, and walked to the bathroom. As the mosque outside my room’s window played the call to prayer, I stared in the mirror. My skin was pale with dark circles under my eyes. My hands, face, and feet were swollen. My neck and chest were bandaged. My body ached as if I’d run for miles. I stared for a while, until I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What just happened?”

I knew the answer, of course. It was a long story that started six weeks ago with a raging case of mastitis in both breasts: fevers, body aches, chills, searing pains, etc. Two courses of antibiotics later, I found myself in a breast surgeon’s office. The infection had developed into an abscess. He stabbed it with a syringe, sucked the puss out, and prescribed a third round of antibiotics. By my follow-up appointment a week later, I had developed two more abscesses. Again he stabbed, sucked, and sent me home with a fourth course of antibiotics.

He told me it would be “really rough” for the next two weeks, but then I would feel much better. As the weeks progressed, “really rough” proved to be a gross understatement. I was nauseous, feverish, and weak. I had horrendous body aches so severe I couldn’t stand up straight. The aches grew worse and worse, and I began to wonder if this was what the doctor meant by “really rough.” When I picked up a dinner plate the pain shooting through my shoulder and arm was so severe I immediately dropped it. I didn’t dare pick up or carry Jonathan for fear of dropping him--I only held him when I was sitting down.

The body aches continued to escalate until last Saturday morning when I literally couldn’t move. My joints were in so much pain and my muscles were so sore that I couldn’t even roll myself over in bed. Saturday evening the pain heightened even further, and Fabio called for an emergency house-call service to send a doctor to our apartment (since I couldn’t walk to the front room, let alone a doctor’s office). The doctor came, examined me, and recommended I go to the hospital immediately. They wheeled me out of the house on a stretcher and I rode in an ambulance to the emergency room. The doctors there tested my blood and found infection markers so high they admitted me immediately and called another breast surgeon. She took tissue samples of the abscesses (which had grown even larger than when they were last drained), and sent them for testing in the hopes to prescribe a more targeted antibiotic and to rule out more serious causes such as cancer.

I stayed in the hospital while we waited a day and a half for the test results. My joint pain was so severe that two nurses had to help me to the bathroom. Early last Tuesday morning, as the nurses walked me to the bathroom they noticed I was especially weak and faint. They took my blood pressure, gave each other a look, and took it again. My systolic BP was in the mid-60’s, which for those of you like me, who know nothing about this kind of thing, is really low (it’s supposed to be in the 120’s). They checked my blood pressure again and again for the next fifteen minutes and saw no change. They called the surgeon, who was in my room before I knew it. She took my blood pressure again: no change. Within seconds, there were six or seven nurses in my room. As they through up the sides of my bed and ran me down the hospital hallway, the doctor told me they were taking me to ICU.

Now, I don’t claim to know very much about hospitals or the medical practice in general. However, I have seen enough episodes of House and ER to know that when a small legion of doctors and nurses run down the hall pushing a person in a hospital bed, the intense music starts to play and things are really bad. Tears welled up in my eyes, and all I could say is “Can someone please call my husband?” Dr. Tan (the surgeon) had Fabio’s number in her phone and called him as we burst into the ICU. From there things are kind of a blur. Nurses ran in and out of the room with various carts and machines, shouting at each other impatiently. Doctors hurriedly asked me questions about recent bug bites and whether or not I gardened as they progressively hooked me up to more machines. My blood pressure dropped to the low-50’s. They put a giant I.V. in my neck that opened to eight different lines and had to be anchored with stitches. They pumped me full of medicines that made me feel like my heart was going to explode. When Fabio showed up, they told him I had gone into septic shock and they were doing everything they could to stabilize me. Poor Fabio googled it as he sat in the waiting room, and to his alarm learned that septic shock has a mortality rate of 20% to 50%.

A CT scan showed a urinary tract infection that had spread to both kidneys, in addition to the still-raging mastitis in my breasts. I was rushed into emergency surgery to remove the infected breast tissue, then pumped full of “extremely aggressive” antibiotics in addition to a slew of other medicines I can't pronounce and don't know what they were for. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday night in the ICU. Our church congregation here in Singapore held a special fast on Wednesday for my health to be restored and for me to return home for Christmas.

On Thursday morning, the three doctors who were now on my case were thrilled and baffled to find that my blood pressure had stabilized, I had no organ damage, my infection indicators were dramatically lower, and my joint pain was relieved enough that I could use both arms without assistance. They couldn’t find any word but “miraculous” to describe such a turn-around. Fabio and I knew it was a direct answer to the prayers and fasting of our family and friends. I left the ICU and returned to the regular hospital ward, where they continued monitoring and treatment for another four nights while I stabilized.


In the ICU on Thursday after getting the good news.
Yes, I am attached to every one of those machines. 
(The green thing is protecting the giant neck I.V.)

Which brings us to Monday, at the bathroom mirror. It’s a strange feeling to look at yourself, knowing how close you came to dying. I can't help but think, "If I hadn’t been in the hospital when I crashed," "if I hadn’t needed to go to the bathroom when I did," "if the nurses hadn’t thought to check my blood pressure"… so many “if”s are hard to ignore, and the feeling they leave me with is impossible to put into words. Overwhelmed, sore, stunned, tired, grateful…most of all grateful. Grateful, grateful, grateful.

On Monday night I finally walked through the door to our apartment. Our sweet friends had decorated the front room for Christmas. I sat down on the couch and took Jonathan in my arms, still too weak to hold him while standing. I sighed and smiled. He looked up at me and smiled back. Fabio sat down next to me. We snuggled and smiled at each other for what seemed like ages. It was one of the sweetest moments in my life.

The doctors say that full recovery will take three to four more weeks of painful procedures and a lot of pills. But I don’t mind—I’m home, I’m with my family, and I’m recovering. Every time since this whole ordeal, when I rock Jonathan to sleep, smell my own pillowcase, kiss Fabio good morning, or lay my head on my mom’s lap, I take a deep breath and remember how precious those little moments are. I’m so thankful God is letting me enjoy them still, and I’m determined to never take them for granted again.

So… that’s what just happened.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One of Life's Mysteries

Why is it that when anyone else sneezes, we recoil, grumbling a moderately-sincere "bless you;" but when a baby sneezes, we squeal in delight and think, "do it again!" ?

video

We may never know...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome Home!

Jonathan has proved to fulfill all of our expectations! He is (in Dr. Chang's words) "very tall like Dad" at 53 cm (21 inches); his fingers and feet are really long (at one week old, the fingers are a third the length of my own); he has a perfectly sweet temperament; and as anticipated, a giant head (14.2 inch circumference). We assume, of course, his head size is because he's so brilliant.

After two days in the hospital, we finally took our (not so) little boy home in a blue taxi. We couldn't help but remember another taxi ride we took home, also after making our family a little more complete.



November 5, 2011 in Singapore--On our way home from the hospital where we became "three"


January 9, 2009 in Salt Lake City--On our way home from the Salt Lake Temple where we became "two"

My dad always says, "Bringing a new baby home is like having a ten pound mortar dropped on your house," in the sense that everything is different. Different in such a good way! Jonathan started rocking our world from the minute there were two lines on the little pregnancy test, but "rocked world" has taken on a whole new meaning now.

We find ourselves looking at each other in total disbelief that we could love someone so much in an instant; that we could find this much joy in just watching someone sleep; that somehow we love each other even more as we watch one another love him.

How is it that every yawn, head turn, wiggle, and cry can be so endearing--even when he sends a shockingly powerful stream of pee in our faces without warning as we change his diaper? We look at each other, laugh, and love him that much more.

This Saturday a nine pound, twenty-one inch mortar was dropped on our little apartment here in Singapore--and we could not be happier about it. Welcome home, Jonathan.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jonathan Gaertner

On Wednesday night at 11:30 I had a contraction. Fabio was working in the other room when I sent him this g-chat:

Katie: "Fabio, I think the party is starting."
Fabio: "Our baby party?"
Katie: "That's the one"
Fabio: "Wow"

Seventeen hours later, the best thing that has ever happened to us was born! We named him Jonathan, and I can tell that we are going to be friends.

video

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just What I Needed

Mirrors are hard when you're pregnant. As the months go by it becomes harder and harder to not walk past a mirror and wonder whether you will ever see your old self again. The woman that didn't have stretch marks, expanded hips, a giant belly, and circles under her eyes because she can't seem to sleep longer than three hours without having to go to the bathroom. This last month has been especially disheartening. Getting ready in the morning had started to become my least favorite part of the day because it involved the bathroom mirror. Horrible mirror.

Until the other day, when I woke up and went into the bathroom for my first encounter with the mirror for the day. I took a deep breath, preparing for the sad sigh to follow, walked through the door, and stopped, startled at what I found. During the night, Fabio had written all over the mirror with dry erase markers reasons he loved me. The sigh still came, but it was one of relief and love instead. I didn't even notice the circles as I brushed my teeth, or the stretch marks as I changed my clothes. I was way too busy greedily reading over and over again the little messages of love that stood between me and the reflection I hardly recognize these days.

This morning I woke up and marched confidently into the bathroom, eager for what is now my favorite part of the day: the part where I'm greeted with reminders of who I really am written all over my mirror. Fabulous mirror.

Thanks, Fabio. That was just what I needed.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

26 and Overdue

Let me begin by answering the question on all of your minds: two are still one... I have not had the baby yet, despite Fabio's encouragement to "just push, that's how it works in the movies."

The 27th was my birthday, now I'm 26. My mom and I went out for lunch and foot reflexology, which felt amazing! Then, since we don't have an oven yet, we went to a D.I.Y. Cake place in the mall where they give you a little cake and tons of icing and let you go crazy. Fabio and I topped off the evening with a romantic dinner at a delicious vegetarian restaurant in town. It really was a perfect day.



It was so perfect, I almost didn't notice it was also my due date: almost. I guess the little slow poke didn't want to share birthdays with momma. That's okay. He can be his own man, I understand. Now, though, the waiting game has re-defined "agonizing." With the due date come and gone, the hours feel as though they're crawling by: we're just so anxious to meet the little guy!

In my "personal life plan" I wrote in 7th grade English, I decided I would have my first baby at 25. I just missed it, but I think I'm close enough that 13-year-old Katie wouldn't be disappointed. Besides, she's probably used to me running slightly behind schedule by now.

I have a really good feeling about 26. I think it's going to be a great year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Win.

Fabio and I do not see eye to eye on baby boy names. When it comes to girl names, we are good to go, but boy names are another story. We discovered this about eight months ago when we realized we were responsible for determining what a human being would be called for his/her entire life.

Fabio likes crazy old man names like Leroy, Merle, or Wolfe (no offense to anyone reading this who has these names--you are probably an old man, but I admit it's not fair to assume you're crazy). I like more traditional names like Seth, Samuel, and Joseph. Generally speaking, we're pretty good at compromising on stuff we don't agree on. However, about once a year or so, Fabio and I find ourselves in a disagreement that each of us refuses to budge on. We dig our trenches and a war of attrition ensues... each of us waits, hoping the other will give first.

Baby G's name has proven to be just such a situation. For the first six months we pretended it wasn't something we had to decide, waiting for the other one to forget his/her preferences. Now as the big day comes closer and closer we've both grown increasingly concerned... maybe the other one isn't going to give, after all.

Well, the war is over. Fabio made a naive bet with me this summer, grossly underestimating my determination when properly motivated: if I finished my Portuguese Rosetta Stone course (which I hadn't worked on in over a year) before the baby came, I could name him whatever I wanted; on the other hand, if I didn't finish before he came Fabio could name him whatever he wanted.

I win.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Full-Term Day!

It's true, this week marks our 37-week anniversary with little peanut, which means I am officially full-term. He can come anytime now and be perfectly healthy and on-time. Anytime. Like... now! How about now? Okay. Now!

I may be slightly anxious for this little guy to show up and really join the party.

We kept the celebration simple, since walking a block to the bus stop feels like a major athletic undertaking these days. It was a quiet night with our friends Ben and Jerry (happily on sale this week--"only" $9 per pint) and a foot massage from Fabio. Baby celebrated by discovering my ribs and kicking them. A lot. He thinks he's so funny.

We can not wait to find out all about him, especially based on what we know so far: he seems to be a Johnny Cash and Jay-Z fan, he likes to stay up late jumping around, and he gets really excited when Fabio tells loud jokes. All good signs he'll fit right in.


Fabio captured my reaction to the price of ice cream when I first got here. 
You are reading correctly: $17.80 for a pint of Haagen Daz. Not good news for the pregnant lady.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

The melting pot that Singapore is, it's no surprise there's always someone celebrating something. September's no different! To mark the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, people basically make fantastic lanterns and eat cute little cakes. This is the kind of holiday we can get behind.


And so we did! We ventured to the aptly named Chinese Garden by our house to take in enormous bright lanterns, funny little vendors, and an awesome magic show where a ornately-dressed woman danced while her mask suddenly changed over and over again with the music. It was impressive, to say the least.


We, of course, had to take a family photo by the Rabbit Lantern, since our little guy is going to be a Rabbit on the Chinese Calendar. (Don't worry, there was a line of six Chinese families behind the camera with little babies who had the same idea... not as original/clever as we thought.)


I was serious when I said "enormous bright lanterns."


Sometimes, Fabio wishes he was a tiger. So, we humor him.


This was by far my favorite lantern. It was huge, and just floating on the water... so beautiful, just like the rest of this little island we call home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Enemy



Mr. Cockroach,

We saw you last night, despite your stealthy location in the back of the cupboard under the sink. Last time we crossed paths you were bolder, crawling across the middle of the kitchen floor. Following your first intrusion, we took the appropriate preventative measures (e.g. wiping the kitchen counter with disinfectant every night, carefully storing all food in sealed containers, taking the trash out nightly). As you recall, we swept you out our front door with a stern warning to never return, which you have now chosen to disregard. 

As an eight-month-pregnant woman with nesting instincts at their height, I consider your re-crossing my boundaries an act of war.

You may have heard from your friends in Arizona that I prefer not to kill bugs, but simply remove them from the house. This is true, to the extent that they fit in my Bugzooka and they don’t return once expelled. You are big, ugly, and gross, and you won’t stay out; therefore you merit an exception to my general rule of mercy towards bugs.

The traps are purchased and placed where you will not see them until it is too late. The drains are laced with roach killer. The garbage shoot, too, is now poisoned. You were fortunate enough to escape last night. Consider this your final warning:

Do not come back. You will die.

Sincerely,
Katie

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Among The Many Reasons I Love Singapore:


That's right: special seats on the train reserved for pregnant women and the elderly. When I board, whoever is sitting there has to get up--it's the law. Bless this city.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Best. Delivery. Ever.

Setting up a home in a new country without a car involves getting a lot of deliveries, large and small. Anyone who has lived with me knows my unhealthy love for packages and deliveries of all kinds, no matter what's inside.

As a result, the past three weeks have been filled with squeals of delight each time there's a knock at our door: whether it's from the Ikea man,

(it's hard to believe this transformed into a table, chairs, and a couch)

the organizer store man,
the moving company men (that one was especially good...),

(our stuff!)

the refrigerator man,

(Oh no. Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen...)

or the dryer man.

These deliveries have been particularly exciting because they represent our house becoming a little bit more of a home, my life falling into a little bit more of a routine, and every-day activities I used to take for granted becoming a little more convenient.

But my favorite delivery came all the way from the U.S. in the middle of the night on Wednesday...

(My Mom!)

Best. Ever.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Found: The Man, The Hospital, The Ninety-Seventh Percentile

I met my third and final OBGYN this week (one for every trimester... literally). Finally! The man who will actually deliver the baby! Meet Dr. T. C. Chang:


He could not have been more kind, professional, helpful, respectful, or patient. I'm so relieved and grateful. Perhaps the best thing about him is that I can understand everything he says (which is a really big deal for Singapore)!

The hospital? A sort of women's hospital specializing in Labor and Delivery, chosen by virtue of Dr. Chang being based there. I did have serious doubts when the cab driver who picked us up from our house to go to the hospital kept saying, "Thompson? That far. That very far. Too far." Delivering a baby somewhere "very far" from our house may not be the best idea? But we were there in 15 minutes. Singaporeans have a skewed sense of "far."

I expressed to Dr. Chang my very real concern that I'm 5'2" with narrow hips, and I am having a 6'7" man's son. He measured the baby to make sure he's on schedule size-wise. He smiled and said everything was "in the normal range" and that I shouldn't be worried. Sigh of relief.

Then he made the mistake of showing me the baby's measurements on a control chart... I majored in Statistics for my undergraduate degree. Having no way of knowing my educational background, he politely explained that the white line in the center represented the average measurements of a baby at 30 weeks, and that the two red lines above and below the white line represented the normal range of fetuses at that age. At which point he pulled up the femur chart, the stomach chart, and so on, all of which were at the 60th or 70th percentile... perfect for a healthy boy, and nothing I can't handle. After all, I'm tough. The last chart was the head, exactly on the upper red line. Dr. Chang said it was larger, but still within normal range so there was definitely nothing to worry about. My nerdy-statisticy self squinted to see what the upper bound was exactly... the 97th percentile.

That's correct. Our baby's head is bigger than 97 percent of all 30-week-old fetus heads. Normal? Maybe technically... but this mother's fears about delivering her giant, bobble-headed, Fabio-sized baby have not been assuaged as the Dr. hoped they would be. Good thing it's a cute head...

 (he's looking up so you can see his profile)

Bottom line: the epidural decision just became a lot more straight-forward.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Singapore Flyer

Amid trips to the grocery store, Ikea, and Singapore's version of Best Buy and RC Willey combined, Fabio and I took a play day to explore our new city.

The highlight was definitely the Singapore Flyer: a 45-story ferris wheel on the bay. A tourist trap? Probably. We've yet to talk to a Singaporean who's gone on it. An awesome tourist trap? Most definitely! The views were breath-taking, and we grew to appreciate what we now call home on a whole new level.


The view from the top of the "Flyer"


On the way down

Our next stop was this Merlion we keep hearing about: the majestic symbol of Singapore! At first, we were kind of disappointed:


Then we realized we were at the wrong one. The real Merlion is a 8.6 meter statue of a fish with the head of a Lion that sprays water into the bay all day, every day. (That's 4.5 Fabios for all you non-metric readers.) It may sound kind of crazy, but that's only because it is. Somehow, it really works here, though. See?



This place is growing on us pretty fast, I must say. We love random shops, giant ferris wheels, squeaky clean public transit systems, beautiful tropical plants everywhere, amazing Indian food, and super nice people... but most especially, we love:


Ruby red, rhinestone-studded refrigerators on special!!!
(Note especially the fantastic handles.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Diagnosis: Pregnant


This week,
  • I did not cry watching Marley and Me on T.V. – I wept;
  • I definitely did not drink three glasses of chocolate milk in one sitting—I drank four;
  • One Japanese stranger did not rub my belly—two did.
  • I was not sitting comfortably in a room where everyone else was freezing—I was fanning myself off.
  • I could not paint my own toenails because I kept falling over—so my mom painted them for me.

 I think there’s a baby inside of me.


My belly-rubbing friends, Mimi and Nang

Sunday, August 7, 2011

And Now I Live In Singapore

On Thursday morning I woke up with a worry. My plane departed from Salt Lake City at 9:55 AM, commencing my pilgrimage to finally, FINALLY join Fabio in our new home. My worry: when I arrived in Singapore Fabio wouldn't be able to find me in the airport and I would be lost in Asia without the correct money or a cell phone. Fabio assured me that a 6'7" man would have no trouble finding a 7-month pregnant blonde woman in an Asian airport at 3:00 AM. Apparently we're both anomalies here, or something...

So I took a deep breath, packed a few last-minute things into one of my four checked bags, and drove to the Salt Lake Airport. (One may think four checked bags is a lot, but it's not when one remembers I'm actually packing for three people, not one: Pregnant Katie, Skinny Katie, and Baby G.)

The check-in was a breeze, and thanks to the help of my dear parents I didn't fall over hauling my bags around. We walked to the security check-point and hugged goodbye. I was surprised I didn't cry (except when I said goodbye to Tucker, but I think that was symbolic... or hormones... it's a thin, faded line between the two these days).

I flew to LAX, and from LAX to Tokyo. The flight didn't feel nearly as long as I anticipated. The two seats next to me were empty, so I just put the armrests up and laid down. I had a moment of insecurity where I thought, "Am I allowed to do this?" but I reassured myself with "Oh well, I'm pregnant!" (Yes, I do apply this same dangerous dialogue to my eating habits.)

I was only in Tokyo (technically Narita, I guess) for two hours--long enough to have new empathy for people who travel to the US and don't speak English. Even though the signs and announcements were technically in English as well as Japanese, I still had no idea what they were saying. I would have most certainly been stranded there if it weren't for several Japanese people on my LAX to Tokyo flight who I knew were also connecting to Singapore. I just awkwardly followed five steps behind them and made them really nervous (especially when they stopped at the Duty Free Store!).

Then from Tokyo to Singapore. Again, the flight didn't feel as long as I anticipated (although the last hour and a half were unbearable because I was so anxious to finally be in Singapore and see Fabio). We landed with a jerk and a loud noise that really startled Baby G. I anxiously deplaned and hurried to immigration, where it hit me that I was an immigrant, immigrating. As I stood in line, I was struck by this stunning, three-story statue towering over all the "immigrants":


I think it struck me because it was so symbolic of the life Fabio and I are hoping to build here.

After immigration I approached bagged claim, relieved to see Fabio waiting patiently for me. We picked up my bags and were finally in each other's arms again after six weeks apart. Turns out, a 6'7" man has no trouble finding a 7-month pregnant blonde woman in an Asian airport at 3:00 AM. It felt so good to be with him, I hardly noticed the drunk driver who almost killed us on the way home and our cabby who seemed to believe that lane lines were really just suggestions.

And now I live in Singapore!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Introducing: My Bump

As promised, I am finally posting a "bump picture." (Dedicated to Lynda Sheehan!) This is what I look like when I'm 26 weeks pregnant.


My parents and I visited my sweet Grandma Maxine and Grandpa Dave in St. George last week. On the way home, we decided we had driven by Kolob Canyon enough times wondering what it was but never stopping. So, on a whim we pulled off the freeway and drove the road up the canyon. It was stunning. I highly recommend it to anyone who is driving north from St. George, Utah and wants a break. We even took a picture, which for us is a big deal!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"I'm Transitioning"

Lately, people tend to ask me "What are you doing these days?"

I'm not sure exactly how to respond. Am I busy? Absolutely! With what? It's hard to pin down... I'm busy with a hodge-podge of little errands, last minute preparations, and bitter-sweet goodbyes. In other words, I'm in transition, which is not a feeling I'm used to. Historically speaking, my life's transitions have been over in the blink of an eye if there was one at all.

I finished my undergraduate degree, and was on an LDS mission to Rochester less than a month later--just enough time to pack and say goodbye. I came home from Rochester to start my graduate degree four weeks later, somehow finding time to fall in love with Fabio at the same time. We were engaged in October and married almost exactly three months later. I was doing my job with the State of Utah for over a year before I finished grad school.

My life has been a whirlwind of change with little or no allowance for any sort of "transitions." Until now, that is. Now my whole world is a giant conglomerate of transitions: I don't work anymore, but I'm not a mom just yet; I left Tucson but I'm not in Singapore just yet; all our belongings are in a crate on a boat somewhere between California and Singapore. I'm really glad visas, Pacific storms, and emergency to help grandparents created this world of transition (even though it results in occasional identity crises). I've been able to tie up all the U.S. loose-ends we didn't think of until Fabio got to Asia, I've spent a lot of time with family I won't see again for a while, and I've been reading like crazy about babies and parenting.

But when someone asks, "What are you up to these days?" I find myself having a hard time coming up with an accurate answer. I end up saying something like, "Oh, just running errands," or "You know, sewing and other projects," which really isn't the case at all! What I'd really like to say is, "I'm transitioning." (Too bad that sounds like some George-Costanza-contrived euphemism for "Nothing. Literally. I'm doing nothing").

At any rate, with or without a good name for it, I'm so glad for this incredibly frustrating "transitioning time." It's helped me reflect, to take a deep breath, look down the road at a million amazing changes just around the corner, take some time to prepare, but most of all just enjoy getting really excited. I think that's more than "nothing."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I discovered Imovie.

And I enjoyed it. Meet Tucker (my one-eyed, 12-year-old dog) in his action-adventure debut:

video

It's definitely time for Fabio and I to be on the same side of the Pacific Ocean again...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Goodbye, Tucson!


It proved to be quite the ordeal to pack up our apartment, find a temporary place for our Singapore things, and haul our Utah things to their proper destination. The most dramatic moment was probably when Fabio and I realized the day before we picked up the U-Haul that we'd misread the information NTU sent us on how much they would pay to ship: 10 cubic meters, not 10 meters cubed (a subtle, but important difference). So we could take A LOT less than we thought to Singapore, and I may have had a minor hormonal-world-is-ending breakdown. Those happen sometimes.

But, thanks to (1) my angel mother who packed our whole house herself while Fabio had to work and I couldn't lift more than 20 lbs, (2) Fabio's gift to thrive in a bind, and (3) the mighty mighty Elder's Quorum, we resolved all 11 minor moving crises. (I won't bore you with all 11--just trust me, they were each a minor crisis.) Miraculously, we were packed and ready to go as scheduled for our big drive to Utah!


And with that, our family bids "adieu" to Tucson. Goodbye, delicious veggie burritos. Goodbye, giant cacti. Goodbye, perpetual sunshine, super cheap organic food, awesome friends, swimming pool, Frost gelato, and insanely random backyard wildlife. You will all be dearly missed.

Now... on to discovering what we're going to miss about Singapore.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's a boy!



Baby Boy G

I had butterflies all morning last Friday. Not because my mother-in-law was staying with us, not because Fabio was graduating the next day, not because I was putting my stuff in a crate and sending it to Singapore in a week, but because I was finally going to find out if I was having a boy or a girl!

We had been working hard to prepare for the "big debut." I talked to the baby everyday about how it shouldn't be shy because Daddy wouldn't let Mommy buy it clothes or talk about names until we knew if it was a boy or a girl.

All the preparation paid off, because we finally found out that our sweet baby is a little boy... and a he is a wiggler! Every time the technician tried to find him with the wand, his head was in a different place. At first I thought what I thought was his head must not have been because there was no way he could move that fast... but it was and he definitely can! It was perfect for the ultrasound, because we got all sorts of different views of him--back, feet, bottom, head. I also got a pretty good feel for what I'm in for: running after a wiggly little boy!

He's already just like his dad: he can't really hold still and he loves to show off. When she said "It's a boy," we all cheered, and as we did the baby did a little jump/wiggle that looked just like he doing Fabio's victory dance. Then he went into a somersault--as if he knew we were watching and wanted us to see his best trick.

Mid-Somersault

What really struck me was how much love I already felt as I watched him twist and wiggle. I don't think I could be more excited to chase this little guy around Singapore as we discover a new country together.

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