Archive for July, 2009

I’m Told I Like Golf

There are two things I enjoy doing – swimming and golfing. This is in addition to watching baseball, drinking beer, karaoke, guitar hero, fine dining…. But, nothing is more fun than swimming or golfing with Noah. We go swimming every chance we get. Now we golf.

Here a few fun Noah golf facts.

1. He calls his clubs ‘sticks’. Very old school.
2. He holds the golf club like a hockey stick, just like Happy Gilmore.
3. He has his own smoke golf balls (joke balls).
4. He enjoys putting the tees in the ground (and using them to dig holes)
5. Noah enjoys hitting the balls as much as he does throwing them.

Here is an album of my new golf partner. Now if only Cathy would pick up the sport.

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July 30, 2009 at 8:52 am 4 comments

A Fishing Tale

Amazing. I’m writing two blog entries in a single weekend. I think this is as much as I wrote for all of 2008. Take that Cathy! You might be thinking I have a lot of free time (you know with the new baby and all), but this weekend has been just as busy as the last. I won’t list all that I’ve done, but I am feeling rather proud of myself. 🙂 This includes having Julian use me as his personal toilet twice today. Joy!

Earlier in the year me and Noah would walk down to the pier outside our flat to go fishing. We’ve NEVER caught a single fish. Usually I spend more time untaggling Noah’s line or changing bait for him than actual fishing. Our usual routine goes something like this…

First he wants worm bait, then spinners, followed by some wierd green jelly lizard looking thing (I bought it at a tackle store in Japan). Within ten minutes of reaching the pier our lines are usually entangled with each other. Today I changed his hooks 3 times and then Noah took to tossing our bait (shrimp) into the water. In his defense and in his words he was ‘feeding my friends breakfast”.

Usually we cast out and reel in a few times before we settle into some snacks. Today I bought tortilla chips and cookies (Cathy made another batch of M&M cookies last night). Today was an exception. We never got to the snacks because we were to busy catching fish! Our usual long cast outs and reel ins were not working (no surprise), so we took to simply dropping the line over the ledge in hopes we might get a bite. Sure enough we caught SIX fish. Actually, more like six baby fish with horrible spikes on their backs (one did cut me).

It was great to help Noah get his first fish. I remember fishing with my family and it was always a lot of fun. Even when we didn’t catch much.

Here is the video (just 2.5 minutes). If you get through the end of the video I included a little surprise.

July 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm 4 comments

Mandarin Songs

Friday was Noah’s last day at the Woodlands Montessori School. The night before he and Cathy baked brownies for his class. Cathy stayed up late to make some extra M&M cookies. Noah was not excited or sad about his last day of school or the brownies. His real excitement was having his baby brother come to school. Cathy promised to bring him when she dropped off the food. It was all he could talk about the night before. He is such a proud big brother.

The only sad part of the entire day was when Noah kept insisting he was “going on holiday”. Since all his friend’s ‘holidays’ consisted of going to England, SIngapore, Thailand or other foreign countries. Noah would be stuck with us in Hong Kong (at least until October when we do plan on having a proper vacation). It dawned on him this morning when we had this conversation…

Noah: Daddy, where are we going on holiday?

Me: What holiday? I’m working. We’re staying in Hong Kong. You start your new school in a few weeks.

Noah: AAAAHHHH man.

His Mandarin teacher was kind enough to make a CD of the songs they sing in class. Noah really enjoys playing the CD and singing along at home. For your viewing pleasure here is a short video.

July 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm 3 comments

Short Weekend, Lots of Catch Up

This past weekend was Mark’s last weekend before heading back to work after a two-week, baby-induced break.  I was hoping for something low-key and relaxing so naturally it was weird and hectic instead.

A Family Outing
Noah starts school at Hong Kong Academy in one month so Mark and I figured it would be a good time to finally pick up his school uniform so on Saturday we set off for Causeway Bay for a little shopping. Admittedly, our goals for the day might have been just slightly overambitious considering it was our first family outing together — going out and doing stuff is much different with a preschooler and a baby in tow. Two hours after setting off from home, we had yet to accomplish anything on our To Do list. Still, we did manage to cross off three out of the four things on our list and tossed in a haircut for Noah as well. Not bad at all. Being a product of the public education system in the U.S. I’ve never had to deal with school uniforms before so I geeked out a bit at the thought of my little boy in a uniform and as soon as we got home, I made him try on his new clothes and parade around the house with them on while I took pictures (nerd!):

Typhoons and Cyclones and Hurricanes, Oh My!
Apparently, there’s really no difference between a typhoon, cyclone and hurricane except for the global area where they form, but that’s not really important. After over a week of beautiful, clear weather, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a level 9 tropical cyclone warning early Sunday morning after tropical cyclone Molave made landfall near Hong Kong. Normally I’m completely oblivious to weather and storm reports but after going into our bathroom at 4 am on Sunday and stepping into a puddle of water, I quickly realized we were in the middle of a storm. Of course, what better time to discover that your apartment has leaky windows than during a typhoon? Wheee! So Mark and I spent a good part of early Sunday sopping up puddles and pushing towels up against all of our sea-facing windows and doors.

On another note, I had been fascinated by the view of the sea and sky outside our balcony recently and just randomly started taking some pictures before and after the storm blew through so here they are…

Friday evening: On most days the sky outside is so hazy that you can barely see the mountains in the back but on Friday the sky was freakishly clear. Well, clearish…if you can ignore that blanket of yellow just above the mountain outline.

Saturday, noon: This is the view during a moderately heavy rain. If you squint you can make out the ships in the picture:

Sunday, noon: The aftermath of the typhoon. This is about eight hours after the T9 warning was initially raised.

Monday afternoon: The good thing about a big storm is that they really help to clear the air.

Hospital Again
After our wet, 4 am wake up call, on Sunday morning I woke up exhausted. By early afternoon I was still feeling pretty crappy and to top it off I started experiencing some really heavy bleeding and clotting — all signs of a postpartum hemorrhage. I called the maternity department at Matilda Hospital for advice and the midwife told me to go to the hospital immediately so I quickly stocked up the diaper bag while Mark got the two boys and soon after the four of us headed out to the hospital. Luckily for us Mark got a hold of Clarita even though it was her day off and she met us at the hospital and took Noah back home with her. After an examination, my doctor scheduled me for a routine surgery later that evening to treat the hemorrhage. By then I wasn’t feeling as scared and freaked out as I had been when I initially called the hospital (which reminds me, What To Expect When You’re Expecting is quite possibly the worst book to read if you’re worried about anything. Seriously. You will end up thinking you’re going to die.) and I was more worried about having to stay overnight and how much trouble that was going to be for Mark and Noah. The surgery itself though went by quickly (hooray for general anesthesia!) and Dr. Doo cleared me to go home that evening if I wanted to, but we had paid for the hospital room overnight and by god we were going to stay overnight. Mark, Julian and I had a bit of a rough night — in large part because we were unprepared for having to stay overnight — but Dr. Doo checked on me again in the morning, gave me another green light to go, and we were off in time to make it to Julian’s first appointment with his pediatrician.

Doctor Appointment
Julian’s doctor appointment was pretty routine. Being our second baby, Mark and I didn’t have too many questions or concerns this time around. Not to mention we were both pretty unprepared for the appointment. I had been worried about Julian’s eating because he only nurses for 10 minutes before completely conking out but it turns out that he’s gained quite a bit of weight so Dr. Wong had no doubt that he was getting enough to eat. She was actually quite surprised at just how much weight he’d gained. Apparently, by 10 days old most babies are usually back up to their birth weight (babies lose weight after they’re born in case you didn’t know) and then gain about 1/10th of a pound a day after that. Julian, at 13 days old, not only regained the weight he’d lost but at 8.25 lbs was already a full pound heavier than when he’d first come out. That made me happy to hear. I guess I just like fat babies.

A Milestone Of Sorts
Not to be too braggy (ok, maybe a little braggy) but I was pretty happy on Saturday when — after realizing that all of my pregnancy jeans were either dirty or in the wash — I tried on a pair of my regular pre-pregnancy jeans and found that they fit. I’m not claiming they fit all that comfortably right now, but dammit, I can get them on, zip them up and button them so to me that counts even if I have a hard time breathing in them. It’s not that I’m not happy to lose the weight — I did work out with my trainer through my eighth month since getting back into shape was one of my big concerns, especially since my metabolism now isn’t what it was when I first had Noah — but there seems to be something not right about shedding so much weight so fast. So during my examination on Sunday I mentioned to my doctor that I was concerned about the weight loss. He mocked me a little bit at first for complaining about it but he’s also running some tests on my thyroid…just in case it is a problem. Still, hyperthyroidism or not, a milestone is a milestone so when we got home I made Mark take a picture of me so I can remember the moment forever and to help motivate me to eat more chocolate (yay!):

Family Pictures
Finally, I’m posting some more pictures. Just because I can.

The boys — all squished together on Noah’s bed:

For my mom, who swears she hasn’t seen the baby’s eyes yet:

July 21, 2009 at 3:52 am 7 comments

Brudders

An impromptu photo session with Noah lovin’ on his baby brother.

Baby feet:

This little piggy went to market…

July 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm 9 comments

Baby Pictures

My mom has asked me to take lots of photos of the new baby. Being a week old though, he doesn’t really do much more than eat and sleep (and poop, but we won’t go there) so my pictures tend to look very much like one another. Still, there are flashes of personality and sometimes I catch them on camera. So here are some pictures of the boy. Because I listen to my mama.

One day old, asleep:

Is it a smile or is it gas?

Julian’s “I’m done eating woman stop trying to wake me up” face:

This is what exhaustion looks like:

Proud big brother and a skittish baby brother:

Little, wrinkly baby foot:

This one is definitely a smile:

Blue Steel!

One hungry baby:

Arrr matey! I’ve got pirate eye too!

And occasionally I’ve even been known to take pictures of my other boy:

July 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm 7 comments

New Baby Recap…One Week Late

It’s been a week now since I had the baby and still no update from me which is a little ridiculous. So before this gets to be too out-of-date, for anyone who Mark hasn’t yet regaled with the story of Julian’s birth, allow me to do the honor.

Last Monday I had a final doctor appointment scheduled with Dr. Doo. My due date was Wednesday, July 8th and because of my propensity towards gestational diabetes he didn’t want me going too long past my due date. He had been in Europe for a conference the last week and a half and Monday was his first day back so that evening, after examining me and not finding much progress in the effacement/dilation area, we decided that he would just induce my labor on Wednesday evening (with the baby being delivered the following morning). I got home that night and started announcing to my friends and family to expect the baby on Thursday. Naturally, as soon as I had announced the date I began having contractions.

When I had Noah, I spent an entire day trying to get admitted into the hospital before they finally took pity on me and admitted me on my fourth try (for the record, I wasn’t being wimpy — I went when they told me to, that is, the contractions were so long and so far apart — I just wasn’t progressing fast enough for their liking. Stinkin’ doctors). I wasn’t about to be that woman again so I waited a couple of hours to call the hospital only to have them tell me to wait it out for a while longer in case it was a false alarm. An hour and a half later, at 1:30 am, I was pretty sure it wasn’t a false alarm and we called to let them know we were on our way. I packed up a few more items, grabbed my hospital bag, kissed a sleeping Noah goodbye and we were off. By 2:20 we were at the hospital and in one of their delivery rooms. After another examination, the wonderful, wonderful midwife on duty immediately ordered an epidural for me. The anesthesiologist seemed to take forever. I’m pretty sure the midwife knew I wasn’t about to start pushing without any drugs though so she made sure the epidural was in before calling my doctor. It barely had time to start working before Dr. Doo came in and I had to start pushing. And a little over an hour later, at 3:39 am, little Julian Munoz was born. I know that they say the second labor/delivery goes much faster than the first but this was unexpectedly short for me. Not that I’m complaining. My first time with Noah, I was in labor for about 40 hours. This time around it was about six hours. A definite improvement.

Here I am, post-epidural. Hooray for drugs!

And Mark, later that day with little Julian (if he looks a little tired, it’s because at this point Mark hadn’t slept in two days. Poor guy):

I think most people know that Mark and I had a hell of a time deciding on a name for the baby. We had come to an arrangement a couple months back that Mark would choose the first name and I would choose the middle name (which would also be the name that the baby would go by). For a very long time the baby was supposed to be Dash, but after test-driving the name for a couple of weeks, Mark still couldn’t get into it so we agreed to start over. We picked up more baby name books and came up with a new list of names but with three weeks to go until my due date we still hadn’t found a name that we both loved. Finally Mark brought up the name Julian. Julian was a name that hadn’t made it onto any of our previous lists. For a very long time, it was actually supposed to be Noah’s name. When I was seven months pregnant with Noah, we both decided that Julian didn’t seem to fit and we decided on Noah instead. This time around though, after hearing Mark mention the name Julian again, for some reason it just felt like the right name for the right baby so Julian Munoz it was. [If Jae is reading this, just disregard this entire paragraph. Of course I named my son after you. Because I lurve you that much.]

Here is Noah later that day:

And our first family picture:

Initially I was hesitant about having a baby in a foreign country with friends and family so far away, but it turns out that I had nothing to worry about. While it was hard at times being all alone out here, in terms of medical care, Hong Kong was amazing and makes my first birth experience in Orange County seem crappy in comparison. When I had Noah, I had a nice, spacious private room which I thought would be hard to beat, but then here’s my private room at Matilda in HK:

The biggest benefit of giving birth at Matilda though was their staff of midwives. The midwives were awesome. I didn’t realize just how much stuff I’d forgotten about babies (how do you breastfeed again? and someone remind me about this whole umbilical cord business?) and for three days I had a staff of nurses and midwives available to help me with whatever I needed. And they gave me painkillers as well. Perfect.

Noah is ridiculously cute with the baby. He’s been so excited for this baby for such a long time — if we have any problems with him, it’s that Noah is just a little bit too hard lovin’ with the baby. He’s always been an aggressive hugger and unfortunately for a newborn with soft spots, Noah prefers to hug heads. But he’s getting much better. He gets upset if Mark changes the baby’s diaper without Noah there to help; he tries to help out at bathtime; as soon as he gets home from school he immediately goes to our bedroom to check on his brother; and at night, no matter how drowsy he is, he’ll bolt out of bed if he forgets to hug and kiss Julian goodnight. He’s so proud of his new title of “big brudder” and asks me or Mark to remind Julian who he is because he isn’t sure the baby knows his name yet. So much cuteness all around. Of course, the sad side effect of having a newborn is that now whenever I look at Noah I see a giant. It seems like overnight the boy exploded — I don’t remember him being quite this big before. As recently as last Monday I remember looking at his hands and thinking how small they were and now I can’t get over how big and mature he is. No doubt, I can still wrestle the boy to the ground if I need to, but this new perspective on him is just the teensiest bit sad.

July 14, 2009 at 9:21 pm 7 comments

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