30 December 2010

More Baby Jack Pictures

Here are a few pictures from our time in the hospital.

Baby Jack just a few minutes after he was born.

Baby Jack with Mommy and Daddy.

Wide-eyed Baby Jack.

Asher loving on his baby brother.

Mama and her boys.

27 December 2010

Baby Jack

Jack Anthony Hampton was born on December 24, 2010 at 1:15 am Bangkok time.
He weighed 7 lbs 5 oz (3310 grams) and was 20 inches long (52 cm).
We made it to the hospital in a taxi (no train!) in only 20 minutes. That in itself was a great answer to prayer. We arrived at the hospital around 7:45 pm and Jack joined us a few hours later. I'm sure I will write up the whole birth story soon.
We've been back at home for a few days now and everyone is doing great. I feel so much better than I did after Asher's birth. Asher still loves his Baby Jack and Roger is keeping busy taking care of everyone.

25 December 2010

asher sees jack for the first time

We took video of Asher and Jack's first meeting. Asher was super excited and happy. Baby Jack, well, he just slept. I'm sure that Baby Jack will think big brother is super cool in the future, but for now, he's just too sleepy. Enjoy!

23 December 2010

Look to the Right

You can look to the right of this post and see our twitter updates. Hopefully soon we will be updating to let you know Baby Jack is on the way. You can also follow me on twitter.

20 December 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... it's not hot! The past two days have been nice. Yesterday was down right chilly (yeah, I know it's like 2 degrees in KY, but for here 75 is pretty cold).

I am thinking... that the downside of living sooooo close to the store is that the taxi drivers don't want to drive you home because it's too close.

I am thankful for... our families. Jack's stocking arrived yesterday and Granny has sent the boys a Christmas package that should be here at the beginning of the week.

From the kitchen... Chicken Spaghetti in the oven (and almost done cooking), the dishes are done for the moment and it sort of doesn't look like a complete disaster for once.

I am wearing... work out pants. It took me nine months of pregnancy to remember I had a drawer full of work out clothes that I could wear while pregnant.

I am creating... fear amongst the teacher's at our school. They are so scared that Baby Jack is just going to fall out while I'm on the train or while I'm sitting in a chair studying Thai. If it were only that easy...

I am going... no where. Asher's been a little sick so we are just staying around the house trying to get him to rest.

I am reading... Stuff White People Like and realizing that between Roger and I we fit a lot of the stereotypes in the book.

I am hoping... that my language evaluation went well. Last Tuesday I recorded a conversation with my language tutor. Turns out the tape recorder didn't really work too well, so I did it again on Friday afternoon. The second time the tape recorder worked better, but I don't think I did as well.

I am hearing... The Charlie Brown Christmas album playing in the kitchen.

Around the house... Asher's napping (that's pretty much a given when I am writing a blog), Roger is preparing for his language evaluation, I'm recovering from going to the mall and to Carrefour in the same day.

One of my favorite things... Reese's Christmas trees. Thanks Mimi!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Doctor and a Thai test on Monday, MOPS Christmas party and Roger's Thai test on Tuesday morning, Christmas party at our language teacher's house on Wednesday, cookie decorating with some friends on Thursday and on Friday I am making The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls for us to eat on Christmas morning.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... It's been not hot, which Asher thinks is very, very cold. He insists on wearing pants, socks and shoes. If the boy owned a long sleeve shirt he would probably have been wearing it as well. By the way, not hot means a high of 85 and a low of 75. Who thinks Asher would absolutely die if he had to go back to Kentucky (current temperature: 21) right now?

18 December 2010

39 Weeks

Only a week before Christmas and still no Baby Jack. I go back to the doctor on Monday and we'll see if anything has changed (I'm guessing it hasn't). At this point I am predicting a post-Christmas, pre-New Year's baby.

Let's try to guess when Baby Jack will be here. And for some background: Asher was 11 days late and weighed 3.4 kilograms (7 lbs 8 oz.)

I say December 30, 8 lbs 2 oz.
Roger says December 28, 3.54 kilograms.

Leave a comment, facebook message or email me with your guess. Of if your name is Granny or Mimi you may call on skype and tell me what you think.

Here's a picture from 39 weeks.

We are ready for Baby Jack to get here. I did my language evaluation this week, Roger and I will both finish our Thai class at the beginning of next week and most importantly Baby Jack's stocking arrived yesterday.

Our family of four is almost complete (except for the fourth family member...)

13 December 2010

Christmas at our House

This year we are back to starting over in our Christmas decorating. After spending a Christmas in Surabaya (and leaving our stuff there), spending a Christmas in Kentucky (and using Mimi's stuff) and spending a Christmas in Vancouver (and leaving our stuff there) we are finally thinking we might get to use our Christmas decorations more than once. And of course even with this knowledge I still don't want to go out and buy a ton of stuff. I'm hoping for some after Christmas sales, but I have no idea if they exist in Thailand.

We pretty much kept it basic this year, just the few things we carry from place to place, especially since we are expecting Baby Jack to join us during the Christmas season. I don't want too much extra stuff to deal with while adjusting to having a newborn.

We are now proud owners of a fake Christmas tree. When we are in the States we love to have a real one, but this one works quite well for us...and we will get to use it next year, too! So far we just have our special ornaments on the tree because they are the only ones we bring from place to place when we move. I want to try to buy just a few plain ornaments this year to fill in the tree and slowly add more in the future.

Our nativity set is still intact and is back in the country it came from. We put it up high so everyone can see it (a great conversation starter when our Thai friends come over). I printed out our Christmas picture from last year and even had a wonderful red frame just sitting around.

Asher's nativity set. I was going to set it all up nice for a picture, but I thought it would be fun to share how it usually looks. All of the pieces are going "night night" because they are laying down. As soon as I pick them up he comes over and carefully lays them all down so they can sleep.

My after Christmas (Boxing Day in Canada) find of the year last year. It's an advent calendar. We aren't doing anything with it this year, but I can't wait for when the boys are older and we can use it to count down to Christmas.

This year it's in our living room, but I think in the future I will put it in the boy's room.

All of our stockings, minus the one that is in transit from the States. Hopefully it will be here soon and we can add it to the wall.

Asher's favorite ornament is the tuk-tuk. We put one down low on the tree so he can play with it.

My favorite new decoration this year are these little wooden stars that we strung on the tree. We found them in Vancouver at a store called 10,000 Villages. They came with a little card telling about the women in Bangladesh that made them.

The rest of our house is not really any different at Christmas time. Maybe after we have been here for a few years that will change, but for now we are just happy to sit in the living room and look at the Christmas lights.

11 December 2010

38 Weeks

Because a picture of my big belly is always better when accompanied by a picture of Asher's little belly.

We are waiting for Baby Jack, but really not expecting him too soon. Not that I can really complain, compared to most pregnant people I think I have it very easy. I still sleep all night and I sleep good. The heat really has never bothered me, I guess this is a good thing since I have been pregnant only in places that are hot year round. I will admit that I am a bit more tired and those Sky Train stairs are just a little harder to climb up, and the heartburn...oh the heartburn...

I've been going to the doctor every week and she keeps telling me that all is well with me and with Baby Jack. I'm having an ultrasound on Monday. During the last ultrasound we could see that the umbilical cord was loosely around Jack's neck and so we are going to check and see if it's still there.

I feel like we have everything ready around the house. The only things we really have left to do are make our language evaluation tapes and finish up the Thai classes we are currently in. I have had my evaluation scheduled and cancelled for three straight weeks, hopefully I can get it done this week and not have to worry about it anymore. Classes at our school end on December 21 although I wouldn't mind if Jack made us miss our final tests.

10 December 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... not much going on, today is some type of holiday so there's nobody around.

I am thinking... that Roger will be mad if I eat all of the brownies while he is gone.

I am thankful for... my mom sending us a box with Jack's Christmas stocking, Roger's Christmas present and Reese's Christmas trees.

From the kitchen... a disaster. I am rearranging everything due to a small insect problem (the joys of living in the tropics!) and the knowledge that I will need to have at least a little bit of space for Baby Jack's paraphernalia.

I am wearing... maternity clothes. And I am so tired of wearing maternity clothes.

I am creating... a plan for the next few days. We have nothing going on and that means Roger and Asher will go crazy if we don't go out and see something.

I am going... to go to Siam Square after nap time to eat Thai food with Roger and Asher.

I am reading... nothing at the moment, but I am looking forward to that Kindle we are getting for Christmas.

I am hoping... that Baby Jack will get a move on.

I am hearing... the air conditioner running in the middle of the day. Because I'm 9 months pregnant and Roger wouldn't dare ask me to turn it off.

Around the house... Asher's napping, Roger is out, toys are everywhere, Christmas tree is all lit up.

One of my favorite things... 3 in 1 coffee. I think everyone that we have spent significant amounts of time with in the past few years has been converted to the wonderfulness that is 3 in 1.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish rearranging the kitchen, make a few more meals for the freezer, make a language evaluation tape and maybe after all of that is done I could run on down to Bumrungrad and have a baby.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... the two girls that will have the pleasure of hanging out with Asher when the time comes for Baby Jack to arrive.

Play along at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

06 December 2010

Christmas Begins

After Thanksgiving was over (and we had eaten all of the turkey noodle soup), we got out our box of Christmas stuff.

Asher was sort of confused about the whole stocking thing. He thought it was dog, not a reindeer.

He found this Christmas beanie baby (we can't figure out where it came from) and it has been his constant companion the past few days.

Roger tried to explain that this stocking said "Roger" but Asher couldn't figure out who "Roger" was.

This boy loves his Daddy. And he really loves to sit on the stairs with his Daddy.

He also really loves to hold that bear. All. The. Time. He only found it four days ago and it has already gotten covered in yogurt, milk, oatmeal and lots of ice water.

The might be the best (or only) picture we have of these two.

03 December 2010

Why I Love the Sky Train

Friends, this is why I will most definitely be taking the sky train when it's time for Baby Jack to be born.

In Bangkok gridlock, Thai traffic police double as midwives.

In Bangkok gridlock, Thai traffic police double as midwives.
When Sergeant Pichet Visetchote transferred into a special division of Thailand's traffic police, he assumed his job would involve handing out tickets - not, as it's turned out, delivering babies.

The most recent of the 14 babies he has delivered was Rungarun - whose name means "morning" in Thai - a girl delivered in a pickup truck that was stuck in one of Bangkok's notorious traffic jams on the way to hospital.

Indeed, officers in Pichet's division have no authority to issue tickets but when Bangkok traffic grinds to a halt, as it does for much of each day, they can slip through on their motorcycles to fix cars, help the sick and deliver babies.

"It's the perfect job," said 37-year-old Pichet. "The police do not only enforce the law, we have a duty to help people."

The Royal Traffic Police Project, one of six traffic police divisions in the capital, was set up in 1993 with a broad mission to help people stranded in the traffic.

Over time delivering babies has become its speciality.

Officers in Bangkok have delivered 81 babies over the last 10 years and cleared traffic to escort hundreds of women in labour, police records show.

Pichet holds second place for the most deliveries, coming in behind a fellow officer who has helped with the arrival of 18 babies.

Pichet's deliveries haven't suffered any complications, but he admits he still gets nervous.

His first emergency call came two months after he completed his training, he said, and he found the surgical gloves in his kit bag were so slippery he feared he might drop the baby.

"It was very exciting," he said. "But I knew the survival of the baby depended on me."

Suranetr Jongnomklang, a 27-year-old department store saleswoman, said she had been relieved to see the police arrive when she went into labour in February on the back seat of a taxi.

"I don't remember much because I was in pain," she said. "But I feel happy there were police there who knew how to help a mother in labour."

The 145 officers in the division receive a couple days of medical training every three months at private and state hospitals, where they can practice deliveries using dolls, said division chief Colonel Akekachai Pruchyawithirat.

Each officer's motorcycle is equipped with a first aid kit that includes a baby blanket, a tie for the umbilical cord and a hand pump to help newborns with their breathing.

On any given day, five teams of two officers stake out the highways waiting for emergency calls. "The other policeman will help the traffic jam because people always stop by to watch whether the baby is a boy or a girl," Akekachai said.

Other rubber-neckers want to write down the license plate number of the mother's taxi or car, which some Thais think will guarantee a lottery win, Akekachai said.

The program began in 1993 with a royal grant of 11 million baht ($A464,495.46), and was originally meant to help police ease congestion, Akekachai said.

"Giving people new life is one of the most important things."

Akekachai said he sees the police project as a chance for Thai police to make a positive connection with the people they serve, and added that he doesn't want police to be known only for fines and arrests.

The existence of the unit shouldn't lead people to treat it like a dial-up midwife service and not take necessary precautions, Pichet said, as the back seat of a car is hardly the ideal place to give birth.

And if he ever has children, he says, he'll leave the delivery to his wife and a doctor.

Read the original story here.

01 December 2010

37 Weeks

In theory Jack is ready to come out. But don't worry, I think he is following right along in the footsteps of Big Brother Asher. The doctor says he's not coming anytime soon, so I have resigned myself to once again be pregnant for close to 42 weeks while everybody else around me has their babies early.

There is an upside. It's looking like Roger and I will both finish another Thai class and hopefully do our language evaluations before Jack gets here. Also, I forgot to pack all of those cute "Baby's 1st Christmas" outfits when we moved, so I won't feel guilty about him missing out on that experience.

The belly at 37 weeks.

I hope I look like I'm relaxed and wearing make-up because it was massage and make-up day at MOPS. I got a free back massage and a bit of a makeover. And we had breakfast casserole. It was an all-around good day in MOPS land.

28 November 2010

A Gift for Baby Jack

Don't tell Asher, but this is actually a gift for Baby Jack.

Asher and I went and had coffee with one of my friends last week. She had gotten this elephant basket for Jack and filled it with newborn diapers.

Asher was thrilled. I mentioned that it was for Baby Jack. He said, "No. Asher."


I guess at this point it really doesn't matter.

I'm excited to add another elephant to the boy's room. It goes right along with the elephant light, elephant coat rack and stuffed elephants. Right now I'm just waiting on the changing table to be made so I can see what size of basket I need to buy to hold all of Jack's cloth diapers and then their room will be ready to go.

When my friend gave us all of those newborn diapers I did realize that they were the only diapers we had for Jack. I guess that might be another thing to add to my to do list.

25 November 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving celebration this year. Just some good friends, good food and a lot of desserts.

The original plan was to just have chicken because turkeys are super expensive here, but Celeste came through with a very fresh (like on Tuesday it was alive and Wednesday it was in my fridge) and reasonably priced turkey.

Turkey Before.

Turkey After.

Please note that I had very little to do with the transformation of the turkey besides being the only one with an oven and a refrigerator that was big enough to house the turkey.

Turkey Cutting.

We all brought a few of our favorite things.

Angela wowed us with her desserts.

We had cherry pie, apple pie and her very famous pumpkin cookies.

We ate a lot.

Had time to talk to our friends.

Made a turkey.

Made some new friends.

Took a group picture.

And another group picture.

And, at last, we took a good group picture.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(note to pregnant friends: hosting Thanksgiving while almost 9 month pregnant will leave you a bit sore, but very thankful for friend that will wash your dishes for you)

22 November 2010

An Asher Update

This is Asher's new favorite ball.

It's an outside only ball, so we have been spending a lot of time outside with it. He loves to throw it and kick it. He's getting a lot better at kicking balls (thank you Little Gym where they only play soccer and not basketball).

Asher is still obsessed with vehicles. When we go down the street he names everything we see. When he gets hurt or gets in trouble he will start crying and then start yelling for a taxi car. His favorite mode of transportation is usually a taxi car, but he loves to ride motorcycles, too.

He has gotten very particular about which clothes he wants to wear. His first choice every day is Hippo shirt, followed by Monster shirt or Dinosaur shirt. Usually he will settle for one of his shirts that has a car on it. Plain shirts or stripes are out of the question.

Asher is still sleeping great in his big boy bed. He does get out of the bed when he wakes up in the mornings and after his nap. His door stays shut so we just let him roam around for a little while. Normally his roaming just consists of going to his bookshelf, getting a book and then getting back in bed to look at the book. Every once in a while I will find the curtains pulled back a little bit and I know he has been looking out of the window.

His favorite book at the moment is "Bedtime for Francis." It's a book that I loved when I was a little girl and I'm glad that Asher also loves it. He reads it with Daddy almost every day before nap time. He also really like "The Cat in the Hat" (also known as Big Mimi Hat Book and no, I don't know why he calls the the cat Big Mimi).

Once or twice a week he goes to childcare while I go to Bible Study or MOPS. It's the same teacher for both events and he really likes getting to listen to music and mess around with Play-Doh. He comes home with a new art project every time, I think that painting has probably been his favorite so far. After class was over on the first day his teacher asked me what language he spoke because he was saying stuff in Thai and English. I told her he could speak Thai (which is a bit of stretch) and to not speak English to him during class. Since then he has been understanding more Thai. He also does Thai tutoring with me twice a week. We have a lady come over and talk with me and play with Asher. He's picking up new words and knows most of his animals in Thai.

Asher's favorite place to go is the park. While we are there he likes to run with the other runners around the track, drink water on the bench, watch the big boys skateboard and play takraw and go look in the pond to see the turtles.

Asher's favorite things are still his cars, his elephant and his stuffed bear. He loves to look at pictures of Mimi, Granny and the rest of the family. He loves to do push ups, planks and stretches with Daddy. He also loves to strum Roger's guitar.

Here's a little video from today. My new favorite Asher's phrase is definitely "ice water." He says it at the beginning of the video and I think it is so funny.

20 November 2010

Calling All Cooks!

I'm trying to get a few things done before Baby Jack gets here. One of my big projects is to have several meals in the freezer so that we don't starve after the baby is born. I still remember the first few days after Asher was born and before my mom arrived in Indonesia, if we didn't get pizza or McDonald's delivered we didn't really eat. (Side Note: I do love that in Asia you can get pretty much anything delivered to your house on a motorbike. What better way to eat unhealthy food than to not even have to leave your house?)

So far I am planning on making Chicken Spaghetti, Meatballs, Spaghetti Sauce and Sloppy Joes. I would love to have a few other dishes, but I don't know what to make. What do you suggest?

Here are a few rules:
1. If it has cheese it must be cheddar and even then cheese is a precious commodity.
2. Asher is allergic to peanuts and cashews and we try to avoid nuts in general just to be safe.
3. The more made from scratch the better. We can buy a lot of things in BKK, but really can't afford to pay $6 for a can of cream of mushroom soup.

Do you have any favorite meals that you like to make ahead and freeze? What did you do so that your family didn't go hungry when a new baby arrived?

18 November 2010

Wild (little) Man

Tonight we had some of our friends over for dinner. They live in a nearby country and haven't been to BKK in several months. We had fun catching up, swapping language learning stories and celebrating their birthdays. Actually their birthdays were several months ago, but we hadn't seen them since and I love any reason to make a cake (especially with this icing).

Asher got pretty wound up when we met them at the park, his excitement grew when he got to eat rice with them and he reached a near frenzy when he got to eat cake (that he helped to make).