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).

15 November 2010


He finally has a name, here's Asher to let you know what it is.

Here's the whole thing.

Jack means "God is Gracious."
Anthony was Courtney's dad's middle name.
And, of course, he is a Hampton.

12 November 2010

The Latest Hampton House (Part 2)

Welcome back to our house tour. You can see Part 1 here.

Today we are going to see the rest of the downstairs.

Last Saturday night we had all of our language learning buddies over (and they had a surprise baby shower for me), so the downstairs got cleaned up a bit more than usual.

Here's our downstairs bathroom along with all of Asher's potties. They pretty much just sit there under the sink, one day they will get used...

I promise this is actually the floor after being cleaned. It just doesn't ever really get to be a clean color. I love that this bathroom is the classic Asian wet bathroom. There's a spigot under the sink and a drain in the corner. When I want to scrub the floor I just turn on the water, get out the Comet and go to town. When I'm done I can just rinse it down the drain.

When we moved in this bathroom was dark green, so one day we went and bought paint and brightened it up. Between the paint and the new mirror over the sink the bathroom looks much better.

Now on to our office.

(In case you missed it, the office would be the part of the kitchen counter containing the printer.)

This is our kitchen. I can honestly say I was blown away when I saw it. I was expecting a repeat of the Surabaya kitchen (small and built for someone under 5 feet tall). Instead I got a big open kitchen with actual cabinets!

When we moved into this house it was completely furnished for people coming to Bangkok for medical reasons. We had like 3 different food processors missing various parts, lots of plastic cups from the movie theatre and an interesting array of take-out containers. We just stuffed all of that stuff into the top parts of the cabinets and into the cabinets that we can't easily access. All of our stuff fits in about 3 cabinets especially since we don't keep much food at home.

The handle was taped onto the refrigerator when we moved in and after it fell off over and over again I decided it was easier to just leave it off.

Just for the record, my kitchen actually looks nothing like this under normal circumstances. There is usually a lot of stuff sitting on the counters, dirty dishes next to the sink and generally a lot more clutter in the "office" area.

11 November 2010

34 Weeks

I went to the doctor this week (and took my best little buddy Asher with me) to find out that I need to eat more. Every pregnant woman's dream! Evidently I actually lost weight the past two weeks, so per doctor's orders I need to eat more. I promised I would try my hardest, although I feel like all I do is eat because I am always hungry.

The doctor says baby boy is growing even if I'm not and he is still head down although he hasn't actually dropped down yet. Asher helped the doctor find the baby's heartbeat and I think it's finally starting to click with him that there is a baby, and not a ball, in my belly.

In other baby boy news, the great name debate has not yet been settled. Actually we both like two names and we just can't decide which one we like best. We tried asking Asher what his opinion was. He told us the baby's name was Braco Bob

Just to explain: braco is what Asher calls broccoli. One day I made some lame joke about Asher having braco in his diaper. Unfortunately it stuck and now Asher loves to point at his diaper and say braco. And then Daddy and Asher suddenly had these two new friends, Braco Bob and Diaper Dan. They are a pretty important part of our day. And now Asher has decided the baby's name is Braco Bob.


Here's the belly at the end of a very long day. One of those days that has you counting down the minutes to bed time and praising the Lord that your 2 year old really loves to go night-night.

I'm off to enjoy my evening. My homework is already half-way done, the house is clean and Roger is on his way home with some chocolate!

Update: Roger did better than chocolate...he came home with Cinnabon. He's the best!

05 November 2010

Halloween 2010

Our Halloween, or lack thereof, didn't quite go as planned.

First, I needed a brown t-shirt for Asher to wear under his costume (we were planning a repeat of last year's Asher Bear). There were no brown t-shirts to be found. Baby Gap, the export store, even the kids section at the mall. Nobody sells a brown t-shirt. Finally after searching all over the city I found one in a little shop at the end of our street.

So, I had the t-shirt. Bonus: the shirt had a motorcycle on it. Asher was very agreeable in switching from his car-car shirt to the new motorcycle shirt. Then I brought out the Asher Bear costume. Asher lost it. I mean, on the floor screaming and kicking, lost it. He apparently has a deep rooted fear of the bear costume. I gave up rather quickly. I think Roger was proud and surprised that I let it go so easily.

We headed out to Charl E. Chaang's (think Chuck E. Cheese with an elephant) for what CNN.com promised would be a great kid's Halloween party.

It was a bust.

Pretty much it was bunch of adults drinking and a bunch of kids that were not wearing costumes. (What kind of kid's place has an entire section of the menu devoted to alcohol?!?!?) I guess it worked out that Asher didn't want to dress up. There was no Trick or Treating like the website promised and the door prize was a green jelly candy. The pregnant lady was really hoping for some chocolate. Since we were there we went ahead and had some pizza and watched Asher be too small to really enjoy the place.

This all happened on Saturday night.

So, Sunday rolled around and it actually felt like fall here in Bangkok. It was in the low 80's and sort of breezy and miracle of miracles I convinced Asher to wear his one pair of blue jeans (ok, his one pair of long pants) to church. He was of course still wearing the new motorcycle shirt. In fact, he had slept in it the night before. He only took it off while he was bathing. I received copious amounts of praise from the Thai mothers at church because for once I had appropriately dressed my child for the freezing temperatures we were experiencing.

Sunday after nap time we headed up the street to the mall to see if maybe they had Halloween stuff going on. I really wanted some candy.

They did have giant pumpkins.

And one store even had a Halloween carriage. They gave Asher a hat and a cookie. That cookie was all the candy we got for Halloween. And since I am a good mother I didn't steal his cookie, I let him eat it.

Now let's look at the good that came of this Halloween.

1. I didn't waste money on a costume.
2. Asher has a new favorite shirt.
3. Those blue jeans finally got worn.
4. I impressed my Thai friends by dressing Asher warmly.
5. I didn't eat too much Halloween candy.

I am looking forward to next year when my youngest child will be too young to refuse to wear a costume and he will, of course, be forced to wear the bear costume. Asher can just get another new t-shirt.

03 November 2010

The Latest Hampton House (Part 1)

I wonder how many of these posts I will have during my life. We've had the Surabaya house, the Vancouver house and now the Bangkok house. It's sort of fun to see how different each place is and I think of all the places we have lived this is probably my favorite. Of course I wish it has just one extra bedroom (so the printer could move off of the kitchen counter) but it's definitely a big step up from the flood-prone, rat-filled house we had in Indonesia.

This will be a multi-part series most likely completed as I get around to cleaning parts of the house.

Here's our laundry room.

It's actually a separate little house with two bedrooms meant to house a maid. We just keep all of our suitcases out there. It also contains 40 years worth of our colleagues belongings that they left behind. My new washer lives out here.

Our backyard is pretty much just our clothesline. It's actually a great clothesline, it gets sun in the mornings for a few hours and during hot season I can get a pair of blue jeans dry in about 20 minutes.

Now I have heard lots of people discussing how "green" it is to have a clothesline and how they just absolutely love to hang out their clothes. But really, when it's all you have it's not always so fun. Here's a quote from my friend Ginger (I hope she doesn't mind), but it pretty much sums up how I feel about it:

"And maybe I am wrong, really wrong, and if so folks please forgive me...but I'm thinking people only love hanging clothes out when it is an 'option' and not a necessity? Maybe not?"

Amen, Ginger, Amen!

I think she is exactly right, clotheslines are only fun when you have a dryer to back you up. I can't tell you how many days during rainy season I have let clothes hang all day long and not dry. Or I hang them up and go somewhere and it rains. Still infinitely better than our set-up in Indonesia. Bangkok always has that going for it.

Anyway, we also have some beautiful gas tanks to liven up the space.

Here's our back door and our Asher.

This is our dining room. I love having a big table. This is the first time we've had more than four chairs (and space for more than four chairs). It's much easier to have people over for dinner when you have place for them to sit.

Looking from the eating area to the living room.

Asher's table and chairs. He loves his little table, but he can't stand to have the little covers on the backs of the chairs.

The living room and our massive couch with Asher sprawled out watching Bolt. We live in Asia and we have a comfortable couch. It is possible.

The other side of the living room.

Our Craig's list chair and Asher's toys, he gets the bottom half of the bookshelf, we get the top half.

Finally, the time out corner. Asher has to sit in his chair facing the door. Under the stairs is where we store all of the stuff that would go in an office. And our shoes. And Asher's bike. And some other junk. That door goes to our bathroom. I didn't get that far in my cleaning, so no pictures yet.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of our tour. We still have the kitchen, the bathroom and our bedrooms to go.