There’s nothing like having a baby—and doing it overseas—to eat up time and pull me out of the blogosphere. It’s been months since I last posted. So, over these next few weeks, I’ll try to climb out from under the mountain of dirty diapers to share with you news from this side of the world.
First, for the details. Our daughter, Renea Grace was born at 6 p.m. July 12 in Singapore. We left the hospital two days later and went straight to the U.S. Embassy there in Singapore to get the all-important passport for our little Third Culture kid. Thankfully, she had cooperated and opened her eyes for a quick passport photo that we took on the white sheet of the hospital.
Next we got the Indonesian visa, then traveled home to Indonesia. We felt a bit in over our heads traveling internationally with a 2-year-old and a 10-day-old. But we are glad to be back home in our small island in Indonesia.
Now I’m learning to factor in extra time to get out the door when I go places with my two kids. (It took me 45 minutes yesterday to get them ready to go to the store—diapers needed changing, baby needed feeding, toddler needed a snack and shoes and a quick run to the toilet.) And I’ve gotten quite talented at lowering myself to my kids’ level—which means stomping around the house when I’ve gotten woken up one more time by one of the kids. Or joining my newborn in a nice, loud wail when I’m hungry or tired or need to use the bathroom. (Who knew it would be so hard to find time to meet my own basic needs?)
Thankfully, doing all this in another culture brings me much joy and many laughs. I love how I can bring my baby into the small store where I buy fruit and the owner and workers entertain her with smiles and coos while I do my shopping. The owner also fills my 2-year-old up with food to keep him happy. I laughed when a friend of mine was alarmed at how I was holding Renea (sitting up instead of laying down) and referred to it as holding her like a monkey. Another friend told me I needed to hold my baby erect after a feeding to make sure the milk made it all the way down to her toes. My husband’s affectionate nickname for our little girl is “Chichak” which means gecko in Indonesia. One day, she was sleeping with her arms and legs out, looking like the geckos that crawl all over our walls.
Now that Renea is smiling, we can exchange our own secret jokes. She finds me (and everyone else for that matter) absolutely hilarious.
So, pardon me if I’ve been a bit too absorbed in mommyhood to post. I haven’t been able to pull myself away from my two cute kids long enough to write. Once you see my pictures below, I’m sure you’ll understand.