Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

7 hours

It's hard to believe but it's true! In under 8 hours we will have something small soft and pink to snuggle up in this basket! We had our Thanksgiving feast, checked into the hospital(more to come on that later) and are now just making last minute preparations before we head back tomorrow morning. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have been very thoughtful lately.

My mind is full of thoughts about aging, about becoming a mommy and having a newborn around again. Thoughts about the many changes our little family has been through since its start in 2003 and the changes it is about to go through.

It is so hard to even remember life BEFORE the way it is now. Life before Nate, before Holden, before the Philippines and I am sure that in no time it will be hard to remember life before Finnley. It's so strange to think that we have lived here for exactly 2 years now. In so many ways it feels as if we have been here a lifetime already. So long, in fact, that it is home now. Oh, don't be confused I still long for the WEST but more so just the conveniences of it.

I remember so vividly the moment we landed in Manila. I remember looking out the window of the plane as we descended at the shacks and shanties, the lush green tropics, the bay and feeling the heat on the window. I remember stepping off the plane and being consumed by the thick humid air and the distinct smell of non-1st world country. I remember the car ride to the hotel. The insane traffic. The poverty. The complete and utter feeling of dread. I couldn't stop the "what were we thinking?" feeling. BUT! I also remember feeling a challenge, an excitement and a newness. I remember being comforted knowing that as long as I had my little family together it was all going to be ok and that we could overcome anything.

I wonder if Holden will remember being an only child. I'm not sure he will and that in a way brings me to my knees in tears. He has been our entire world for 5 years and I am sad to think that these moments we have had together (just the 3 of us) will not be with him forever. The past couple of weeks have been knowing exchanges between Nate and I. Glances that we both realize our time left with just one child is limited. We are drawing near to the time where life will again shift and change.

We are good with change. It is good and exciting and we have always welcomed the big transitions in life with zeal. We couldn't be more ready and thrilled to welcome Finnley into our lives. But change is change and once you spread your wings it is kind of hard to fit them back in the nest again.

Thoughts on turning 30

It's been a long time coming.

Did you know that on my 28th birthday we landed in the Philippines and began this somewhat ridiculous and always adventurous life abroad?

On my 29th birthday I was was lucky enough to be on the Great Wall of China which is still to date the most amazing place I have ever been.

I had expected something as spectacular and unique on my big 30th, but instead I am pregnant. VERY pregnant and I can say this is as amazing as it can get, the miracle of life.

On the way to school this morning.

Holden: "Mom, is your birthday today or tomorrow?"

Me: "It's tomorrow. Do you know how old Mommy is going to be tomorrow?"

Holden: "Um, 16?"

Me: beaming, "Nope."

Holden: "1600?"

Me: "Uh...nope. I will be 30!"

Holden: "Huh, is 30 older than 100?"

Me: "No Holden, 30 is much much less than 100." here I stand on the cusp of 30 welcoming it w ith open arms!
This is just one of the ways I celebrated 30. Nothing better than good food and kind and thoughtful friends!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uh Oh

The other night Holden had a choice. Choices are hard because I say it's either one or the other and he hears both. He had 30 minutes before bedtime and he could finish watching a movie he had started earlier in the day OR he could read three books before bed. This is usually a hard choice for him because hello what kid is going to turn down TV but he also loves to read books. He chose the movie and 30 minutes later he traipses into the bedroom with books. Of course I refused. He insisted I told him we could do both (ha!) and continued to argue with me about it. Eventually it came to this.

"You're ruining my life...silence...time passes...Dad!" Poor Dad who hadn't opened his mouth or joined the discussion or even looked up from his computer as the conversation took place. Ah this kid is smart, he knows better than to offend the Mama.


On Tuesday we had our last doctor's appointment before D-DAY. Baby is doing well, not dropped nor engaged but that is why I am having a c-section so everything is going as planned.

He is still a fierce kicker. The belly button is officially "popped" and the waddle is on! Secretly I am scared my water is going to break while I am out and our driver is overly cautious as he hits the bumps and ruts throughout the streets of Manila. I think he would have a heart attack if I went into labor.

Head size: on target. Stomach: 1 week ahead of schedule. Femur bone: 4 weeks ahead (not my genes!) Estimate weight: 7lbs.

Baby Love

The Fab hosts; Camilla, Kathy, me, Marisa and Vickie*
*who rocks for more than one reason but REALLY because she left her aircon on full blast the ENTIRE time for this baking mommy! :)

I have the most amazing friends...really. Lucky Deuce had his third baby shower last week and it was full of fun; from the therapist they brought in to massage me the entire time to the great gifts, food and laughs! Everyone took part in a progressive story for little May where they could only see the paragraph directly above what they were writing. It took many twists and turns and while some parts were more serious and others were hilarious it was all very fitting and I am touched by how well these women know us! Each paragraph is written by a different person.

Finnley Roarke’s Baby Shower Story
November 10, 2008

There once was a mommy named Melissa, a daddy, Nate, and a big brother, Holden living a happy life in a most ridiculous country…

Where Holden brought in the family income by modeling, Melissa spent the money at greenhills and Nate wears bow ties. Where will Finnley fit in…?

Finnley will go to Macy’s for all of his attire as he will be a clean cut handsome young man, much like his beautiful older brother. However, in order to follow in his older brother’s footsteps there are three fashion rules from which he should NEVER deviate:

1) Never grow a beard like his dad once did
2) Pray you have mums hairline
3) Always wear a pink shirt!
If these rules are followed you will guarantee a fashionable life and therefore always be a big hit with the ladies!

Finnley is a name all will remember! You will stand out in the crowd, everyone wanting to flock to you…how lucky you are that your parents love you so!

They were excited to hear that you were on your way, and even more excited for the arrival day.

They wish you only the best, will love you from the East to the West. You will have a great big brother, father and mother. Fun loving family how lucky can you be a life of adventure, happiness and joy.

Never needing any love because your brother will provide you with joy and wisdom that only an older brother can give. Your mom and pop will give you a lifetime of happiness and security for you to become a very wise young man.

As a young man, I am sure your Manila experiences will give you the patience every mother appreciates. On a trip to Utah…

You will really start to miss all of the Starbucks but you will get a chance to bond with your family and learn from the love of your mom and dad have for one another. You will wrestle with your brother and realize as an adult how much you miss those silly little things. As you travel the world stay close with your family for they love you very much!

They will also be the only people in the world who will bail you out of jail when you call them to collect you from a prison in Goa. Seriously, didn’t your parents teach you anything? You should never ever, ever accept a package from a girl you meet on the beach in Goa, India. No matter how cute she is. EVER.

That’s why you should only go on five star holidays; you know, the type where you start each day with champagne, strawberries, a bubble bath , a fluffy gown and views of the Seine-don’t you just love Paris?

Paris, as opposed to Puerta Gallera, you know the Christmas vacation from hell! Mosquitoes, rain and pretty much nothing else!

As the little family named May continued on their adventures in Manila, they found they had discovered the best souvenir of all…

A googley eyed baby!!! And they lived happily ever after. The End!

Photos and stories from 2nd baby shower coming when I get the photos forwarded to me! hint hint!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

2 minutes of fun

Who knew that 2 minutes of horse racing could lead to such a great day. We went to the Melbourne Cup today and had a lovely time with loads of ladies in hats and pretties! The race was over in a matter of moments and not one horse that Nate bet on placed but really, where would the fun in winning be? I decided to go with a bright colored "teaser" rather than a hat...I think it offsets the HUGE Buddha belly don't you think? haha

Monday, November 03, 2008

More Holdenisms

From the moment he could put it into words Holden has told us about his dreams. They are usually quite vivid in his recollection of them and we regularly talk about them. A couple of weeks ago he was really upset with Nate the entire day because in his dream he had been captured by a giant crab and "Daddy didn't even save me!"
The other morning he woke up and said, "I sure wish God would send some good dreams my way."
And here is Holden singing a native Tagalog song. Don't expect to understand a bit of it...unless you are Filipino or speak Tagalog but it's cute all the same!

Money Laundering

Nate learned a new definition of money laundering this week when Lina, the helper who does our laundry brought him his dripping wet wallet full of business receipts, cash and credit cards. He stunned us all with his calmness over the whole situation. It must be a new level of zen he has come to accept after living here with all of its hassles and moments or maybe it is just the calm before the out!

Luckily "the girls" as we call the staff of 3 that keep our household "running?" were able to unfold and dry out all the receipts which still had ink on them and miraculously the cards have been used they still work. The wallet on the other hand is a lost cause, leather doesn't wash up so well.
C'est la vie, our new motto in life. I am getting it framed and hung.