And Now For Something Completely Different.

After a drought of over two years, this blog is being revived! Why? Because we have plans we want to share. As many of our friends and family know, Tom and I (and the kids of course) are moving half way around the world to Singapore! I knew I kept this poor, neglected blog around for a reason! After months of secrecy during which I resigned from my position as a school psychologist with the AEA, we sold our much-loved house, and we moved to a less expensive apartment in Ames, we are here.  Tom and I spent 24 hours traveling to spend some time visiting the country we will live in for the next three years. That has brought many decisions and new experiences, but first the questions we are commonly asked:

First, where the heck is Singapore?
Folks know it’s in Asia, but that is about it. Singapore is on the most southern tip of Malaysia, near Indonesia, north west of Australia.  Here’s a visual for you:

Why would we ever choose to leave our friends and family?
Good question! We know it isn’t forever; we’ve agreed to a 3-year assignment. Also, we are planning to return once a year to visit everyone! We will come back during the summer for a few weeks to see everyone we love back home. We would also LOVE it if you decided to visit us! Serious!

What’s the time difference?
13-14 hours, depending on daylight savings time. Right now it’s 13 hours. Our days and nights are opposite from our people in Iowa. I’ve been here a total of 3 days and so far I’ve needed to call or text my BFF twice while Iowa was sound asleep. It may be a problem….

How long does it take to get to Singapore?
From Iowa, about 24 hours. We flew from Des Moines, to Denver, to San Francisco, to Singapore. That last leg from San Francisco to Singapore was 16 hours long. I got to watch two movies and sleep. If I try, I can make it sound like a vacation!

San Francisco to Singapore

Why are we going?
Well, Tom had a job opportunity here that will allow us to travel and see places and cultures we otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience. When we found out we made a pros and cons list, gave each pro and con a weighting, put it in a spreadsheet, blah, blah, blah (if you know us, you know this is all true). Then we looked at each other, said “What are we doing? We have to do this. Duh.” And that was that.

What do the kids think?
Amelia is excited. She’s also sad to leave her friends and family. Her emotions pretty much mirror those of her parents, she’s just a bit less logical and a bit more emotional, because, you know, she’s 6. Theodore… he’s clueless. He’s just going with the flow and is his happy self.

Am I (Rebecca) going to work?
Heck if I know! Initially, no. We need to get settled in a new country and then we will see if I settle into the life of a SAHM or if I lose. my. mind.

Where will the kids go to school?
The kids will attend the Singapore American School (SAS). It’s an international school that follows the US curriculum so when we return home the kids will be in roughly the same spot academically. We toured the school this week and it looks amazing. I am excited for the kids to attend. I’m also excited to see the differences between the school system in Iowa and the programing at SAS. Theo will also be going to preschool there. He’s so social we decided he really needed peer interaction. He’s been with other kids his age his entire life, and he’s learned a lot in his amazing daycare this last year. We didn’t want him to stay at home and have (potentially) limited access to other kids his age. So, to preschool he will go!

When do you go?
My baby brother is getting married on August 11th, and we knew we couldn't miss it! However, we are going to need to leave the next evening.  The children's school starts on August 15th, and they will need time to adjust to a new time zone. We'd like them to miss as little school as possible.

It's nearly midnight here, so we are off to bed. We have more places to visit and explore tomorrow!



Don't Be Shocked / 10 Months!

So, truth is, taking care of two littles while both parents are working full time, one parent is going to school full time, and the other is running a small business while having a super busy school year doesn't leave much (any?) time for blogging. On the plus side, we HAVE taken photos of Theo's first year. Every week we take a crib photo next to a stuffed lion and every month we take a photo in his chair with a sign. These milestone pictures have gotten more and more complicated each month as Theo has gotten less and less happy to happily sit in one place. Theo's 10 month photos last month brought a new experience... sign licking... Luckily, the chalk is non-toxic!

 This is what I was aiming for...

This is what I was aiming for...

 And here begins all the shenanigans that followed...

And here begins all the shenanigans that followed...

 Here we have it. Chalk licking... Yuck.

Here we have it. Chalk licking... Yuck.


We also took some photos of Theo with a stuffed giraffe he got from a wonderful woman at our church. Theo thinks it's a ball and tries to throw it and tackle it. So cute!


Theo desperately wants to chase after his big sister and has started trying to walk. It's amazing how fast his first year is flying by. Six teeth (7 now!), first steps, a whole lot of "real" food, and lots and lots of "talking." It has been a busy month for this little guy!

2 Months!

I cannot believe two months has flown by!  It's August, and that means only a short period of time before I return to work and the kiddos go to daycare. :( Amelia is excited about this.  She misses her friends. I have serious dread about dropping off the little man though! I know this happens to most Mommas, but I hate leaving my little squish with someone else. All. Day. Long. Ugh.

Enough focus on that. Theo had his 2 month appointment this week. He's increased his weight by about 50% of his birth weight, now weighing in at 12 lbs, 13.5 oz. He's also grown in length and is now 23.25" long.  He seems way bigger than his sister was at this age, but is progressing on his growth curve quite nicely!

I am WAY behind on posting photos. Here are a few!

 Theo at 1 week vs Theo last week at 8 weeks.

Theo at 1 week vs Theo last week at 8 weeks.

 Visiting some of the Great-Grandparents.

Visiting some of the Great-Grandparents.

 Do the zoo!

Do the zoo!

 Feeding the giraffes.

Feeding the giraffes.

Happy Birthday!

If you are slightly squeamish or really don't want to see photos of a beautiful baby straight from the womb, you should stop reading now. We debated sharing these photos, but decided they were way too cool to keep to ourselves. At least I think so... But hey - I may be biased.

I really wanted photos of this baby's birth. Birth photographers are expensive. They're on-call and work odd hours. They have to be available all the time. This costs a pretty penny. I also really wanted a new camera. New cameras are expensive. In the end, the camera won out. No birth photographer for me.

In lieu of a birth photographer, I asked Tom if he would take a few photos. (I thought I might be a bit preoccupied.) I showed him a few examples of what I wanted, and he agreed. I was hoping for one good photo. After all, he would be a little busy too...

What I got was this.

Words cannot describe how happy I am that Tom was able to freeze this moment for us! These photos make my heart sing.

Happy Birthday Theodore!




Our little Theodore was born last week! (More photos to come!) The name Theodore made a late run to the front of the line for the win. Unfortunately, the name game is still not over. We call him both Theo and Teddy. We can't seem to settle on just one...

- Short.
- Can transition from childhood to adulthood.

- Amelia can’t say it; she calls him “Feo.”

- It’s just so darn cute!
- Amelia can say it.

- We don’t particularly like the vision of a 30-year-old son who is called Teddy because his parents bestowed that on him as an infant and it stuck.
- We aren’t huge fans of “Ted.”
- “Teddy” sounds like “Daddy” which has confused a certain 3-year-old.

Apparently, we’re expected to pick one. :)  We may not be able to pick. Just warning you…

The Curse of the Second-Born Child

Dear Baby Boy,

So far I think you’re falling under the curse of the Second-Born Child. When your sister was born, I made a point to jot down important dates and milestones. It’s not that I don’t notice these things this time around. I relish in every moment. So far with you, there are a few things I have tried to burn into my memory. However, I haven’t yet written them down… I just don’t take the time in the moment to do so. I swore I would never be that mom. The mom who makes a baby book for baby #1 filled with stories and memories and baby #2 gets a shoebox full of random objects with no apparent rhyme or reason to their inclusion. Yet, here I am, on my way to indeed becoming that mom. So today, I resolve to try to change that. I will break the curse of the Second-Born Child, and you will get the time and the attention you deserve. You are a gift from God, an answer to my prayers, and I will do what I can to capture these memories for both of us.

So here are my thoughts. They may be a little random and scattered, but you should just get used to that from the beginning. After my first 30-some years of life, I doubt that will change.

Let’s take a moment and talk about your name. This is one area where I might be hyper-attentive. I’ve had friends tell me I’m “over-thinking this.” Am I??  Really?!? I feel like so much goes into a name. And a name can say a lot about a person. I want you to be able to work construction with this name or be a CEO of a company. I don’t want your name to color other’s opinions of you in a negative light without giving you a chance to shine doing whatever you love.

The name game was complex when your sister was born. This time it was worse. First, we had much less time to think about names. Life is just too busy! Second, it seemed there was always a reason to nix a name.

Too popular.

I worked with a student once named ______ and now I only think of him when I hear that name.

That doesn't flow well with our last name.

I met a kid named _______ once.  He was a Holy Terror. Better stay away...

So tell me Baby Boy, who are you? We are a few quick days away from your arrival and the “short” list of names (currently 7!) seems to change daily. (Don’t even ask how many names are on the “long” list!) I just hope when you arrive we will know who you are. Then perhaps you can grow into your name, become whoever it is you are meant to be, and shine.  One thing I can promise you, we will not name you “Kiwi” or “Peanut Butter Easter Egg” like your sister has suggested. Yes, I know.  It is illogical to ask a 3-year old’s opinion on such matters, but sometimes a person is desperate. Luckily, we have the short list, so  Peanut Butter Easter Egg you will not be.

Lots of Love,


A New Beginning

Dear Baby Boy,

I thought should record the story of how we found out you existed. Our journey began in August, when your Dad and I took an in vitro Fertilization (IVF) class at the fertility clinic. We really wanted your sister to have a sibling, and so far things weren’t sticking very well. In vitro seemed to be our best bet, because it would increase the odds of a good embryo being implanted. We took the class. I did a bunch of tests. I was told my eggs were plentiful, but they were becoming “geriatric” before their time and IVF was indeed our best bet for a high quality embryo. We really wanted another child, whatever the cost, so we signed up and I went and picked up medication to start the process.

Fast forward a couple weeks to the end of September. It’s a few days prior to starting the medication for the IVF process. I had what appeared to be food poisoning or an intestinal bug. It hit over the weekend. Lots of abdominal pain. So much so that at one point I passed out (luckily I was sitting and your Dad was there). Dad wanted me to go to the emergency room.  I resisted.  I canceled my weekend plans and stayed home. By Sunday night I was feeling much better.

At work the next day I felt a little off. By mid-afternoon I was freezing in a room others said was a little chilly and didn’t think much of it. Some of the stomach cramps had returned. At about 5:00 p.m. I walked outside into a beautiful 70 degree day and realized that I had a fever. And stomach pains. Which, together, can signal something bad. Of course, it’s after regular doctor hours, so I call First Nurse. Where do they send me? The ER… A friend came over to watch Amelia (with all her groceries + her own two kids I might add - Thanks Desi!), and off we went. After being taken back to the room, they quickly decide that it’s not my appendix. The next step, a CT to see what is going on in there. I ask for a pregnancy test, because I wanted to rule out the slim chance I was pregnant. They give me one, but it’s a urine test. And, since I had a horrible headache as well, I had drank a lot of water to ensure I was hydrated. News flash: urine pregnancy tests aren’t very accurate that early with diluted pee. It does not take a medical degree to know this. My attractive ER doc was very annoyed when I asked about the sensitivity of the test and tried to blow me off with vague statements like, “Oh, it’s VERY sensitive.” Yes, well HOW sensitive Dr. Hot & Full-Of-Himself? He didn’t know the answer to that question, so I requested a blood test. Despite his reassurances that his course of treatment wouldn’t change regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy test, a little voice was nagging me to get the blood test.  Dr. Hot & Full-Of-Himself tried to talk me out of the blood test, saying it was unnecessary (as if a CT was necessary!) and would keep me in the ER much longer while we wait for the results. They even had a tech come to take me to CT prior to giving me the blood test, which I did not appreciate. After another conversation followed up by a snarky comment from me wondering aloud why a $100 test is such a big deal when they want to spend way more on a CT, I got my blood test.  I had requested literature regarding the safety of CTs during pregnancy, and while we were waiting he brought me a single piece of literature explaining that if you are newly pregnant in a nuclear disaster, you will most likely miscarry. Never mind the amount of radiation and exposure is vastly different from Chernobyl and a CT.

To this day I thank God for that nagging voice that made me, in my feverish state, insist on a blood test.  Dr. Hot & Full Of Himself came back in with the results and quietly said, “Well, you were right. It’s 88.”  Keep in mind that anything above a 5 is technically positive. I said, “What? Can you repeat that?” And then number was the same. Yep, the test was POSITIVE.  And just like that the course of treatment Dr. Hot & Full Of Himself was recommending changed. He called in an OB to consult. The OB noted that I had one of two issues happening: 1) diverticulitis, which was uncommon at my age and couldn’t be safely treated during pregnancy, or 2) colitis, which is basically an intestinal inflammation. Treatment?  Go home. Wait a day or two. If it goes away, it was colitis. If not, diverticulitis. Seemed reasonable to me.

And by the way - it was colitis. I am just fine.

Now tell me, Dr. Hot & Full Of Yourself, why was this not your recommended course of treatment from the beginning? Seems a lot cheaper than a CT which would expose me to unnecessary radiation.  Perhaps we could have discussed these options, hmmm? I hope you learned a lesson here. I hope it knocked you down a peg or two. I appreciate confidence from my doctors, but not arrogance to the point of recklessness. I do hope it knocked you down a few pegs, but given that at no time did you apologize for being an ass, I don’t have high hopes. Let’s just hope we do not meet again.

And just like that, my geriatric eggs pulled through, without assistance. I believe you were meant to be here, Baby Boy. So, in those teenage angst years, please never forget: you are wanted, and you are loved. Always.

Lots of Love,


Jumping In With Both Feet - Our New Blog

Soon our family will grow by 2 feet!  ...and 2 hands. Lame, I know.  I can't help myself! ;-)

Seriously though, soon we will welcome our newest little edition to our family. This has lead to the creation of this new blog to share our journey with our friends and family. And who knows, MAYBE I'll even update it more than the last blog! 

Here we our in one of our last family photos as a family of three!