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Hi. I'm Erica. Thanks for visiting. Stay a while. Have a look around. Leave a comment. Let's talk, k? 

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"a portrait of my children* once a week, every week in 2014"

*do you know how long I've been waiting for that plural?


Stella: Collecting all her "stuffs." 

Hugo: A few minutes old. 

I've been looking so forward to including our little baby boy in this project, and now he's finally here! Fresh baby, I mean, is there anything better?

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Our baby boy Hugo Maylor was born on Saturday morning, and we're all so happy he is finally here. The last few weeks of pregnancy were pretty rough, but I tell you, this sweet boy has been worth the wait.

We're all taking things slowly, recovering and settling into life as a family of four. Posting here may be slight for the next while, but you can be sure to find plenty of baby spam on the 'gram. I'm @expatriababy.

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Pregnancy Update: Week 40 {Done. So Very Very Done.}

I’ve been having false labour for almost three weeks now. Sometimes it’s just run of the mill Braxton Hicks contraptions. But sometimes, and especially in the past week, it’s call the doula, pack your hospital bags, stock up on gatorade, clutch your abdomen in pain type of contractions that happen every eight minutes and last for 16 hours. Only to fizzle out and leave you tired and sore in a pool of disappointment and frustration.  



Needless to say, I’m so over this.


It’s one thing to be uncomfortable, crampy, and contractiony when I’m on my own. But it’s a whole other circle of mum-guilt hell when there’s another kid involved. Basically all I want to do is lie in bed, eat cookies and drink ice cold water from a mason jar while watching episode after episode of The Good Wife.  But I have a child to feed, entertain, and enrich, and sadly she’s just not interested in hanging out with the electronic babysitter all day long. She wants to play pretend. Every day. Always.


And yesterday it kind of all came to a head.


It was our Monday Lady Date Day, so I took Stella out for fancy cake. But I was short on patience, and the most I could muster was a half-hearted game of restaurant-restaurant while we ate our cake.


We got stuck in stop-and-stop Jakarta traffic on the way home, and I capped off little outing by snapping at my poor girl, who was intent on playing midwife-midwife in the back of a taxi “OMG I JUST CAN’T RIGHT NOW PLEASE JUST DON’T TOUCH ME MUMMY CAN NOT OKAY JUST STOP!!!” And that may or may not have happened more than once. Because. Aggggghhhh!!!!


Back at home I thought I could make up for my cranky mummy mood by agreeing to feed Stella pancakes and maple syrup for lunch, and sure why not? I’ll let you be independent and pour your own syrup…oh shit, so, there goes half the bottle of imported spendy like gold syrup all over your plate, oh well, there’s no saving it now, I guess I’ll just let you eat your syrup with a little pancake on the side. I mean, oatmeal kamut pancakes, that's like a balanced meal, and, really, what’s the worst that could happen?


And that is how you end up, 39w6d pregnant, besieged by false labour, and the sole adult responsible for a pre-schooler literally bouncing off the walls, beds, floors, all flat surfaces, in fact, on the sugar high of her life. 


And so I called my husband home from work to look after our frenetic sugar addled child, fed her room service for dinner (again!) and then cried so hard at my failings as a parent and my asshole uterus that I literally made myself vom. Oh pregnancy. You're really a peach, aren't you. 


And now, for what had better be my last pregnancy update.


How Far Along:

40 Weeks. Today. OMG. DONE.


How Big is Baby:

Baby Boy is measuring about 3.3 KG. Which, if you ask me, is big enough. SO, YOU CAN COME OUT NOW.



Things are getting pretty cramped in there, but not too restricted to throw some nice pokey knees and elbows at my right ribcage!


Total Weight Gain:

I don’t even care any more. A lot. Probably close to 25 kg. In the past couple of weeks I’ve just been like, okay! finish line in sight! I’ll eat all the things, and also my feelings. Which taste like an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies! And you know what? I haven’t gained any weight since about 37 weeks. Contrast that with my first two trimesters wherein I ate nothing and basically gained a third of my bodyweight. Eff you, pregnancy, you make no sense.



Well, I know many of your pregs really don’t sleep at all in the final weeks, and also I know full well the all night human milk buffet shift that is waiting for me on the other side of this, so I really shouldn’t complain. {but it's what I doooooooooo}I will say, though, I’m developing a superhuman ability to sleep through contractions, and if things continue like this I’ll probably be able to be unconscious during transition. So. 


Maternity Clothing:

Ahhhhahahahahaha! Isn’t that cute? You think I actually put clothing on my body at this stage? Nope. It’s all leggings and sweatpants, all the time. And I feel like I should feel bad about that since I live in a super fancy hotel, and there are appearances to keep up and stuff. But nope. I don't. 



Not being pregnant. Ice cold water. Chocolate chip cookies. Bed. DVDs. Zero responsibility. Not having to play midwife-midwife. Silence. Hibernation. 

Linking up with Erica and Toi. Better late than never, right?

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"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014."

Stella: Hater of doctors, hospitals and clinics, but being super brave at physio.


This poor kid has been sick for what feels like a lifetime. She's had a nasty cough that stops her in her tracks while she plays, wakes her up at night, and leaves her unable to catch a breath. That's rainy season and poor air quality for you. We're trying a little physiotherapy comprised of a warming lamp and some chest and back massage to help loosen things up. That and a thorough cleaning of the house, new curtains, and a new air filter. And if that fails, well, we'll just all take off for the closest patch of rainforest or pristine mountain meadow, or something.

Linking up with Jodi

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I'd like to think of myself as a doer. I want my lists long and my days full. I want out in the thick of it, messy traffic and all, seeing, doing, tasting, hearing, fingers in everything, outside, alive.

And I'd like to think of myself carrying on like this, despite a swollen belly or new babe in arms. I'd like to think of myself that way, especially, in opposition to local traditions that keep women (feeble they are!) confined for their pregnancies and cloistered during the first postpartum weeks. I'd like to think of myself as separate and apart from that. Stronger. More vibrant. 

Except, I'm not. 

These days I have little desire to open the front door. My territory doesn't extend much beyond my bedroom. Days and days of rain keep me at home. False labour has slowed my pace. Little projects, even computer-based ones don't much interest me. 

These days a pot of soup on the stove feels like a coup. A few answered emails are a triumph.

I'd rather be feathering my nest. I'd rather stay in bed wehre I whisper secrets with my girl, and play "sleeping party" under the blankets. A cup of tea on the bedside table, messy sheets, and a dvd playing on my laptop is about all I want.

And I'm trying to be okay with that. 


Kid Life 365 {Week Three}

And now for some proof that I do actually occasionally leave my bedroom and engage in non-screen-time activities. 

Thirteen // On an atypically sunny Monday, we spent an entire afternoon at the pool. It's a shame that my current state of gigantism makes me a little (okay, a lot) self-conscious re. my pregnant form in a bathing suit, but seriously, I doubt Javanese notions of modesty really could handle all of this juicy preg in a bikini. So. Only Stella swam. 

Fourteen // Welcome to Christmas Sushi restaurant. Here's a little waiter's note-pad. Also, this three-year-old knows how to seat guests, present a menu, take a drink order, take a food order, and enter the whole thing into the imaginary POS, and then return to the table to tell the guests that what they've ordered is no longer available. Ha. 

Fifteen // Protesting at bedtime, I think.

Sixteen // Mama, it's a mosque, a dinosaur, and a flower. Okay.

Seventeen // Have you ever seen these balloon-blowing contraptions? Such a good idea!

Eighteen // Dancing and singing in (fake) Swiss-German.

Nineteen // Okay. Screentime. But it was a rough Sunday, so. Totally necessary.



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"a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014."

Stella: Wet's pway fowers!

On afternoons when the rains don't come, we go out to the garden. Stella takes her pail, and runs off down the garden path in search of frangipani. She fills up her bucket and I think to myself, however did the stars align in such a way that I get to spend my Monday afternoons like this?

Linking up with Jodi.


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