Sunday, October 16, 2016


For the past two months, basically since my last post, the room pictured below was the temporary resting place of many a visitor. For those of you who are familiar with the room, this was our smaller guest room. Now, as you can see, it has been taken over by baby. My daddy app calendar had been telling me to prepare the nursery for the past month, but it all pretty much got done in a 24 hour period. The daddy app should be content now.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the nursery! As you can see, it's not quite finished yet, but we feel better knowing that, if a baby were to drop from the skies tomorrow, we'd more or less be ready for it. That is a relief. There are still plenty of items still up for grabs if anyone is itching to buy some baby stuff. You can check out our registry here.

It's also been great to spend time with all of the visitors who passed through this room (back when it had a normal sized bed) over the past few months. Thank you for making it interesting!

From hiking through the jungles of Penang with Liz...

To exploring Vietnam's highlands (and high buildings) with Mike and Sammy...

To running through mountains with Jim - he wasn't a guest, but he helped me finish my first half marathon through the mountains around Sa Pa...

To waiting out the floods in Nha Trang with Bryn's State Department training class.

This was the view inside...

While the conditions outside had devolved to carrying wives through the streets.

Thank you to everyone who came and visited and thank you to everyone who has helped with baby stuff. We really appreciate it!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Birthday Week

It's K-pop hour on the music video channel here, which makes for surprisingly good blog writing background music.

Once the dust settled from the big news last Friday, we celebrated Bryn's birthday the very next day in Singapore. Her birthday cake was delicious, but there was just waaaay too much cake left on the platter afterwards. Bryn was nice enough to let me take care of that.

Later that day, we went to a Chinatown hawker center to check out the first Michelin starred food stall. At $3.00 a serving of chicken & rice, it's probably the cheapest Michelin starred meal out there, but the law of supply and demand got in our way. Basically the entire hawker center had turned into a big line for this one stall. Since we haven't yet met a meal in Singapore that we didn't like, we opted for a laksa stall instead. Just as cheap and just as delicious as we had bargained for but a considerably shorter wait time. 

Anyone who is lucky enough to fly through Singapore anytime soon, Changi airport has to be the best airport I've ever been to. Below is a shot of the BUTTERFLY GARDEN in terminal three. They also orchid gardens, a sunflower garden and several free movie theaters scattered throughout. Great place to spend a couple of hours waiting for a flight.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has pitched in on baby gear from the registry so far, we really appreciate it! We also appreciate any used baby stuff you might have laying around or stored in boxes. 

We have a room here set aside to be the nursery come February. For the next few months, it will have to serve as a guest room, but as of October, the adult bed is out and the crib is in. As things come in, we've been storing them in that room. Apologies in advance to any guests who stay with us over the next few months and are bombarded with baby stuff, but it's pretty darn cute. 

Happy Sunday everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2016

99.9% chance of GIRL!!

We're in Singapore for the 20 week check-up. Ostensibly, we're here to make sure the baby's healthy and learn the gender, but also, Singapore is a great place to celebrate the pregnancy half-way point and Bryn's birthday! 

So, 1) the baby is healthy and 2) the baby is almost definitely a girl! Last time we were here, for the 13 week check up, the doctor gave us an 80% confidence that our baby was a girl. Now he told us with 99.9% confidence- it's a GIRL! He showed us the labia, which I will not post on the blog out of respect for our daughter's decency. We've both been mentally expecting a girl, so it's nice to stay on track with that. I will have SO much to learn. I mean, I had a lot to learn regardless, but raising a little girl will give me an opportunity to tap into some new skill sets, for sure. 

Step one, don't post pictures of her labia online. Instead, here are some nice profile shots!

We've been curating a carefully selected registry. Our registry is a bit unconventional because we will make four international moves in the first nine months we have the hippo.  If you want to buy something for us, we would love it! We've made notes on a few items to have them sent directly to Vietnam. If you see this note, please send that item to the DPO address in Virginia - that's our Vietnam address. It's confusing. If there's no note about sending to Vietnam, then please send it to the default address which is in Austin. 

We know the temptation to buy pink stuff will be huge - unbearable even. But, I've been informed that step two of my raising-a-daughter learning process is to make sure we don't inundate her with frilly pink stuff. So, please, go easy on the pink. There's a whole rainbow of colors out there and we want to make sure she's familiar with all of them. And actually, pink isn't on the rainbow, so there. Primary colors are preferred. 

We have also prioritized some items as more important. To see those items, click "list actions," choose "sort" and choose "priority (high to low)." If you have any questions, please ask- we know it's confusing. And thank you for helping us out with baby gear! 

The Hippo

Once we got into the second trimester, we decided that we needed a name for the baby - gender neutral, preferably, in order to avoid making any premature distinctions. We settled on naming our baby "The Hippo". We chose the Hippo for a few reasons. First, Hungry Hungry Hippo just makes sense for a hungry pregnant woman. Second, the Saigon zoo just had a new baby hippo, so there's a definite link between babies and hippopotamuses. Third, since the due date is around Christmas, it fit so well with our favorite Christmas song: I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. That might be somewhat of a theme song this year!

Anyways, that's all to explain why this was one of the first baby gifts we received. A friend of ours here knitted it herself and we're pretty excited to have it. It even matches my Grandma's quilt, which will definitely feature in the new tyke's life.

I'll be using this blog to do updates on pregnancy, delivery and other baby-related news, so keep checking in. We're really excited to start this new adventure and feel very fortunate to have such a supportive group of people behind us along the way. We love you all!

Ben & Bryn