Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sunday Brunch

It's time for a Halloween edition of Sunday Brunch. Many of these answers have to be hypothetical, since I'm living abroad. With these questions, I will start it with the phrase "If I were back home..." Man, I'm homesick!
1) What candy are you passing out on Halloween night if you are staying home? If I were back home, I'd hand out small assorted chocolate bars, ESPECIALLY the Reese's peanut butter cups. Don't tell anybody, but I eat many of them myself -- buy just a little too much so there's some for ME! :)
2) What was your best Halloween costume? It's been so long ago that I dressed up, I honestly can't remember! That's terrible!
3) Are you doing anything on the night of Halloween if you are not staying home to pass out treats, and if so, what are you doing? If I were back home, I'd stay home until our little baby (now a bun in the oven) is old enough to go trick-or-treating or to parties.
4) What is your favorite Halloween d├ęcor? (ie, witch, ghost, pumpkins) I love the many ways people get creative with jack-o-lanterns. You don't have to just carve faces in them any more! There are some real masterpieces out there. I remember I did an alien once.
5) Do you carve jack o’lanterns? If I were back home, I certainly would!

Facials today

Golf and I have had a nice and mellow weekend so far. No Halloween activities, it's all bar-related anyway in Thailand! We rented some movies and yesterday we watched Envy and Taking Lives. If I'd known that Taking Lives had Keifer Sutherland in it, I'd have rented it earlier! I did both yoga and my walk yesterday and it felt great.

On the way to lunch yesterday we walked by a beauty salon and I noticed it offered facials. I was wanting a facial and was considering going to my favorite place downtown over the weekend. Well, this place charges only half the price and does many of the things I like about the downtown salon. So BOTH of us are going to have a facial after lunch today. YIPPEE! :)

As I was thinking about it, I thought, I could do this throughout my pregnancy, since I can't have massages. But then reality hit: After the 3rd month, you aren't supposed to lie down on your back and that's exactly what you do for a facial. AWWW MAN! So I'm only going to have three weeks left -- perhaps I will get three more facials!

Tomorrow is the first day back at school. They gave me a completely different schedule with all my math classes and english classes lumped together into 100 minute chunks. No break in between. At first I protested -- twice a week for math, 100 minutes each instead of Mon-Thurs, 50 minutes each. But I thought later, that I don't know for sure it's not as good a method since I haven't actually tried it out. So I said I'd give it a shot for two weeks and if it doesn't work out, then they can change my schedule back. I hate it when they give me a new schedule AFTER I've done a course outline with the proper dates and lesson plans with the proper days and times. But hey, this ain't America. :)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Yesterday's outing and first day back at school

Yesterday went well, though some plans got sidetracked. We first went to see the same monk who predicted our auspicious wedding date. He gave a fortune to each of us, and it's good news all around with lots of good luck next year. The coming baby will bring the family luck and will grow up to be a good person, although he could not tell if it will be a boy or a girl. Golf doesn't believe in this 100%, but the monk was correct before in that I'd be pregnant this year (which he predicted during our engagement). Anyway, it was neat and I'm glad we did it.

We didn't go to Kao San Road because we weren't hungry, so we went to Siam Center instead and got to see Sky Captain. It was a good movie, very well done and an interesting story line. I love the 1940's style it was shot in. Turns out the movie Anna recommended, Saw, is playing here, but I don't know if I want to see it, it looks too scary!

Today's the first day back at work, and besides making a photocopy request, there's not much to do, so I'm reading BabyCenter posts and surfing around. I hope we have a meeting today to talk about the start of the school year and I hope the tailor shows up today. Golf's gonna meet me for lunch and I hope I don't have to stay until 4:30!


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Going to town

Well yesterday's mission to find a tailor was alright -- we found two. But they both charged more than double what we expected so we said no. I did notice that there were people at school and if Aeid was there (the coodinator for foreign teachers) I knew she could call in the tailor who did our uniforms because he charged reasonable rates. So we stopped in and asked her if she could have him come in Friday, when the rest of us report for duty. I hope it works out because although I do still fit my 'fat' pants just fine (no steady gaining, a plateau for now) I don't know how long it will last. I chose a simple dress pattern from a catalog online which I think willl look good as I get a preggo belly. Here is the dress, but I'm not having it quite as long. Mid calf instead and my fabric is a lightweight dark rayon, not knit.

Today Golf and I are going into the old part of town, near Kao San Road (Anna and Carolyn know where that is -- it's the backpacker ghetto!) because there is a monk at a temple where we went before we got married to ask for our auspicious day for our wedding. Well, Golf made an appointment with the same monk to basically say thank you and to tell him our news of our first child. Perhaps he'll make a prediction of the sex! This is certainly one of the 'cool parts' about being married to a man of a differnt culture. :)

After we visit the monk, then we plan to go to Kao San Road to eat shwermas for lunch (Golf's brilliant suggestion!). I may browse a few used books, but right now I'm reading another book I brought from the States that I've put off because it looks like heavy reading, but it's been fascinating! It's called The Discoverers and it's a history book about the major discoveries of mankind. I would like to read The Creators next, by the same author. So I may hold off on the used books....

We would also like to see the movie that opens today, Sky Capitan and the World of Tomorrow. I hope that the first day of it being open on a weekday afternoon won't be too busy.

I'll let you all know tomorrow how the monk visit and the quest for the movie went. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

2 more days

I've got only two more days left of my luxurious free time. I start work on Friday, preparing for classes beginning on Monday, November 1. In a way I'm glad to be starting work again because hanging out at home can start to become boring and I'm quite sedentary since there is nothing to do in our little apartment. I have been doing my yoga on a daily basis, though, and I'm already beginning to feel a difference in my stretches, so I feel a sense of accomplishment in that and I'd like to continue my practice after baby is born, maybe even join a yoga studio once a week when we return to the States. It feels so good! :)

So the other day, Golf and I went shopping for some in-between clothes, specifically dresses for work so that I could grow into them but not look silly wearing full-on maternity clothes. There was NOTHING, not surprisingly. So we went into a fabric store and I found two that I liked, and bought about 3 meters, which the lady there said should be enough for a dress. Then I went online to some catalogs and found a simple a-line style dress with a scoop neck and will print out the picture. Today we are going to go to a nearby tailor with the picture and the fabric and see if he or she can just make the dresses for me. It's not so expensive here in Thailand to have clothes tailor made for you, it's just a pain to find the right fabric and the tailor, and as far as communication, well, I have my dear and wonderful husband to help me out. Wish me luck! I'll let you know what happens and hopefully the dresses will be ready next week and I might have to squeeze into pants for work for the first few days.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pictures of Ko Samet are up!

My wonderful husband is on the ball. He's got up the photo gallery of our trip. Enjoy!

Back from our little holiday

Golf and I decided to return from Ko Samet on Saturday instead of Sunday because when we arrived to the island about about 4:30 Wednesday, I saw it had completely changed from when I was there in May 2003 and that's just a little over a year ago! Golf hadn't been there in 20 years, so for him it had changed 100%. This little island suddenly became another Pattaya, in other words, it's WAAAY overdeveloped, crowded, noisy and just plain ugly. We went further to another beach that was quieter and less developed, the same beach I stayed last time, and we got a bungalow for the equivalent of $10 per night. Unfortunately at night there is nothing to do but go drinking and watch movies they offer at the restaurants. Well, I can't drink, and we've seen just about all the movies they were showing so we turned in early.

Well, some teenagers across the woods and nearby street were fighting. The girl was shrieking like a banshee (or I should say like the women on the Thai soaps) and it was just because she was upset--she was not being stabbed or raped. Thais are SOOO different from westerners. This happened the next night too, and Golf even heard some others from another bungalow scream at her to shut the hell up (in Thai). I think by then the police got involved because the next night they were quiet. I still felt bad for the girl though, that something happened to her to cause her to be so upset. She should have just freakin' left the first day!

The following two days were spent lazing on the beach, under the umbrella, sunning my legs (got a little color on them) people watching, and reading our books. This is my last time to be at a Thai beach for many years to come because I don't want to come again later in my pregnancy. I already felt quite fat! Fortunately, our beach was pretty quiet, no jet skis and only occasional speed boats and the sand was a beautiful white. When Golf gets the photo gallery ready, I will post a link.

We left on Saturday morning, knowing it was a 3 day weekend -- I don't even know what holiday today is, but on that Saturday as we were leaving the island, literally thousands of Thais were arriving. Boatload after boatload. As we were having lunch and waiting for our bus to take us back to Bangkok, Golf heard them say on the loud speaker that all the accomodation on the popular side of the island (where we stayed) was booked and any remaining people coming would have to seek accomodation on the other side of the island. I haven't been to the other side of the island, so I don't know what options were left. Perhaps extremely expensive resort-style bungalows. Anyway, Ko Chang was much better, but we just didn't want to make an 8 hour bus journey. It was a decent last hurrah-before-baby getaway.

Oh, one last thing: I just updated my pregnancy journal. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch is all about parents (yay, I'm gonna be one, and I love my own!)
1) What do your parents do for a living? They are now both retired, but my dad used to work for the State Department of Agriculture and my mom for Caltrans.
2) How old were your parents when you were born? My mother was 26 and my father was 28 and still in college. Times have sure changed! I'm going to be 35 when my first is born.
3) What is the most important lesson that you learned from your parents? How to be responsible. The fact that we grew up on a farm with many responsibilities to keep it going greatly helped me as a child growing up and to this day has helped me.
4) What is the harshest discipline that you ever received from your parents? Probably some spankin's here and there when I was really bad. I still remember one time when my mother instructed me to go out into the orchard and pick out my switch she would use to whup my bottom. I tried to find the one that looked like it would hurt the least. It still hurt like crazy! (incidently, NONE of these spankings I have EVER considered as child abuse -- I've grown up just fine with no hangups or 'issues' whatsoever)
5) What is the thing that you are the most grateful to your parents for? Their loving encouragement and ability to forgive me for the many mistakes I made when I was young and green! I'm also grateful for their consistent encouragement to FINISH COLLEGE! (and I did, in 1996 I got my BA and my other sisters are college educated as well)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Off to Koh Samet today

I had a very long day yesterday getting my course outlines and lesson plans finished, but I did it! Now I have no more responsibilities left til I begin work on October 29. Golf's big job has been postponed until October 28th, so we now have some free time! We decided just to go to Koh Samet, which is about 2 or 3 hours bus ride from Bangkok. Easy to get to. And once we are there we can walk from the pier to the beach area - it's less than one km. I was just concerned about taking a bouncy songthaew. (pickup truck with side seats in the bed -- with unkept roads, it's very bouncy, not good for baby!)

We'll be gone from today and be back by Sunday, I think. Gives us about 4 days to laze about on the island. This time I will remember that even though I am sitting under a big shady umbrella I still need lots of sunscreen! I got a bad sunburn last time on Koh Samet!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Temple Detail


Details of this Quan Yin temple. So colorful! You can see the golden Quan Yin statue inside. Posted by Hello

Photos from yesterday (see post further down)


Me in front of a major Chinese temple in Chinatown on Sat. Oct. 16th. Notice my new pregnant-lady sandals I've gotten. Sensible, yet they're not Birkenstocks! Posted by Hello

Inside the Temple


Inside the temple looking out to the gate Posted by Hello

Yoga Mama


This is me doing my new prenatal yoga video called Yoga Mama. It's very good! Posted by Hello

A Day on the town

Yes, now that I get so sleepy by early nighttime, Golf and I go out during the day, never the night. :) Actually even before getting pregnant, I still got tired n sleepy by early night since I've always had to get up by 6 for work every day.

Anyway, the plan was to go to Chinatown for the vegetarian festival and have some lunch. Well we got there a little after 11 and it didn't start until 3 PM! Oh well. We did manage to find one place that served a chinese noodle soup and it was pretty good.

We then went to Siam Center to see a movie Golf's been wanting to check out: Resident Evil. It was entertaining. We went to one of the older movie theaters because the newer ones had long lines and sold out shows. We got right in -- the chairs aren't as nice, but the sound and picture quality is just as good as other theaters, so it's actually better.

After the movie we went browsing around Asia Books and I bought a new magazine. And by that time we were hungry, and I suggested Outback Steakhouse. Yes, there's an Outback here. We were craving a good hamburger, and although it's rather expensive here, we splurged and got a HELLA good burger! So much for eating vegetarian the whole time, but hey, when we're downtown, I like to eat western food, because all during the week, I eat Asian food from the market and it's also more economical.

Then we came home and it was about 6:00. I was pretty tired and after my shower we watched the special features of the DVD Paycheck (a better movie than I had assumed it would be) then I went to bed around 8:30 and read my new mag. I was asleep an hour later. Ah, first trimester fatigue! I don't have morning sickness, though. Just the congestion. I think I'm pretty darn lucky!

I'll see if I can get some photos up from out day out yesterday after Golf wakes up. We went to a very nice Chinese temple.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Thank GOD it's Friday!

It's kinda been a long week, but not too bad. I did some teaching this week to earn some extra money since Golf and I aren't going anywhere. If his job doesn't come through next week, we would like to spend a few days out on Ko Samet, an island a few hours drive southeast of Bangkok. I'm just glad it's overwith. These kids are at the age where they are unenthusiastic about doing much of anything. I'm not used to working with this age group -- I prefer the younger kids.

Tomorrow we're going to meet up in Chinatown with Golf's former boss, who is in Bangkok on business and we'll check out the vegetarian festival that's going on til Tuesday. It's supposed to be extra good in Chinatown, since it's a Chinese tradition. I'm going to try and eat vegetarian from now til Tuesday, since it's so widely available.

The rest of today I'm just going to read my book and do my yoga a little later this afternoon. I might also do some more school work since our course outlines are due by the 20th, especially if we end up going to Koh Samet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Hump Day!

My third day of extra teaching is done. Two more to go! I am SO glad I teach grade 3, I just teach better to a younger group of kids. I'm not used to the older set.

A former colleague of mine who has moved back to the US has a British woman friend still living here and married to a Thai man. They recently had their first baby girl and my friend sent me some online pictures of the family. The baby is SOOO adorable! I think Golf and I are going to have a very cute baby too.

Today starts the Chinese vegetarian festival and it lasts for 10 days. Golf and I plan to go to Chinatown this Friday after I finish work and spend the afternoon having some good vegetarian lunch. I think the more vegetarian we eat the better, it's just hard to find here in Thailand. I like to eat as much of the veg stuff during this festival as I can; the food they make is delicious! I wish it was made all year round.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Monday Madness

It's time again for Monday Madness!
Name 3 things....
1....your ideal salad has on it. a vinegarette salad dressing, real bacon bits, freshly ground pepper
2....you do religiously in the morning. have coffee (although now I'm pregnant, I don't like it), brush my teeth, go to the bathroom (sorry if TMI!)
3....you look forward to doing in your spare time. reading, seeing a movie, surfing the Internet
4....you've never done before, but think you will at some point in your life. see the Great Wall of China, swim with dolphins, attend my future child's play
5....you love to do while on vacation. learn something new about where I'm visiting, try new food, see something cultural
6....you took pictures of in the last month. my husband, a brand new baby, a fertility shrine
7....you have to do before the end of the day. go grocery shopping, make some salsa, get some exercise
8....you like about your best friend. compassionate, knowledgeable, her head is in reality

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Blessings to Anna and Jim

Today, (my time) is the day my sister is getting married and I feel so sick and sorry that I cannot be there. :( :(
I'm sorry Bootsy, that I cannot attend your wedding, but I surely hope that Golf and I can be there for your one year anniversary. I hope your wedding day is wonderful, filled with many happy memories to last you and Jim forever. Take lotsa pictures and enjoy your honeymoon too!

love,
Amy

Had first Dr. Appointment

Yesterday, I had my first prenatal appointment and it went real well, nothing is unusual, so that to me is good news. While having a light breakfast in the restaurant area before checking in, another foreign lady sat next to us with a newborn baby. I asked her if she had her baby here at Bumrungrad and yes she did. Was she happy with the hospital and her birth, yes, she was. That made me feel good. She went on to tell me more details about her experience and her doctor's name and how he advocated natural childbirth and breastfeeding. I was shocked to learn that 85% of Thai women have elective c-sections!!!!!

So we go in to our appointment. I got weighed and I haven't gained as much as I had thought, but my clothes are fitting tighter. Oh well, as long as I'm not packing on the pounds! Golf and I then went in and talked to Dr. Sumon. She asked the usual questions and gave my official due date: May 26, 2005! Time to change our due date info! She also told us she won't be here at the time of our baby's birth, so it would be best to change doctors now, to have the same doctor when we go through birth. She mentioned the same doctor that the foreign woman I had just spoken with did, and I asked for that doctor. So the rest of my appointments will be with him. My next appointment is scheduled for November 6th and at that time, we get to hear the baby's heartbeat! How exciting! I'll be about 11 weeks by then.

I got a blood test and urine test done. Then was prescribed vitamin B6 and folic acid instead of a prenatal vitamin, which I guess I will start taking at the beginning of the second trimester because prenatals during the first trimester make ya a little queasy.

After the appointment, I dragged Golf to SUBWAY for lunch. Yes, there is a new Subway Sandwiches shop here and I delighted in eating a decent sandwich for the first time since April. It was pure heaven! I've been craving NON Asian food for weeks now, and yesterday I ate all non-Asian for every meal. MMMMmmmmm!

Golf's friend from SF, Paul, is back in Thailand for the next 6 months. He's working in Chonburi, a city not too far from BKK and he was staying in BKK for the weekend so we hooked up with him at his hotel after we finished lunch. He's dating a new girl, and we got to meet her and hang out for a few hours, just chatting and having a coffee (I had lemonade instead!). Then we went grocery shopping and I got some good ole MEXICAN food for the next few days and I was a happy camper. It was a good day.



Friday, October 08, 2004

Feeling better

I've been feeling better since yesterday morning and I was able to put in a day's work and get ready for my extra week of teaching. I also talked to my mother for a good 45 minutes on the phone before I left for work and it made me feel so happy! She and Dad both would like to come to Thailand for the baby's birth and Golf and I are both so thrilled!

Today is Golf's father's one year anniversary of his passing away. Today his family honored him the same way we honored his mother, with food, candles, incense, drink, and offerings of paper money, shoes, clothes, jewelry, etc. that was burned. It's a very nice gesture and we certainly plan to continue this tradition in our family once we return to the States.

Tomorrow is our first prenatal appointment! Golf and I are both very excited about it, and today he called his niece, who recently gave birth at the same hospital, to ask about the cost of prenatal visits. Basically the doctor's visit, including the prenatal vitamins and anything else prescribed, should come to the equivalent of $36!!!! (1,500 Thai baht) This is not at an upcountry government hospital, folks. This is an international private hospital that has state of the art medical care! I'm very relieved to be having my baby here at this hospital. I will post again tomorrow when we return to tell you about the doctor's visit and what the bill really was.

On a final note: I've been having some vivid 'pregnancy dreams'. Last night I dreamed in great detail about making some good Mexican food. I really miss Mexican food. I dreamed of going to a small Mexican grocery and buying two very good avacados, some handmade corn tortilllas to bake in the oven for low fat tortillia chips, making fresh guacamole and salsa fresca, and eating a tamale and bean burrito. Oh god it sounded so delicious! I've been craving 'farang' food (good ole American food) for about a week or two now. I think it's just as much the wish to keep that which is familiar and comforting around me as it is an actual food craving.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Still feeling terrible

This is the first time in years that I've had any sickness last for more than one day. My fever finally broke this morning, and I feel weak and achy. Last night Golf called the emergency number to the hospital to ask about me taking more Tylonol for my fever. My symptoms always get worse at night, and it was the third night of a fever and I had already taken a cool shower and had a cool washcloth compress. I had taken a Tylonol 13 hour previous and before that 12 hours, so it's not like I was popping pills left and right. The nurse said it was alright to take another Tylonol, but if my sickness lasted until Friday, to come in early. My scheduled doctor's appointment isn't til Saturday, and that was for general prenatal care. But today I think I'm on the road to recovery, my mild fever broke and I was all sweaty for about 15 minutes. So that's good news that I'm doing better. My What to Expect book says that pregnant women are more suseptible to colds and flu because the immune system is lowered, all the antibodies are working to keep the fetus safe. I guess so, because I never get sick! My husband's been taking such good care of me too. Last night he washed me down with the cool washcloth in bed. I'm so lucky to have such a caring husband!

It's neat watching the news about Mt. St. Helen's. I was living in Washington with my family (only about 10 years old) when it first erupted in 1980 and we lived in the fallout zone and got alot of ash. I still have a jar of it at home. Who would have thought that it was NOT a once in a lifetime event?!? :)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Monday Madness

Since in this part of the world, we are in the midst of changing seasons, I was inspired to ask the following....... (note -- even though I'm in Thailand, I can still reminisce!)
Using the letters in the word 'AUTUMN' describe your favorite season
A -- Apple cider, non filtered, delicious and muddy brown and very fizzy!
U -- Umbrellas for the occasional rain
T -- Trees for their turning leaves
U -- Burnt Umber, a color often seen in fall
M -- meals of comfort, baked cassaroles, squash, pumpkin soup, roasted meats on a Sunday
N -- nutmeg, a spice used in many fall and winter foods
All right. I'm sufficiently homesick now!!!

Feeling yucky

No, believe it or not, it's not morning sickness, although I've been getting slightly queasy lately, but I got a cold last night. Sore throat, sinus pressure, coughing. And I can't take any medicine for it either! So I'm just gonna take it easy, read a book on my bed and see some movies this afternoon. Finally my turn. Golf's gone through two sicknesses with me, and I haven't been sick yet. Blah.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch is up!
"A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!"-William Shakespeare
1) Have you ever ridden a horse? Yes, I used to have several when I was a little girl living in the country. I used to be in a 4-H club and would show them. That seems like a lifetime ago, but it was really every little girl's dream!
2) What is your favorite horse story or movie? Probably The Black Stallion.
3) If you had the means, would you own a horse? I still cannot decide on that one. It's a question I still ponder, but I do believe I am more of a city girl than a cowgirl.
4) Do you think it would be neat if we went back to everyone traveling by horse and buggy or just an inconvenience? It would be neat but it would also be an inconvenience, obviously in this age of telecommunications and air travel. Even air travel is becoming too inconvenient as we look for new ways of travelling faster. The upside of returning to horse and buggy days is far less air pollution.
5) Have you ever ridden in a hansom cab? No. I don't know what that is, but my guess is -- is it the buggys you see them driving around Central Park in NYC?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Playing around with new photo feature

Just discovered I could now post pictures on my blog for free, so this is my first time trying it out. I decided to post the photos from the fertility shrine we went to last weekend. I like this idea very much and I hope I can upload all kinds of photos and share with you now! I've also updated my pregnancy journal if you'd like to take a look. No biggie, but in case you are interested....


Goddess Tuptim fertility shrine in Bangkok Posted by Hello

Our offerings of thanks to the goddess (the food on the right near the lamp) Posted by Hello

Able to post photos now!


The happy mommy-to-be at 5 weeks. :) Posted by Hello

The happy dad-to-be (notice the 'fertility phaluses' behind him) Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

Half day today

Today is the last day of work before our holiday during October. I think I should be able to go home at about noon today. Won't my husband be surprised that we can have lunch together!
Just listened to the Presidental debate on the internet radio, now I'm listening to my favorite talk show host on KGO San Francisco. I love it that I can listen in!

Tomorrow I will be 6 weeks pregnant. I'm now wearing my 'fat' pants, the pants I brought over with me from the States when I first moved back to Thailand. They are size 12s and I had since lost a pant size so they had been sitting in my closet for about a year. Glad I didn't toss them out! So far they are still nice and loose on me, but it's still a little depressing. I will beg my sister or mother to do some maternity shopping for me. My colleague who had a baby in Bangkok a few years ago told me that it was something she greatly regretted when she refused friends and family help to send her maternity wear from Australia. There is just nothing in this country that looks nice at a reasonable price that would fit properly!