Thursday, April 26, 2012

The nursery

I realized that I never got pictures of the nursery put on the blog.

 Joy sleeps in the bassinet in the pack 'n play. She is starting to get a little big for the bassinet so after summer (if not earlier) she will be in the crib without it.

The guest bed also doubles as a nursing station late at night, early in the morning and for the first month,  the middle of the night. However, our little Joy is already sleeping from between 10:30/11pm to 6am. Then she will nurse and sleep some more in the morning. What a good little sleep we have!
 As Joy gets bigger the "things" on the end of the changing table will have to go (because they are easily kicked off) or we will just have to move the changing mat to the floor or the bed.

My mom is who made this whole project happen! She brought most of the fabric, cut, glued and positioned all the embroidery hoops on the wall while she was here. Thanks Mom!

Joy Basma

Picking her name was not easy. We wanted a first name that was short (since our last name is so LONG) and that a nickname wouldn't be used over her whole first name. The first and middle name had to "go" together, you know one couldn't be too long or too short, the syllables, the way they sounded together. 

We wanted a middle name that was Arabic and Brad had taught a Basma that was a very spunky delightful student. Basma means "smiling one in Arabic"  We wanted names that had meaning, something for our daughter to live up.
We just found out that the symbol for double happiness (see character above) in Chinese, used in weddings,  can also be translated double joy.  It is fun that we live in Hong Kong and that symbol is all over the place. At any time she can have jewelery and t-shirts with "Joy Joy" written on it.

In Arabic Joy is translated to "Farah" فرح  and means happiness and is the same word used for wedding, a time of great joy. 

In English Joy is "The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation"

It is true that Joy brings us much happiness and pleasure and she always will no matter what she has or hasn't done. As followers of Jesus we know that joy and happiness are not the same. The word joy appears 242 times in the Bible and the verses revolve around salvation, rejoicing in what God has done, a dynamic character trait. Happiness is fleeting and dependent much of the time on our circumstances.Biblical perspective on joy tells that it is similar to the word "blessed" and means "happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions."

Our prayer is that our daughter Joy finds satisfaction and happiness in God no matter her outward conditions or emotional state. That as she trusts in Jesus she will realize that he is the only source of hope, peace and joy.

Psalm 126:3 "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Joy Basma is living up to her name, especially now that she has started smiling.

....and she smiles

Monday, April 23, 2012


Sunday was a beautiful sunny day here in Hong Kong so we packed up the car and went to explore the Lavender Gardens located about 20 minutes from our house.  Other than the bugs attacking me (which is normal when I am outside in nature here in HK), it was a very fun morning.

 Don't you love how "Hong Kong" I have become using the umbrella for shade? It was just so hot and sunny and I didn't want Joy to get a sunburn and no one around me gave me one funny look :-)
 Brad feeding the goats

 Emily & Joy feeding the fish

Then for the first time in Joy's life, we left her with a babysitter and went on a date (well we left her for an hour when my mom was here when Joy was 2 weeks old). We had such a fun time at the movies and walking around the mall. However we really did miss Joy and were so happy to see her. It is strange to think about but that was the longest I have been away from Joy since she was born. The babysitter and her family loved hanging out with Joy and she was good, so all in all a success. 

What an AMAZING Sunday


Joy and I love the weekends because Brad is home! Joy surprised us by sleeping for 7 straight hours on Friday night...lets hope she keeps up this new trend.

Saturday Rudy had to go to the vet to get some shots, so Joy and I walked around the square looking at shops. I bought her two new onesies....for only $1.50 (USD), not bad.

Then the three of us went out for sushi (well Joy "ate" it indirectly) and then went to church in the evening. Our church threw us a baby shower (and another couple that also had a baby recently) and prayed over us and Joy. We have been so blessed by the community that God has given us here in Hong Kong.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A day in the life of Emily & Joy: Friday

Today is another REALLY stormy day so Joy and I decided to stay inside. Rudy hates the thunder so he needed some TLC and I really didn't want to get wet. So here is what our day in looked like:

7:30am fed and changed Joy

Nap 1: I showered, ate breakfast, did 2 loads of laundry, stuffed the cloth diapers, checked email

Fed Joy

Nap 2: make pumpkin bread (Brad's all time favorite), vacuumed the house (which freaked out our pup even more!), blogged

Joy is about to wake up so I should sign off. Yay for Friday, which means Brad is home all weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A day in the life of Emily & Joy: Thursday

Joy had a great night of sleeping and even took her morning nap, giving me a chance to tackle laundry and making a coconut custard pie.

Then Joy and I decided to go explore the surrounding area; Tai Po (mainly because it is close enough that we can get out but I can get home before Joy needs to eat). I strapped on the carrier and Joy took a nap while I braved the pouring rain.

I found a great basket for her toys but then we headed home because the rain was getting worse!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A day in the life of Emily & Joy: Wednesday

Last night Joy didn't sleep well and has refused to take any naps. All she has wanted to do today is nurse and be held. A couple times a week I usually send the morning chatting with my friend Kalina and my sisters. Today was a perfect morning to do just that.

Finally today at around 3pm I strapped on the Ergo carrier (after Joy screaming through my shower), shoved in the paci and she is finally asleep. Brad and I are going out to dinner tonight, since I needed a little outing.

I just heard this song on my cousin's wife's blog....and it is a good reminder of how much I do love being Joy's mother, even when I am tired and she is crabby.

A day in the life of Emily & Joy: Tuesday

On Tuesdays Joy and I go to a mom's play group near not to far from our house. It has been fun to connect with mom's. The ladies that organize it do a great job at arranging various events; guest speakers, prayer times, outings, recipe exchanges, chatting times.

Before Easter there was an Easter egg hunt and picnic that was very fun. Our last meeting was a chatting time and the thing that I learned...all babies are different and do things differently (even if they have the same parents) and they change very quickly :-) I can't figure out how anyone can write a baby or toddler book and say that there is one way to do something!
Can you spot me...hint I'm nursing Joy. It was a hilarious experience nursing her, while sitting on the grass, in a skirt and squirting milk every where... maybe that is more information than you wanted :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy 2nd Month Birthday

Today Joy is two months old, man the time has flown by. We love you Joy bean more everyday!

Who does she look like? We think that she looks like Brad from the nose down and me from the nose up....however the growing consensus is that she looks like a very pretty version of her daddy.

Eats: every 2.5 hours during the day (goes longer at night)

Sleeps:since the beginning of April has started sleeping in 4.5-6 hour stretches at night, eats and then will sleep another 3 hours.

Look at my chubby cheeks!

Weighs: 10.3 lbs (I have devised a way to weigh her using the sling and the suitcase scale)

Likes: to eat (and would do it all day if I let her), the bouncy seat,the car seat, the carrier, being snuggled but don't you dare try to do that while sitting.

Dislikes: sitting still while she is awake, the paci (although she is tolerating one of the 3 types we have tried)

Favorite event: Having daddy home for spring break

Joy has the hiccups

Here are two videos showing you just how much little Joy has grown in the past two months

Joy newborn

Joy 2 months old

Monday, April 9, 2012


Happy Easter! Brad was pretty sick on Easter so we stayed home. I made the traditional sick person food of homemade chicken noodle soup and then some cinnamon rolls to cheer us all up.

Joy ... Well she hung out with us, nursed and practiced her paci sucking. Next year we can try Easter egg decoration.

Even though she didn't understand what we were reading she did participate in our tradition of reading the Easter story during passion week and putting an object from the story in a "basket". Growing up we called it an Easter basket. It wasn't until I went to college that I found out most Americans get candy and gifts in their Easter basket.

Monday or "thoughts on poop and sleep"

Everyone said that once you have an infant your life revolves around poop and sleep....I didn't really believed those people. However,I believe them now.... our lives do revolve around poop and sleep.

It is the last day of Brad's Spring Break. It has been so amazing to have Brad around. We started using cloth diapers (see Joy modeling them in the pictures) over and Brad has been the one handling most things related to them. It has been an overall good experience, although I can get a little overwhelmed by poop at times (who would have thought). We are getting some biodegradable flushable liners from a friend in a couple days so hopefully that will help me cope better.

You can see her BCG scar on her arm. I am hoping it doesn't get too big!

So I waited a little too long to take some "newborn" pictures of Joy. I tell you for how organized I usually I am having a baby has definitely made me more scattered and forgetful. It could be the lack of sleep! Although this week Joy has slept between 4-5.5 hours in a row at night, so I am very happy. We just weighed her a couple days ago and she now weighs 10lbs.

Mom I hate this headband....can't you just leave me to sleep?

Ok that is better just place the flower on my head.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Only in Hong Kong

We went to buy a computer in Mong Kok during Spring break and the computer store had three very bored male employees. Joy has been a hit everywhere we go and this electronic store was no different. Joy has been a fun way to connect with people here in Hong Kong.

One of the young guys was particularly interested in Joy was giving me all kinds of advice and information on infants. He then took down one of the very fancy SLR cameras and wanted to take some pictures of Joy. Only in Hong Kong can you buy a computer and get "professional" baby pictures taken at the same time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our little sucker

Joy is finally getting the hang of the paci and her thumb... We will see which wins the competition. A few days ago I was trying to make her wait a few more minutes until her next feed and she was consoling herself by sucking my shoulder. Before I knew it she started sucking my neck and yes she gave me a hicky! Oh Joy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Little chubby

We are on spring break and having a great time being home as a family. We have had a few adventures which have been fun (pictures to come). Going out and about has become easier, Starbucks is a great place to nurse on our outings. We have also started using cloth diapers and we even used them while we were out. Surprisingly Brad has been so great with the cloth diapers (especially since he is the one in the family that doesn't like body fluids) and I have been a little grossed out (ok a lot grossed out) by the whole affair. They are working really well and with practice it is getting easier.

Joy is getting some very cute chubby cheeks (she loves to eat....the paci is becoming a little more interesting to her which makes me VERY happy).

She got a denim dress at her shower for 0-3 months and it has finally been warm enough for her to wear it. What a cutie!