Thursday, September 13, 2012


Funny, annoying, or perhaps a bit of both (funnoying):

  • When people tell me that their children are so close in age that it was ALMOST like having twins.
  • Being asked (already!!!!) if we'll have more kids after Owen & Emma. Hmmm... how  about we focus on the arrival of these two first.
  • Getting my belly touched and rubbed by total strangers.
  • People passing me, glancing as they go by and seeing that I'm pregnant, continuing to walk and then doing the double take-look over their shoulder-I can't believe she's so huge stare (sometimes while mouthing, "WOW!" Okay, the mouthing of "wow" only happened once, but still, it was worth mentioning, right?)
  • People pointing at me and doing the universal pregnant sign of a semi-circle swoop with their hand... yes, I know I'm pregnant, thank you for pointing out the obvious as I waddle in your direction.
  • Talking about vaginas and boobs with curious people (Will you be able to deliver vaginally? Will you breastfeed?) Uhm... do I even know you?
  • The things that come from other mom's mouths when they're telling me some of their stories/experiences. And I thought the things their kids said was funny...
  • My Thai helper telling me not to drink coconut water because Thai people believe that it will make the baby come early. Then literally, the next day, my landlady (who is also Thai) telling me that I should drink coconut water water because it is healthy for the baby and helps get rid of the waxy layer that surrounds the baby. 
  • It's always funny to me how people react to my size when they don't realize that I'm expecting twins...
    • At my last check-up at 33 weeks, 3 hospital workers must have thought I was going to explode; they each wanted me to use a wheelchair. (I don't always reject wheelchairs, but try to walk as much as possible when I can, so that I at least get a little exercise.)
    • The nurse working with my doctor during a check-up was worried and exclaiming (in Thai whispers) to my doctor how LARGE I was. When he told her that I was expecting "two people," her entire attitude and demeanor towards me changed (and the Thai whispering also disappeared).
  • And my all time favorite: when you apparently slip through the cracks at the hospital, and the "at risk" nurse calls you when you're 33 weeks pregnant and the babies could be born really any day, and tells you to a) eat a lot of protein b) not eat a lot of sugar and c) lay on your right side when you sleep (doesn't every pregnancy book say the left!?) Uhm... thanks, lady?! Maybe you should have tried calling and giving me advice 23 weeks ago when I wasn't about to go into labor any minute, but I'm glad you could check me off your to-do list.

Thai people are very sweet and really accommodate to pregnant women. Some things that my building guards & building cleaners do for me now (that are neither funny or annoying but just kind...):
  • Hold my hand down the 4 stairs at the front of our building since there is no railing
  • Ask each time now if I need them to call a taxi for me
  • Ask me if I'm in pain
  • Open and close car doors for me when a friend or a taxi pick me up/drop me off
  • Bring any groceries/bags I might have directly to my apartment
  • Open the building door for me before I can even think to pull out my key card
  • Tell me how lucky I am that I have twins & on top of that a boy and a girl
  • Explain to others that I am having twins so that they don't silently judge how large I am. Okay, it's probably not because they don't want them to judge me... I think they are legitimately excited that there are going to be twins in our building, so they tell other people, other guards, visitors, etc. It's cute. I can't wait to see how they react to O & E when they finally arrive. I'm sure they'll get loved on immensely. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Giving in...

Okay, I give in. Some of you people are persistent!

We're at 33 weeks now, so the end is in sight!!! :) I have two 4 pound babies in that belly of mine! Praising God for their health, their growth, and for how He has continued to give strength!


Remember THIS post? Well, I've been busy working on finishing/making more quiet book pages.

Flower page: button the flowers on and off

Dinosaur page: sensory play with different textured ribbons from the volcano. Learn to zip and unzip the zipper on the dinosaur.

Unzip the dinosaur for a surprise... 2 dinosaur eggs!!!

 Crack open the eggs to find two cute baby dinosaurs!

 Viola! :) Adorable, right? Sometimes I laugh at how funny they are.

Other pages still in progress:
-Felt dolls (see last post)
-A cookie page with snaps, buttons, and a fun spatula.

Ideas in the making:
-A barnyard with chickens, cows and sheep
-Mr. Potato Head
-Fishing page

The ideas are endless... however, my time is quickly running out! :) (Hooray!!!)

What's in a name?

People often ask us what the names Owen and Emma mean, if they are family names, or just how we picked the names in general.

I don't mean to be funny or mean sounding, but honestly, we picked the names because they are names that we liked that former students had not ruined for us. It was hard with both of us having taught for 8 years, to come to a decision. There were names that we liked, but had had naughty students with that name in the past. :) I'm sure all you fellow teachers understand! Then there was the problem of one person liking a name, but the other person thinking it was just "meh."

People are usually not surprised that Mike comes from Michael, but most people have no clue that Karly comes from my given name Karlene. The only times we use Michael or Karlene though are to sign checks or a receipt for a credit card. So we didn't want names that could really be shortened, which meant having shorter names, but not too short because we already have a one syllable last name!

We picked out 4 names; two boys and two girls names because at the time we hadn't had the ultrasound that revealed their sex! We definitely had our favorite boy and girl name though, so when we found out that we were having a boy and a girl we were elated because we didn't have to choose who got the "secondary" name.  It wasn't until we found out that we were blessed with a boy and a girl that we looked up the actual meanings of our preferred names:

Emma: all containing, universal, whole
Owen: well born, well bred, young warrior

*Despite there already being two Emily's in the the Aust family, we went ahead with the name Emma because we love the name and because neither Emily goes by Emma. :)

The middle names we picked had more significance to us than just simply liking them. Owen will be Owen Michael, after Mike of course. Emma's middle name perhaps requires a little more explanation. Emma will be Emma Caroline. I do love the name Caroline, but it is honor of my dear friend Carolyn. Carolyn and her husband Grant have become dear friends to us here in Bangkok. They have walked with us through many highs and lows these past 2 years, and have been faithful friends. We have journeyed through a lot together, traveled together, cried together, laughed together, and just simply lived life alongside each other. So albeit not being EXACTLY the same name, Caroline is a reminder to me of my sweet friend Carolyn.

Carolyn & Karly

Caroline: beautiful woman, joyous pretty song
Michael: who is like God

We can't wait to meet you, Emma Caroline and Owen Michael! You are already so dearly loved! :)

Attitude & Heart's Posture

I had a friend recently tell me that I am probably one of the most gracious pregnant women she's known because I don't complain. What a sweet compliment; please let me dive into that a little deeper today....

I've learned a lot of things during pregnancy, such as, your body is no longer your own, suddenly you're talking about everything in weeks, your belly apparently wears a "public property, please touch me" sign, you have zero ab muscles to get out of bed in the morning, etc. However, one of the main things that I have learned is that pregnant women tend to commiserate over all the woes of pregnancy.

And I've learned that I am NOT one of those women that like to commiserate... period.

I don't mean to say that I'm not sympathetic towards others that are expecting, but often times, I think people simply COMPLAIN... about EVERYTHING. While there is a fine line between a simple statement to a whiny complaint, those whiny complaints are too much for me... especially when you hear nothing else but complaints come out of that person's mouth. Honestly, I just try to avoid those people because they are not enjoyable to be around!

Now, I must say that I have been beyond blessed. I had minimal morning sickness, which made teaching much easier than expected. I haven't had any leg cramps, major aches or pains, or been on bed rest. I don't have a toddler to chase after, I have a helper that comes to assist in the daily tasks of cooking and cleaning, and I have a supportive community of friends that visit or get me out of the apartment. I am blessed. But despite having these things and experiencing what I would probably consider an "easier" pregnancy, despite expecting twins, I really think it all comes down to my attitude and heart's posture.

I CHOOSE to be joyful despite any woes I may have.  I CHOOSE to thank God during the difficult and frustrating times. I CHOOSE to remember that children are a gift... and I get TWO sweet little ones!!! I CHOOSE to remember how many family and friends that Mike and I pray for each morning that want children so badly but instead have walked a difficult journey. I CHOOSE to be grateful. I CHOOSE to remember that 9 months is such a short period of time.

So when I hear the complaints, I sometimes just want to say, "Buck up, strap on your big girl pants, make a different choice, and change your heart's posture!"

I've been re-reading a book called, "Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother" by Carolyn Mahaney. Yesterday, I read the chapter titled, "The Blessings of Loving my Children." Here are a few gold nugget quotes that I took from that chapter that I think really apply to not only having children, but expecting children too.

"Although many mothers are commited to caring sacrificially for their children, they sometimes neglect to enjoy them" p. 51

"We are to delight in our children." p. 51

"...we have a choice. We can either resent the challenges and demands that accompany motherhood and persist in our selfishness, or we can draw from God's grace and receive His help to cheerfully lay down our lives for our children." p. 53

" we set aside our own selfish desires and glorify God by joyfully serving our children, we are pursuing true greatness according to the Bible. Let us do so with tenderness, affection, and with a smile!" p. 53

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them" Psalms 127:3-5

So does that mean I NEVER complain? No. There are days/moments that are harder than others, but when I find myself in the middle of what could be a complaint instead of a statement, I choose to counteract it with joy...

It's not the most comfortable thing when Emma has her feet in her ribs and Owen kicks me in the pelvis or sinks so low that I can hardly walk... BUT I'm so grateful that they are growing and moving (and I CAN walk because I haven't been put on bed rest!) My fingers are swollen like sausages, arthritic feeling, and I have lost feeling in 7 of 10 of them, BUT I have a husband who massages them each morning so that I can better use them. I wake up about 10X a night to either use the bathroom or eat protein, BUT I know that it's preparing me for those late night/early morning feedings. I'm tired of eating protein and chewing all the time, BUT I have two 4 pound babies to brag about because I have been eating so well. I can't bend over very easily, so tasks like putting on underwear, a skirt, pants, picking up something I dropped on the floor are challenging and take me a really long time to do, BUT I can still do those tasks (and have a husband that helps me).

So what's your attitude and heart's posture when you walk through more difficult times? Are you choosing joy, or do you need to make some changes? Do people notice your joy and gratefulness or your complaints?