Monday, April 28, 2008

happy asian birthday to me

Michael got me the COOLEST present for my birthday, so I had to take a picture. These are my cool new earrings from Tradewind Treasures

They are made with porcelain shards that have been found in shipwrecks throughout the South China Sea. The certificate they come with boasts they are sourced from a company that is "working closely with the Malaysian Department of Museums & Antiquities to map, research and excavate shipwreck sites in Malaysian waters." These particular ones were made from 17th Century Ming porcelain recovered from the Wanli Shipwrick circa 1625. Does he know how to spoil a girl, or what?
Oh, he also took me to get my feet eaten by fish. Seriously. It was awesome. And freaky. But mostly awesome.

Friday, April 25, 2008

speaking of flour...

My last post about the flour-debacle with John the other night reminded me of a traumatic experience I had here, strangely enough, also involving flour. And bugs. You see where I'm going with this? My wonderful friend Anne introduced me to a great store called Bake With Yen, a wholesale baking store here that sells bakeware as well as baking products (5 pounds of hazelnuts, a bucket of shortening, etc.) and we frequent it when in need of cheese or breadcrumbs or whatever. So a few months ago I bought several bags of flour in a brand I can't remember but I'm sure it has something to do with Anchor-something-or-other because there is a large anchor on the front. Right.

Anyway, I was making cookies one night and innocuously opened a new bag of flour, dumping it into the plastic container where I store the flour. I casually dipped my plastic yellow 1-cup measurer into said flour and unceremoniously dumped it into the cookie mix. Without warning, a torpedo-sized insect LEAPT up out of the flour I HAD JUST DUMPED INTO MY BOWL and streaked across the room in an attempt to sever my head from my body. OK, not really, it was just a moth and it flew the other direction and landed terrified on the wall, but try telling that to Michael who was convinced from my scream that I was being attacked by an axe. He was not amused, by the way. Still, a moth. A LIVE moth sitting in a plastic bag of flour for who knows how long on a store shelf, waiting for me to buy it and bring it home so it could wreak its revenge on mankind. John thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, helping immensely by jumping around like popcorn, shouting "BUG! BUG! BUG!" until Michael trapped it in a cup and dumped it out the window.

SO...a word to the wise. If you find yourself living in Southeast Asia anytime soon, NEVER under ANY circumstances should you buy flour that has an anchor on the front! Unless of course they decide to change their logo, in which case I cannot help you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

baking lessons

Lately John wants to see what we're doing when we make food in the kitchen. Even if I'm just getting him a bowl of cereal, he'll get all excited and say "see!" while he drags in a chair from the table so he can be at eye-level with the counter. So this also means he wants to help a lot, opening things, dumping items into the bowl, etc. Anyway, he wanted to "help" me make cookies last night, so I would measure out the sugar and let him dump it from the cup into the bowl, stuff like that. Well, at one point I was transferring brown sugar from its package into a storage container and I blew some sugar off the lid, so of course he had to copy me and started blowing on everything.

After a few steps it was time to add the dry ingredients, so I let him dump the flour into a separate bowl and turned to get the baking powder when I heard him sharply blow and start coughing. I turned around to see my counter dusted with droplets of flour and my son wearing a fine film of white flour-dust from ear to ear. I started to scold him but the sight of him blinking at me under a layer of flour and smacking his lips to get rid of the grit in his mouth made me giggle so I just couldn't be mad. Unfortunately I was too scrambled, trying to deal with a slightly explosive mess, rocking Emily with my foot while she screamed in her car seat, and attempting to wipe down a wiggly, flour-covered boy, to think about grabbing a picture. Trust me, it was priceless.


Emily has become much more interactive as she enters her third month, cooing more and smiling at us a lot. Of course, none of this have we been able to capture on camera or video, since she suddenly decides to do her imitation of a wooden puppet whenever we pull one of these strange recording instruments out... is she afraid it will steal her soul? Anyway, if you want to know what it looks like when she smiles, just imagine the Stay-Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters... before he gets all grumpy and bursts into flame, i mean.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ode to art

There is an art gallery here that we like to visit. It's fairly intimate and set at the furthest corner of a mall where not many people go, which makes it nice and quiet, always a bonus for an art gallery. There's another one, same company, at the hotel we stay at when we go to Singapore. (HERE is the link) Anyway, we found an exhibit recently that we liked, so I thought I'd post some pictures. It's not really Asian art, which is what we usually like to see, but I thought these paintings were really cool and would make for a fun kids room, if they didn't cost several thousand dollars. The artist is Coplu (his website is HERE) We tried to find prints as well, but they're also rather expensive, so that may have to go on the back burner for a while.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Also, I've been tagged...

I got tagged a few weeks ago by my cousin Heather, so I'm finally getting round to it.

1. mom
2. posse (technically more than one person, but who's counting?)
3. anne
4. bookbrowse

1. the great barrier reef
2. hong kong
3. disneyland (haven't been in a few years and it's calling to me)
4. bali

1. suzy's
2. the okonomayaki place (don't know what it's called)
3. michelangelo's (mom & dad have spoiled me SO bad... granted i've only been there once...)
4. that sushi place on 3rd so./2nd west, or something like that... i can never remember the name of it

1. deciding where we're going to live
2. possibly visiting utah (if we don't come home to stay) and seeing my clothes again!
3. having john out of diapers
4. emily rolling over, crawling, eating solids, etc. the first year is so full of cool events!

1. potty-training john
2. packing & moving (either back to the states or to a new apt. here)
3. several of my friends turning 30... that means i'm not far behind...
4. missing out on the snow family vacation to cali. dang it.

OK, so there's my fulfillment of Heather's tag. I guess I'm supposed to tag someone else??? (Never done this before... by the way, thanks Heather for my first tag!) So I now tag Lisa, Laural, Stacy and Brookie to post the same list on their blogs.
Have fun!

Lots of Stuff

Wow, I love this girl.
So I've been negligent in my posting this last month. We had a great, busy time and are still trying to recover. Emily turned 2 months and doubled her birth weight, John got a haircut, we all went to the beach & to Singapore, we had friends from the States come stay with us... there were over 100 pictures in my camera from last month, so I'm just going to do a brief review of the big things. I'll post the web album later with the whole caboodle if you feel so inclined to look at such a ridiculous number of our pics.

The many faces of Emily... she is definitely a growing girl.

John stuck his Shrek doll on Emily's changing pad and said "Shrek wet"... now if we could only get him to tell us when HE'S wet. Sigh... potty training will be harder than we thought.

Michael finally convinces me to let him buzz John's head. John looks great and he is SO much cooler. The clippers scare the bejeebies out of him, but we can usually sufficiently bribe him to sit still until it's over.

Moses parting the sea :) She slept like that for about 10 minutes one day.

Why is it we think our kids look SO much older when they're wearing pants? Probably because they never wear them... it's too darn hot.

Goodness, where did this child's neck go??? Cute chubber-head. This was on Emily's blessing day. Tracy Friend gave me a set of baby pearls on a necklace that we put on her for this special occasion. It almost disappeared in the folds of her neck.

John learning his alphabet... with goggles on. Of course.

We make another trip to Singapore... we love coming here for a breather because it's so clean and efficient, things often sorely lacking in Malaysia. This landmark statue is right at the waterfront.

We go to a Pakistani BBQ with our friends.

Good food, good conversation. Good times.

A rare pic of just us 2 lovebirds.

A family photo!

Just sittin' here... lookin' cute.

I caught her mid-sneeze :)

We spent an amazing week in this beautiful paradise... Redang Island off the northeastern coast of Malaysia. Michael perfectly summed up our first visit to the beach: It's like walking on powdered sugar. And everything was that perfect. Crystal blue pristine waters, soft sand, beautiful weather, abundant sea life, relaxed atmosphere... everything you want out of vacation. The 7 hour bus ride there & back is a different story (as is the ridiculously rocky boat ride out to the island... thankfully only one of us threw up) but looking back it was well worth the effort to get there. If we could manage it we'd love to take another trip to Redang.

Matching outfits. It was too cute, I couldn't resist. Besides, I have to do this now before John's old enough to know better & protest.

John & Zach, 2 peas in a pod.

Michael & I finish our SCUBA certification!!! We were so excited to go and had an awesome time diving. An ENORMOUS thanks goes out to our friends who watched our kids so we could do this together. You guys are all awesome, we can't even thank you enough. We also can't wait to go diving again, it was amazing!

The boys chillin' at lunch. One of the rare moments John actually ate something... poor kid was sick all week. Not sure what it is about this boy and vacation that they don't agree with each other, but he always seems to get sick right before we go to the beach.

The GORGEOUS view from our resort.

Changing diapers... she HATES being wet & will calm right down when I put her on the changing mat.

My mission comp. Amy & her husband come to visit Malaysia! Eating at Suzy's, one of our favorite places.

We FINALLY went up the Petronas Towers while Amy & Jimmy were here and got them to take a family pic of all of us (even though all you can see of Emily are her legs). It was fun to see the city from a bird's eye view!

This is the first time we've ever strapped Emily in her car seat to take her anywhere. She looked so huge to us we had to take a picture.

Man, I love close-ups of this girl's face. She is indescribably beautiful to me.

Oh, and I got a haircut! Michael's never seen me with short hair (except in old pictures) but he seems to like it. I'm still adjusting, but MAN it feels good to have short hair in this heat.
Phew! That seemed like a busy month. We have a nice lull for a few weeks and then we'll be ready to have Michael's family come visit us in May! Anyone is welcome to hop on a plane and drop in on us any time... we have an air mattress waiting for you. :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

an observation

Having a 2-year old means that when someone tells you that they're pregnant, instead of telling them congratulations, you just start laughing.

anyway... coming soon, a trip to the beach, a haircut, and some good friends.