Wednesday, December 31, 2008

christmas 2008

We have WAY too many pictures of present-opening on Christmas Day, but the big pile-o-pictures should give you and idea of the carnage and mayhem that filled our morning. (If you click on the collage you should be able to see the pictures enlarged. Just don't look too closely at my manky, pre-shower morning hair.)

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The little picture on the top right shows my favorite present for Emily...a GIANT stuffed pig. I think I will use it more than she will. It's a great cuddle pillow.

Then we have obligatory Christmas Day pictures of the kids...John being NOT excited to have his picture taken.

And Emily being excited about EVERYTHING because she was eating at the time. Seriously, this girl can EAT. People are in awe at how much she can pack away and still be begging for more. She's also quite adventurous. She eats curries, pandan sweets (a floral-type flavoring for foods), Chinese dream it up and she'll stick it in her mouth. Oh, unless it's banana. What kind of kid doesn't like banana? My kid.

Ah, here's a more cooperative picture of John. These are his new Sunday duds from G&G Weist. He was SO excited to wear this and didn't want to wait until Sunday. Finally it came and he said "can I wear my tie????" I can't imagine we'll be hearing that phrase for too many more years.

Michael took this picture of me and made me promise to post it. If you look closely you can see the perfectly circular hickey smack-dab on the middle of my forehead. Let's just say I learned why you should never let your children play with suction cups on your face. By the way, that lasted for about 6 days. Nice.

My chronology is off here because this is actually a picture of our Christmas EVE dinner. We really like having the awesome variety of ethnic foods around and have decided the best way to make memories is go out for something fun when we celebrate holidays. It felt a little bit like "A Christmas Story" when they go out for Chinese food. Except that it's Indian food, served on banana leaves and we get to eat everything with our hands. This is our favorite thing to do with visitors when they come. You get a wide variety of tastes because there are 5 or 6 little dishes to eat with your rice. Our favorite one is some sort of pumpkin/squash creation. I think Emily ate all of mine. Guess I need to learn how to make it.
We also had naan, roti canai & tandoor chicken. mmmm.....i'm drooling just thinking about it.

I took one of Michael with the kids at Christmas Eve dinner, but it turned out I'll post this one instead and you can see what a handsome man my husband is at the end of 2-0-0-8.

John showing off another new shirt. Oh, and the guns he got. Two guesses who bought him THOSE...and if it takes you more than one guess...

This chair was technically for John (to put in his room) but they both love it so much it has ended up being sort of common property. Emily will scream at you if you try to take her out of it.

awwww...look at me! i'm almost one!!!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

stolen moment of christmas joy

If you know me at all, you will know that after I saw this cartoon on A Novel Idea I was still giggling about it 10 minutes later. Michael married a dork, what can I say...

(Dang, I just re-read it after posting and cannot stop chuckling about it. I think it says something about people, the things they find humorous...what does this say about me? Am I reliving tormented memories of grammar classes in college? Probably. Am I embarrassed about it? A little. Will I print it off and stick on it my fridge this month? I'm pleading the 5th.)

Monday, December 15, 2008


I was thinking today of the things that bring me great joy in motherhood. Surprising things. Things that I had never given a moment's thought to, or considered would ever make me so blissfully happy. Here is one such example.

I never even imagined that watching my kids play together, make each other laugh, feed each other or generally have a good time together would make me so full of joy that it would literally take my breath away. I guess life's funny that way.

Also, it makes me die a little every time I see this face.

And this one.

(hilary, those are for you.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Seremban Wet Market

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the local scene out here in the countryside of Malaysia. There is an awesome wet market in the middle of the city that is located inside a giant industrial-looking building that has been gutted to make room for dozens of vendors. A wet market basically means that they sell food there...produce, meats, spices, well as textiles, flowers, and pretty much anything you can think of. My good friend Anne took me to this market for the first time to show me all of her favorite stalls. This is the lady who sold me a flat of eggs (I think there were 30...we used them surprisingly quickly and I keep wondering why you can only buy them in packs of 12 in the States?)

Here is a nice man cutting up my chicken. I have to admit I was a little squeamish to buy my chicken like this...I want my poultry completely unrecognizable and sealed in sterile, cellophane-wrapped trays with as little mess, bone, skin or other gook as possible. Yeah, I'm a weenie. So it was a new experience to watch vendors on either side of me with live chickens, just waiting for a lull in sales so they could pull one out of a crate and start hacking away.

I said he was a nice man because he actually DE-BONED my chicken for me!!! Isn't that nice. I will go back there again. And he double-bagged my chicken so the gooky one was inside a nice clean one. He also gave me the bones he cut out so I could make soup or something. He was very nice. It doesn't change the fact that I want to yell "unsanitary!!!" every time I walk in here.

And here is the nice lady that actually owns the chicken stall. (Until I learn these people's names, everyone will be nice lady and nice man because that is what I tell John..."that nice lady is going to give us some chicken"...or "that nice man took the bones out becuase mommy hates doing the busy work" that). She really is nice but I wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley. She wielded that cleaver like it was a toy and she was hacking those whole chickens into tiny pieces like they were toothpicks.

Upstairs at one end of the wet market is a plethora of food stalls jammed next to each other like sardines. We had some beef noodle soup from one stall and I got a sugar cane drink from another. The picture shows the drink stall with the sugar cane leaning up against the side. I think the 3 tanks of gas (at the bottom) were for the beef noodle place next door. It is cramped, messy, a little smelly and totally busy...I can't wait to go back, it was so much fun!

Monday, December 01, 2008


This year has been exceptionally drier than last year. Last year it predictably rained every afternoon. EVERY afternoon. I would find myself itching for the warm rays, the sunny, blue skies in the morning, anticipating John waking up from his nap so we could go to the pool (you can't swim in the morning unless you're a have to wait until the sun has warmed up the water) and invevitably by the time he arose the skies would be black and there would be a torrential downpour usually lasting the next several hours. I like rain as much as the next gal but when you are stuck in a small apartment day in & day out it starts to wear a little thin. That is why we are extremely grateful to be having a dry year. It has still been raining plenty (as evidenced by the new one-inch hole that just developed in John's bedroom ceiling and has the tendency to drip continuously when it rains) but the rain has been significantly less than last year, plus we have a larger home so even if we are stuck inside all day we can spread out and not want to kill each other all afternoon.

Honestly I am really not going anywhere with this I think I really just wanted to say that the weather is nice and we hope you're not freezing wherever you are (except my mom & dad, who I KNOW aren't freezing where they are.)

So anyhoo...we had an awesome Thanksgiving with good friends and wonderful American food. Our friend Michelle managed to find & cook a fabulous turkey & I made 2 pumpkin pies, one Libby's & one from scratch. The fresh one was a big hit with the Asians (they don't like the "creamy" texture of traditional pumpkin pie) so it was worth it. I think I might make another one for Christmas. I can buy a small pumpkin for about $2 so it's cheap & easy. We also decided it was finally time to take another family picture. The last one we took was in March so Emily was all of 2months old. She looks a little different now.

And just for kicks, here is one of John & his fellow nursery kids at church last Sunday. I love how at home he looks with his shoes kicked off & that little smirk that says "yeah, I own this place."