Friday, February 29, 2008

Extreme Blog Make Over

I am sorry it has been a slow blogging week. We are battling being sick again and this time I have it too. Carley and James both seem to be on the other side and hopefully after seeing the doctor today and getting on antibiotics I will be on the mend soon. I was really worried about James since we are traveling to Bali on Tuesday for a family vacation to celebrate his FIRST Birthday, and he has two ear infections. Hopefully flying will not be to bad on Tuesday.

I hope everyone is enjoying my blog's new look. I love it. Jennisa is a stay at home mom of two by day and she pimps peoples blogs by night. She is truly gifted. I just gave her a couple of ideas sent her some pictures and in a weeks time it was done. The hardest part for us was the fact that she would send me a question and I would not answer it for 12 hours with the time change. But she was still really quick. Check her out at jennisajoy.blogspot.com and see what she can do for you.
Time to play with the kids and take a nap. I hope all of you are well.

Blessings Paige




Monday, February 25, 2008

Rubber Ducky Your the One


This is what bath time looks like in our house.
Brian had the daunting task of finding a house for us in Malaysia. I was in Texas with Carley and he bravely went out armed with my LIST of requirements and found one to fit the bill. He spent many hours with several different Realtors hunting down a home. It was not easy especially when they told him we could not find a house in our price range, and if we did we would be robbed because we would not be in a good area. Well he found a great house which I will share pictures and tell you all about another time. The only thing that this house really lacks is a bath tub. It was a small oversight and many of the houses he looked at only had showers. So we improvise. We went out to the store and found two different bathtubs. One looks like a number 2 washtub but it is plastic. The other is long and thin and has a lip in the bottom, very important when you have just learned to sit up. This way James did not end up sliding down with water over his head. We place them in the floor of the shower in the kids bathroom and using the shower head we fill them up. Carley and James have a flotilla of ducks, and boats that they float around in their tubs. There is the usual splashing and now that James can stand up he does so often and tries to climb into the tub with Carley. Carley does however miss getting to lay completely down in the tub and float. But we have several good friends that let us borrow the bathtub now and again so she can have a big bath as she calls it. Plus it means she is that much more excited about getting to stay in a hotel, because it means she gets to have a real bath. Well I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into another day in the life in Malaysia.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Laundry Day



Please no one turn us into the SPCS (The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Stuffies)

No this is not torture day for Carley's stuffed friends, this is what happens when you decide to wash them all in an effort to get rid of the dust that may be causing her respiratory problems. Laundry here is a never ending process, and an adventure. We or shall I say Alma does at least three loads a day. We have an 8 kg washer which means that we can wash about 17.5 pounds of laundry. I would say that is about half of what I used to put in the washer. But all the new washers here use very little water so if you fill the washer up to full capacity you will end up with clothes that wear out very quickly because there is not a lot of water to decrease friction. When I do the laundry, I usually add a small bucket of water so there is extra water in the machine. Once all the washing is done then the real fun begins. We do not own a dryer. SO everything is air dried, from undies to Sunday clothes it all goes outside. You dry everything inside out to reduce the amount of fading caused by the sun. We have several different sized and shaped dryers and hangers galore. Most of the time our backyard looks like this.

But Luckily so does everyone else's yard. I only know a couple of people who own dryers and they are all expats. There are several down sides to drying outside. First is the rain. It comes almost everyday and you hope you are home to bring in the laundry. Then there is the dust and wind. One day we brought in the laundry and it was dirtier than before we washed it. Lastly is the birds, enough said. But all in all we are pretty lucky and don't have to rewash often . The weather has been very dry so all the curtains have been washed as well as couch cushions. So the next time you pull that warm towel out of the dryer, think of me. Blessings.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day

Sorry it is a day late. We had a very quiet day here at 19 Lorong Setiabistari 4. This is our Valentine's Biscuit. When asked what Carley wanted for breakfast this is what she chose. She went to school and gymnastics and we joined a friend and her children whose husband is also out of town for dinner. After dinner we took a family walk. Unfortunately our evening was rough and not much sleep was had by anyone. This is why tonight's blog is short. I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Open House


Since it is a holiday here in KL we went to the mall with some friends for lunch. We went to one of the new malls here called the Pavilion. This mall is very nice full of high end stores from all over the world. We had a nice lunch and were wondering around when Carley found this white box with steps leading up to it. She climbed right up and proceeded to start dancing. Now you need to understand that Carley does not perform on command. She has balked during two Christmas plays at school. When asked to sing in front of others unless it is grace it does not happen. So to have her hop up there and put on a show was very surprising. She danced and when she was done some people clapped and then in an instant it was over. She realized people were watching and she got down.

To continue our Chinese New Year Celebration we went to a traditional Chinese open house. We were graciously invited to the home of our friends Richard, Sin Tin, Laurel and Lextor. Brian and Sin Tin work together at Exxon Mobil. When Brian first moved to KL Sin Tin took him to see the sights and they were fast friends. Sin Tin just returned from being in Houston at the same meeting with Brian. Laurel is a little older than Carley and Lextor is two. (I think). Carley and Laurel are friends and enjoy playing together. We were very blessed to be invited to share in this time with them since we were the only people who were not somehow related to the hosts. Sin Tin's aunt who is visiting from San Francisco and Sin Tin cooked most of the food. It was amazing. We started dinner by tossing the yee sang. This is a traditional meal that consists of carrot, turnip, sugared ginger, peppers, crackers, sesame seeds, sour plum sauce, and jelly fish. IT is said the more you toss it the more good luck you will have in the new year. I am a good sport and will try anything that Sin Tin gives me. Yes I tried the jelly fish a very small bite. It tasted like you would imagine it. Tough and rubbery. But the vegetables were very good. They also served chicken wings stuffed with rice, a noodle dish, Chinese vegetables, curry pops, beautiful shrimp, and a pork dish that Sin Tin told me that I should not eat. I took her word. There was a large selection of cookies and carrot cake for dessert. I ate until I could not eat any more. We spent most of the night chatting and meeting family members. One of the traditions of Chinese New year is that all the single people get something called Ang Pow. This is cash put in small red envelope. Ang Pow is given as a gesture of kindness and a wish for prosperity in the new year. Carley was very

confused when people kept handing her envelopes. I tried to explain what it was and that there is money on the inside. So of course then she wanted to open it, but that is very bad manners. So I had to convince her that she had to wait until we got home to look at them all. She took her envelopes and exclaimed that she did not understand why she was getting them and reluctantly said thank you with some prodding. After we came home and she got to open them she was very happy though. After tallying up how much she made she promptly asked if she could buy the Dora the Explorer balloon which she has been eyeing at the mall for two weeks. I told her it was her money and she could do with it as she pleased. To which she replied, "Thank you mommy you have made me the happiest Little girl ever." We had a wonderful evening and enjoyed being part of the family.

Sin Tin is pictured here in her traditional red Chinese silk dress. James is wearing a silk onsie of traditional Chinese fashion as well.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year



Gong XI Fa Cai
Happy Chinese New Year
Welcome to the year of the rat. Today begins the 14 day celebration of Chinese New Year. It is the beginning of the new lunar year. Chinese New Year is one of the many new holidays we celebrate here in Malaysia. The Chinese population spend a lot of time getting ready for this time of year. The whole house is cleaned from top to bottom, from washing windows and bed spreads, dusting corners and cleaning out even the garden everything is made clean. We have a large house next to us where a Chinese family lives and the maids have been very busy for almost a week now preparing. Special cookies and meals are made. Bamboo, lime trees and pussy willows can be seen all over to bring good luck. Their are many other rituals that involve offerings to different gods which I do not know enough about to try and explain. Today is spent with family. Many people travel home to be with their parents and huge family dinners will be held. Tomorrow is when people will hold their open houses and go and visit their friends. We are getting to go to one such open house.
Today however we went to see a Lion Dance. This was not our first lion dance. We saw one a couple of weeks ago at the opening of a restaurant. But they are very exciting and not done very often. The Lion Dance is done with two older boys inside of a lion costume as pictured above. There is a group of boys that play drums, cymbals and bells. The music is like word to a story and the lion reacts accordingly. But they do not just dance, they leap up on to poles and jump around spin, run back and forth and make faces and gestures with the lion head. All the while the music plays on. Carley who is not a fan of loud noises and it is very loud loves to watch the lion dance. Today she was very worried about the boys because at one point it looked like the lion had slipped off the pole. But I told her it was part of the dance. Even James laughed and pointed as the lion danced. When it was over the lions passed out tangerines to all the children as a sign of good fortune in the New Year. Lets just say that James did not like the up close and personal attention of the lion. It was very exciting especially since we got to be so close. Enjoy the video.
video

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

World's Smallest Pet Store


This is quite possibly the world's smallest pet store. Well really it is mostly a fish store, but they do have turtles, frogs, crickets, mice, hamsters, and a wide array of fish. There are aquariums stacked from the floor to about eight feet high full of fish. Above that is fish bowls, plants, filters, and all sorts of paraphernalia. The back wall is floor to ceiling fish food and chemicals. It is so tight in this little store that I can not even pick Carley up. But I love it because it is so small, less to choose from for a three year old is better and the fish are so cheap. The first time we went there I bought eight fish for two US dollars. The shop is typical of how many shops are in the older parts of KL. You find them all lined up very thin but very deep. Often times similar things will be grouped together. It makes comparison shopping much easier. The more modern shopping is found in malls. Huge giant malls with three floor of underground parking. The malls here have everything you would find in an American mall plus a grocery store, cobbler, doctors clinic at least one spa and usually a mega store much like a walmart but different. I miss walmart.
We had a fish catastrophe in our house about two weeks ago and our fish population shrank from 8, two pink and 6 orange tailed guppies to 2 one of each. The short story, Carley decided her fish were hungry and I made the mistake of leaving the fish food at her level. She decided they were half a jar of food hungry and then in her effort to "Help I must clean up my mess" which is what she was shouting when I entered the room. She had taken her baby wipes and was washing the inside walls and water of her tank. Even after replacing half the water, cleaning the filter several times, and scooping out as much food as possible, fish death was eminent. We explained to Carley that while baby wipes were great for cleaning all kinds of kiddo messes they are not good for fish messes. I will say Carley is a good sport about her fish dying she simply watches me scoop them up then she dumps them into the toilet, flushes and tells them to have a nice swim in the ocean. Today's visit to the fish store was memorable as usual. You can not really tell but Carley is dresses in scrubs that are printed with a tropical fish pattern, which she picked out because we were going fish shopping. Carley selected one larger than a guppy orange fish which she declared the daddy. Five orange tailed guppies, the big sisters. She was happy and ready to take them home to the pink fish the mommy and they only set me back 1.50 us. Life is good. Carley of course asked if she could have a turtle which I responded no. And then the picture below is her reaction to the crayfish in the tank by the door. After checking out the rest of the animals she was ready to head home. Our day was full and I can say everyone is happy especially a little girl with a complete fish family. We are off to bed I hope everyone has a great day. Blessings.




Sunday, February 3, 2008

Just some Pictures for the Grandparents and Brian

James giving me his I am so excited Face.
Carley's first pony tail.
Carley and her teethy grin


Where is the Weather Channel?



For those of you who knew me in Katy, you know that I am slightly obsessed with the weather. I checked the weather channel first thing in the morning listened to the weather on the news just before bed. I had one weather website in my computer favorite list at home and three different weather sites saved at school. If you wanted to know when the storms were coming all you had to do was ask. I new when it was going to get cold and whether it would rain. Now I will explain that a good portion of my job involved me being outside watching some kind of sporting event or practice. I really considered getting to go outside with my job a major perk. Except for those days when it was really cold and rainy. So I would tell people that I needed to know what the weather was so I could be prepared. Did I need long pants, a hat, old shoes for the mud and my gortex or was it going to be one of may favorite days where all I needed was a pullover and my sun glasses.
Living in Malaysia the weather is very different and yet it always feels the same. If you were to look at a map KL is located 3 degrees above the equator so it is always hot here. The heat really does not bother me. It is not 104 degrees and 100 percent humidity like it would be in Katy in August. But it is always hot. I am pretty sure it never gets below 80 here. Honestly it is hard to know exactly what the temperature is here because it is always in Celsius and that is a conversion I do not do in my head well. But Brian says that locals here really start to complain if it ever gets over 95. The humidity is pretty impressive too. Bread and cereal will go stale in under an hour. Things are always sticky.
The most amazing thing to me is the amount of rain that we get. It rains daily. I think the longest that we have gone with out rain so far is five days. And when I say rain I mean deluge. The pictures I have included are ones I took at my house this weekend. The top is the view out of my bedroom window notice you can barely see the trees across the street. The bottom is what my yard looks like when it is raining we get a nice ponding effect until it can all drain away. Every once in a while we have a light rain, but most of the time it really comes down. I tell people I fell like I am in a hurricane with out the wind. I am really not sure how the whole city does not flood. We have our fair share of thunderstorms here too. The thunder is quite amazing my favorite is when it claps so hard you think it has hit the house and then everything shakes. The lighting is pretty impressive too. And let me let you in on a little secret I am not a big fan of lightning. I absolutely hate to be outside when there is lightning. When I worked for the school district we had lightning meters and I loved them. Basically the read the sky for any electrical disturbances and following district policy we had to go inside once the lightning got within a certain distance. The head football coach really did not like it when I had the lightning meter because I was very quick to tell him it was time to go in. But I digress. So it rains a lot here and when it is not raining the sun is shining and it is hot. And to top it all off I have not found the weather channel or a website so I know when the storms are coming and when they will stop. Luckily though if someone asks what the weather is going to be you can say hot and at some point it will rain and most likely you will be right. My obsession with the weather continues and it pains me not to know what is going to happen next, but at least I do not have to shovel snow. Although I did tell Brian the other night that I was tired of being hot and that I wanted to be cold really cold, like I can not feel my toes cold. And he replied I could take a trip to China. Keep warm my friends and when you are tired of the cold and the snow, the door is always open.