Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And a Pinch to Grow an Inch

I know it's not world breaking news here but I just wanted to say how proud I am that I've managed to keep this kid alive and healthy.  And happy.  For a whole year!

Here are a few pictures of his big day (morning).

(Not that he has a clue what's going on, but he did seem to get a kick out of me and 'The Man' singing Happy Birthday to him).

'The Kid' opening his first ever birthday present

The Boys

Daddy just HAS to take a picture of Mommy
(it's a good thing you can't smell me, I haven't brushed yet)

Bath toys, sweet!!!

Rockin' the 1st birthday shirt (size 24 months...)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Malaysia Recap Part Three

I feel almost childish thinking I was in heaven with De Hotel in Ipoh.

While it is super-cool, it just doesn't hold a candle to The Renaissance Resort in Phuket, Thailand.

The Grandparents Chan took myself, Lady Chan, 'The Man' and 'The Kid' to a wonderful little place called Phuket.

The resort was AH-mazing.  Ohhhh yes.  So relaxing.  So sunny.'s some pictures.

We passed the Reception area numerous times a day.  Each time we passed any and all staff would stop what they were doing to greet us with a friendly bow and hello.  Awesome staff.  Very accommodating.
Reception terrace

Yummy rooms.  But be warned, the bathroom is glass encased.  So if you happen to be sharing an adjoining room with in-laws say, please make sure no one is on the loo before you invite them in.  Just saying.

Guest Suite
 All you can eat Tuesday evenings.  And it's good.  VERY good.  I'd go to the resort just for the food at the Sand Box.  I had this funky drink called Rose something or other and I'd love to get the recipe for it.  It had some kind of rose and peach flavoring, mixed with some kind of clear carbonated liquid.  Topped off with green apple cubes at the bottom.  Pleasantly Interesting.  Give it a try.

Sand Box Bar & Restaurant

Other amenities include:

Massage hut on the grounds.  Patrons can look out onto the beach.  Or at other scantily-clad resort guests.  I didn't get a chance to visit the Massage hut but, it looks very nice.

Two words.  Kiddie. Pool.  This was were 'The Kid' had his first pool experience.  The pool has a number of different levels to the pool and a small water slide and waterfall.  You can see part of a building off in the left upper-hand corner...more on that below.

Making friends

Remember that building I was mentioning?  This is the inside of it.  (The windows give you a view of the Kiddie Pool).  This is the children's center.  Parents can come bring their children here to play and watch cartoons.  AND...they'll watch your kids while you (the parent) goes off to play.  

Another room at the children's center.  Tons of toys!
The suites come with, among other things, wine available for purchase.  In case you were interested.

Weird Chinese man not included
View from the balcony.  Complete with small table and chairs.  A great place to sit.  Especially when the AC is so dang cold this was the only place to get warm.  Just saying.

Tons of beach to go around.  Few people on the beach.  Even better.  

There's only one place, nearby, to buy anything.  Food, groceries, souvenirs, silk rugs, lingerie, etc.  Turtle village.  'Grandparents Chan' brought back, besides a whole wardrobe, flashing plastic birds.  You'd be amazed at how entertaining these things are.

The Resort provides complimentary breakfast.  I'm not talking about the Days Inn kind where your danish comes out of a plastic wrapper and frozen bananas.  All I can think is...I want this.  In my house.  A full kitchen staff with options, options, OPTIONS!!!  Omelet?  No problem.  How would you like it?  Fruit smoothie?  No problem.  How would you like it?  Breads?  Which kind?  Salad?  Check.  Ice cream?  Check.  I mean, I could go on for days!  

I'm hungry.


Monday, December 12, 2011

We're Back...Malaysia Recap Part Two

No this one isn't about the food.  Patience!!  It will come.

Today's recap is on hotels.  It doesn't sound all that exciting.  Maybe it won't be.  You'll just have to read and find out.

Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

While vacationing at Hotel Chan here:

We also had a chance to stay in some other places.  (Thanks Grandparents)!

The first place we stayed was in a town called Ipoh (more on the actual visit later), at De Hotel.  

So, the outside really doesn't look like much.  Don't let that fool you.

The inside is what really matters, don't you know?

Front reception
So here's something I thought was a great idea and that I have never seen before.  (I don't get out much so I may have missed it).  The elevator's won't let you go anywhere unless you swipe your room key to the card reader.  No room key, no enter.  So Mr. BadGuy can't come in and make your life miserable.  I like that idea.

2 Floor foyer
I could've hung out in the foyer and been happy has a clam.  Indeed I got my chance around midnight with a crying baby.  (The foyer isn't as fun under those circumstances).  AND I will admit that while the hotel was super swanky (they did a great job on ambiance, etc.), the walls are a bit on the thin side.  While walking my insomniac of a child down the hallway I was privy to some intimate goings-on.  It's called solid oak doors and insulation people!  Yikes!

I couldn't find decent pictures and they don't do the hotel justice, but, I loved the contemporary decor, etc.  The room doesn't look like much here, but I promise it was cool.  Even the bathroom was cool.  (Again, I don't get out much).  And growing up with the MB was the one who booked the hotels.  They were usually the one's that were one step-up from the hourly rate hotels, if you catch my drift.  In short, they were not cool.  Then again, hotels have been in re-vamp mode.  They're a lot more inviting than they were 20 years ago.  

I will also say, that if you're traveling with little'll need to BYOBB.  Bring Your Own Baby Bed.  They don't provide.  That was a fun night.  I'll spare you the horror.

Next up, Phuket...stay tuned.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Eggstra eggstra!

Get it?  Get it?

After many long, anticipatory months we finally have eggs.

Taken July 6: About two months old

Taken October 18: About 6 months old 

December 7 we get our first two eggs.  Finally.

December 8: Breakfast

I like to think that my Dad got the chickens to be more self-sustaining.  Our effort at being more 'green'.  Now that we have some egg-producing hens, I think we're headed in the right direction.

Now if I can just get over my skittishness of eating fresh-out-the-pooper brown eggs.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Grandpa Chan

Here he is....Grandpa Chan!

(For the record I'd just like to voice how weird it is to call these people 'Grandparents'.  They just don't seem old enough.  I picture a Mrs. Claus type figure as more 'grand-mothery'.  Ah well).

Because these are my favorite they'll go first:

Tra la la just a friendly stroll into the camera's point-of-view.

A normal person would have waited for Klauss Einrichtdorf to leave the frame.  


  But this next one is by far the best picture I took while on vacation.  

Wait for it....


Okay in all seriousness, this is the real photograph of Grandpa and 'The Kid'.

I think 'The Kid' has had enough of Mommy and her camera.  And beach combers.
Mercifully, Grandpa and Grandma Chan gave 'The Parents' a day off.  Upon returning we found that the Grandparents are both camera happy and shopping happy when it comes to this very spoiled grandchild.  Tons of pictures and a large bag full of new clothes.

Last family photo before leaving Phuket...sigh...

Did I mention the mall's in Malaysia?  They are HUGE!  There is no possible way to get through it all in one day.  In one weekend.  The grandparents took 'The Kid'.

They took him on all the kiddy rides they had.  Grandpa Chan looks like it was a real sacrifice to have to do that.

I'm just glad we found them.  Seriously...did I say how big these malls are??

Last but not least...the Grandparents and their first grandchild!  No we did NOT capitalize on that fact.  

I'd just like to say here again, THANK YOU so much to the Grandparents for taking 'The Kid' off our hands all the time while we were there.  I really enjoyed doing absolutely nothing every so often.



Stay tuned for the Malaysian Food's gonna be good.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grandma Chan

I've decided that with 16 Days of Malaysian goodness worth of pictures I'll have to do this in segments. (400+ worth of pictures.  I shall spare you all the agony).

I'll start with Grandma Chan.  Ladies first and all.

Pretty much as soon as we landed it was love at first sight for the Grandparents.  Well, pretty much everybody.  Let's face it, this kid is cute.  All fall under his spell.


We also met up with family when we got to the house.  A bit of a whirlwind.  I think being jet-lagged helped 'The Kid' feel a little more at ease with so many new faces.  Pretty much the only up-side to a 24-hour travel day.

Grandma tries to get 'The Kid' to wear a Chinese hat (complete with fake braid).   It's like the American equivalent (sort of) of the nasty ball caps with the ratty hair attached in the back.  So we're not the only ones who think that's funny.  

Dining out.  A typical scene.  Grandma Chan took 'The Kid' around to educate him in fine Malaysian dining.

More food fun.  Really, what other kind is there?

Grandma Chan out at the social network site with 'The Kid' .  Also a great way for her to show off her grandson.    

Party on Grandma's bed!  Wearing one (of many) new outfits that Grandma and Grandpa got for 'The Kid' .  I'm pretty sure the store won't have any problems making rent this month.  

Last but not least....

'The Kid' has figured out that the camera means 'smile pretty'.  So here he is.  Smiling pretty.  With both of the proud Grandparents.

And in case you're at all interested...a little Chinese language lesson.  Grandparents on the paternal side are known as:

Grandpa = Ye Ye
Grandma = Ma Ma

Both have accent marks above the vowels.  I'm sure I could figure out how to add those if I knew anything about computers get the picture.

Grandparents on the maternal side (my parents, if they were Chinese) would be:

Grandpa = Gong Gong
Grandma = Po Po

There'll be a quiz on this later.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

We're Back....

This is what a 24 hour travel day does to a couple of people with an 11 month old in tow.

In order to clear the air so-to-speak the trip to Malaysia was AMAZING.

That said, flying with a small child on an international flight is like a root canal without novocaine.  And getting your baby back on real-time schedule is something of equal or greater value.

Add to that, out of town family members and a flu virus circulating, it makes for one big party.

This is what a moment of controlled chaos looks like this weekend...

I'll spare you a picture of what the bathroom looked like.  Indeed if I could have found it!

It was a crazy whirlwind Thanksgiving, but worth it.  Family is the bomb-diggity.

More to come on Malaysia, stay tuned!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 



I'm packing.

Luggage that is.

I've never packed for a long trip, out of the country, with a kid in tow before.  And I'm not a little nervous about air-time with a 10 month old.  Who likes to move.  A lot.  I'm coming up with a couple ideas.  One involves feigning an illness so perhaps 'The Man' will have to deal with it the whole way.  The other is perhaps a heavy dose of sedative.  I haven't decided yet who gets it.  Me, or, 'The Kid'.

We leave in a few days.  So far I have packed one bag filled solely with food stuffs.  I think I have bag-packing-stage fright.  I do better under pressure.  Which means I will be scrambling Thursday afternoon.

Speaking of procrastination.  'The Man' and I are doing last minute Dr. visits.  I roll my eyes at my stupidity.

This may be the last post until we return.  So, I leave you with a little ditty a la 'luggage problem'.

May you live to be a thousand!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Countdown Malaysia Part II

My Father-in-law is so great!!!  He kindly gave some explanations to some things I brought up in my last post that I couldn't remember the names of.

He says....

This is a cool blog (naturally) and we enjoyed reading all the happenings with the Chan family. The name of the restaurant is called Summer Palace where we had our dinner.
The special dish we had is called "Loh Sang" in Cantonese dialect and it is only available during the Chinese New Year period. The significance of this dish is for those people who are tossing and mixing the many ingredients is to bring good health, good luck and prosperity. We are looking forward to the homecoming of the Man, the Lady and the New Kid in Town!!!See you all soon!Love Grandpa & Grandma

Loh Sang is REALLY REALLY good by the way.  (And I'm pretty sure it's healthy.  Bonus!).  Generally I don't like ginger, but this was fantastic!  

(I have a video.  It's really cool.  I'm still trying to figure out how to upload it without taking and eternity).

Maybe it's because we tossed our food around.  Who doesn't like to play with their food?   Visiting Malaysia during the Chinese New Year has got to be one of the best times to go.

Watching this video again has made me all nostalgic.  I miss these people!  And I had such a good time with all of them.  

And I may even be brave enough to try this:

Three guesses as to what it is.  

And then there's Roti Canai (not sure if that's spelled right).  My favorite.  Most likely because it was a bread product.  

It's like a sweet tortilla, but hardier.  And there's some dishes you dip it with.  The one I liked the best was some kind of potato-soupy/saucy stuff.  Yum!  The other dipping choices were, as I was warned, beyond my spice-tolerance level.  Bummer.  They looked good.  

Actually, if you want to get technical, there were/are two types of roti.  One made flat and plain like I had and one that is cooked with an egg in it.  (Brian, the one with the orange shirt, had that also looked yummy).

Being American and brainwashed, it was interesting to see that in Malaysia, there's really no such thing as 'breakfast'.  Or even desserts.  They have these colorful tapioca type 'cake' squares that they get as 'treats' but those weren't all that great.  Again.  American.  If there's not a pound of sugar in it then it's not a dessert.

This was dinner one evening.  Very good.  LOTS of food.  I was a little intimidated by the shrimp.  I'm used to my meat not looking like it did two seconds before it died.  I'm not brave!!  Anyway.  I thought this place was an interesting venue.  We drove around a residential area to get to it.  It looked like an open car-port area with tables and chairs with Ma and Pa cooking in the back.  So cool!