Sunday, March 30, 2014

Penang, Malaysia

We just returned from an awesome holiday in Malaysia. Our school was on spring break, which also happened to coincide with Kurt's parents' (who are also teachers at an international school in Beijing) spring break.

Basically, since Sawyer has joined our family, our vacations have changed a bit. When we travel as a family, I go through the following checklist:

  1. Is it relatively easy to get to from Hong Kong? CHECK. Penang was a 3 hour direct flight from Hong Kong.
  2. Hotel is kid-friendly? CHECK. I think we would have the minority if we didn't have a kiddo at our hotel. We stayed at the Golden Sands in Batu Ferringhi.
  3. Enough to keep us busy? CHECK. We're the type of people who like to relax, but we also need to explore. Kurt and I get antsy if we sit around too long. Luckily, we had no trouble finding at least one thing to do each day.  
The best part about our trip? Hand down, the food. Since Malaysia is considered the "melting pot," of Asia, this also means delicious food. There are food courts and food carts everywhere with a variety of food vendors: Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Malay, Middle Eastern, Thai... the list goes on! Every night, we stuffed ourselves. Good thing we're back in China, our waistbands will thank us! ;)

There was no time difference, so it was pretty easy to keep Sawyer on the same schedule that he has here. We really tried to stick to it, even if that meant us sitting in a dark hotel room while he napped.  I can't tell you the difference that this made in our vacation... because let's be honest, if Sawyer's not happy, nobody's happy! ;) 

My favorite outing was our walk around the Spice Gardens. It was only about a 7 minute drive from our hotel. The Tropical Spice Gardens used to be an old rubber plantation. Now, it's 8 acres of jungle with over 500 species of flora.  There are 3 unique paths you can take around the gardens. We spotted wild monkeys that entertained us! We went early in the morning, when the gardens were quiet and the heat and humidity wasn't too bad.

Enjoy our picture dump!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sawyer 7 Months

Dear Baby Boy,

You're 7 months old! You are mister personality lately. You've started sitting up by yourself, but you've discovered that it's funny to throw yourself backwards and shake your head back and forth (goofball!)
Also, you're a bit more chatty and content to just "chill" on your own. This means you're interested in everything that is not a toy. You know... whisks, paper, spoons, bracelets, bows...whatever floats your boat!  Daddy and I moved your crib to your own room about two weeks ago. The first night, we were a little lonely and kept checking on you, but you slept like a champ.

Weight/Height: Not sure, at your 6 month apt. you were about 20 lbs, woah baby! I don't think you've grown much longer because all of your clothes fit you just the same.

Food Monster

Eating: You eat every 3.5-4 hours or so. Your "schedule" looks something like this (give or take 30 minutes):

6:00: Nurse
9:30: Bottle of milk (between 4-5oz) & breakfast (fruit)
1:00: Bottle of milk & lunch (5oz) & (veggies/fruit)
5:00 Nurse
6:50: Nurse before bedtime
1:00-3:00am (sometime in between then): Nurse

You've tried many new fruits and a few veggies. I've been making your food in big portions and freezing it for later. It's been pretty easy so far!

  • Applesauce
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pears
  • Oatmeal
  • Carrots (still not a fan)
  • Banana
I attempted making peas today, but failed miserably... oh well, there's always next time. 

The cutest face to wake up to in the morning

Sleeping at a restaurant booth 

Sleeping: Ha-ha... oh sleep, what is that?! Starting at about 6 months, you started waking up up to 5 times in a night! I don't know what happened because you were only waking up 1 time a night before then. Sometimes, you'd wake up screaming. I didn't know what you wanted...but you seemed to just want to nurse yourself to sleep... so that's what we did. Now, you've been getting back to your old sleeping routine and waking up about once a night...hallelujah!  

You take 2-3 naps a day and will usually put yourself to sleep after wrestling around a bit with your lovey. 

Clothes: You fit in either 9 months or 6-12 months (but the 6-12 are still a bit big on you). 

Rockin' the sweater that was knitted with love from your great grandma 

  • Baths (which is perfect for when you start get tired and cranky before bed)
  • Giving your mama hugs (you put your little arms around me and bury your head into my shoulder, my favorite)
  • Being silly with your daddy (as usual)
  • Throwing yourself backwards and giggling while shaking your head back and forth (we've been keeping a pillow behind you so you don't hurt your head!)
  • Watching your doggies play and trying to grab their fur and/or tails
  • Eating fruits and veggies (except carrots)
  • Going on walks in the stroller/carrier
  • Putting everything in your mouth
  • Being overtired 
  • Carrots
  • Sitting anywhere for too long
  • Sleeping on your back

You make my heart so full and happy. I love watching you grow everyday and I'm so lucky to be your mama.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Bought a House!

I've kind of fallen of the bloggin' bandwagon the past few weeks. We have been busy with school, reports, etc. and buying a house!

We weren't actively "looking" to buy, but we always had it on our radar as part of our future plans. Kurt's parents have a lake house in northern Wisconsin (what us Wisconsites refer to as "up north"). We always dreamed of how amazing it would be to live on the same lake as his parents and "boat" on over and dock at their house for visits. We also want our own place to call home so that we can have a "constant" sense of home in Sawyer's life since he is a TCK (third culture kid). And let's be honest, who knows what our future plans entail or where we might end up next...Timbuktu?

I happened to be looking for fun and found our house. We went back and forth emailing the realtor and have spent the last couple of weeks figuring everything out and now we are in the process of finalizing everything. You can imagine how crazy interesting it's been to do it all 7,000 miles away. We are set to close on March 20th... fingers crossed! We are so excited to make "up north" magical memories with Sawyer and can't wait for him to explore nature all summer long.

Family and friends, you are welcome to visit us anytime!! :) My favorite part of the house is the boathouse. We are hoping to turn it into a mini-guest house down the road...or maybe we would just like to camp out there?!

It is overwhelming and exciting planning to furnish a house, considering we don't have much left in the states since we moved to China (good thing it's tiny!). We also have a limited time in the states,  mid June-early August. I have so many ideas filling my head and started pinning some inspiration to help me stay focused. We are definitely going to start by ripping out the old carpeting and painting.

A few of the yard & back of the house from the lake

A view off the dock (boathouse on the left)

Some decoration inspiration: