Trick or Treat?!?

Happy Halloween!

Our ‘Lil Pumpkin’ has enjoyed her first Halloween!Halloween-6

I love everything about fall and have many great memories of Halloween growing up. I hope that my daughter can also have the same great memories. Since it doesn’t really feel very fall like in Singapore, we’ve tried our best to create a festive atmosphere by buying pumpkins and baking fall treats.

Pumpkin Donuts
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We started our celebration on Monday at our first Halloween party. Addy and I attend a party hosted by a group from the American Women’s Association here in Singapore. We made some delicious pumpkin pie rice krispy treats(here’s the recipe) to take and joined other mothers and babies born in 2014. It was great to get out and about and talk to other moms!

Heading to our PartyHalloween-1

We purchased pumpkins. Check out this price I paid for this pumpkin! Yes, I’m crazy, but Addy couldn’t have a Halloween without a pumpkin! Talk about sticker shock! We are not going to carve this pumpkin because it will be spoiled within hours. Hopefully, uncarved we can use it as a Thanksgiving decoration too!Halloween-5

Growing up, I have fond memories of Halloween because of my Aunt Lucy. Every year she would make my Halloween costume. The memories of being a cowboy, clown, witch, and little mermaid in her homemade costumes are priceless. When picking up my costume Aunt Lucy would always have mini pumpkin pies waiting as a treat. I loved these pies! It was always fun to meet my other cousins at Aunt Lucy’s to show off our costumes and pick up our yummy pies. This year, Taylor’s parents- Kuku and Grandma, helped us to carry on the traditions. Becki made Addy’s adorable costume(she is a great sewer!) and Brent(he makes a great pie crust!) helped us make mini pumpkin pies. Instead of trick or treating this year, Addy delivered some mini pumpkin pies to our friends here in Singapore.

Mini Pumpkin PiesHalloween-3

Here are some blast from the past pictures of me as a child in my Halloween costumes!

A Witch

scan0010 (2) Little Mermaidscan0011 A Clownscan0017 (2) Ballerina on a Unicorn(I think that’s what you would call it!)scan0068

 Here are more festive shots of Addy!

Halloween-4Nanna and Grumps(I mean Gramps!), she really did enjoy her card even if her expression doesn’t show it!Halloween-12 Halloween-11 Halloween-10 Halloween-14

Addy Update-

We hit the 4 week mark yesterday and Addy continues to amaze us. This week she has started to find her voice by making lots of new noises and sounds. We can tell her vision is getting better as she  loves playing and looking at things on her play mat. We attempted to introduce Addy to a bottle of breast milk. It has been a process and she drinks some from it, but we still need some more time until its completely successful. Addy loves her new baby carrier, it took two tries of finding one that she liked in the Singapore heat. Hopefully the baby carrier will make it easier for us to run errands to the store without having to take the stroller. Overall, we had a really busy week and went on many outings since we had Kuku’s help on the outings and around the house. We both really enjoyed getting out and about!AddyWeek4-1

We have official documents making us a US Citizen!American-100 American-104

Be Our Guest: Kuku

Today we have a guest post from our visitor, Kuku (Aka, Brent)! Today will be an introduction, but he will  share some his Singapore experiences in the coming weeks.  If you have any questions for him, leave it in the comments box below. We hope you enjoy his posts!

How do you know Mary, Taylor and Addy? Why did you decide to visit them?  Well, Taylor is my son so I remember him when he was Addy’s age, Mary is my wonderful daughter-in-law, and Addy is my new (first time) grandchild.  I decided to visit them because we got what sounded like a desperate email for help.  While we’re all excited about the birth of Addy, it could not have come at a worst time. Taylor has been working on a project at work.  Up until the birth of Addy, the project was mostly conceptual and planning.  Right when Addy was born, the project went into its implementation mode which meant Taylor needed to start working 14 hour days without any days off.   He just works, eats, and sleeps pretty much.  Mary was alone most of the time.  And that’s not good, especially in Singapore, where you pretty much need to walk or take mass transit to get groceries and the necessities of life.  By me coming, I hope I can provide some relief and make life a little more manageable for all three until Taylor’s work settles down to a reasonable level.  Since I’m retired, that’s one of the benefits.  You can go at a moments notice.  Unfortunately my wife, Becki, hurt herself exercising and could not make the trip.  I know missing out on seeing her granddaughter is killing her.  At least we have Facetime.

Tell us about the name Kuku.

Both my wife and I lived in Hawaii for several years when we first got married.  Family is very important to the Hawaiians.  Grandmother in Hawaiian is Tutu; Grandpa is Kuku.  Growing up, Taylor and my other son, Ryan, knew my mother as “Tutu”.  I liked the tradition, so I decided I would like to be called “Kuku”.

Where are you traveling from?

I live in Lafayette, Indiana and flew from Indianapolis to Singapore.

How long are you staying in Singapore?  

I will be here almost a month until November 20th.

Are you doing any other traveling while visiting?

Yes!  I love to go exploring so I’ll be exploring parts of Singapore that I didn’t see when I was here last March.  I have a good friend that lives in Thailand too, so I will be visiting him and Bangkok over a long weekend in November.

How was your flight?

It could have been better, but the end result (my granddaughter) was worth it.  My United flight from Chicago was delayed 3 hours so I missed my connection in Tokyo.  But they put me on a Singapore Air flight from Tokyo that got me to Singapore two hours late.  Singapore Air and United are like night and day.  I felt like I was almost in first class on Singapore Air compared to United.  United is getting pretty bad.

What are you looking forward to while visiting?

I’m glad I can be of help to Taylor, Mary, and Addy.   Addy is my newest source of enjoyment and it’s exciting to think I have several weeks more to see her grow!  There’s a possibility my other son, Ryan, may come over to visit.  If so, it will be fun to take him out and show him some of the highlights of Singapore.

Kuku, Addy and Taylor

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Newborn Pictures

This week I’d thought I’d share the newborn pictures I tried taking of Addy. Prior to her birth, I did a lot of planning, reading and even taking an online course for taking newborn photos. I quickly learned, things do not go as planned with a newborn! This was a multi day process that I could have used about 10 extra hands. The photos were taken during the mornings between feeding, napping, laundry, cooking, etc. Our living/dinning room looked like a disaster area with all the photography gear set up for a few days, I used only a quarter of it.  Addy helped me with the editing when she wanted to be up “partying” in the early morning hours. Yes, there were diaper accidents, spit up, and tears (by mother and daughter), but I did end up with some shots that I’m happy with and some pretty hilarious pictures that will show up on her graduation or wedding day in the future. Enjoy!

AddyNewborn-39 AddyNewborn-60 AddyNewborn-71 AddyNewborn-72AddyNewborn-98-2AddyNewborn-98AddyNewborn-100AddyNewborn-102AddyNewborn-106-2AddyNewborn-108AddyNewborn-110AddyNewborn-112AddyNewborn-114AddyNewborn-116AddyNewborn-120-2AddyNewborn-129-2Here’s a peak at Addy’s funny faces. Can you put a caption to what she was thinking?

Funny FacesFamily and friends, if you would like me to send you a digital file of any of these, please let me know by leaving a comment below. I will send you an email!

 Addy Update:

Addy Three Weeks

It is amazing that Addy has been part of our life for three weeks, time flies! This weekend we have a special guest arriving and we can’t wait to update you on this! I’m for sure excited for an extra set of hands around here and Addy can’t wait to meet him. Our life has been pretty hectic since our last guests left. The night/morning that my Mom and Jeanne Ann left Taylor also started his long hours for the project he is here working on.  He works a 13 hour night shift with only 1 day off every 13 days. Next week I’ll try and update you more on our daily life here in Singapore with a newborn and have plenty of pictures of Addy and her guest!

Likes: Napping in her swing, eating(can’t you tell by how much she has grown!), going for walks, currently sleeps in about 4 hours at a time a night, loves when Daddy gives her baths

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Nana and Jeanne Anne Update

Today, we have an update on my  Mom and Jeanne Ann’s wonderful adventures in Singapore! (Also an Addy update on the bottom!) It was absolutely wonderful to have them both here to experience Addy’s birth, help us at home and of course experience a different culture. We are so grateful for all of their help. I’m not sure how much of a vacation they had because we kept them busy around the house and then out experiencing Singapore. It was really hard to see them leave. I bet they will be needing a vacation from their vacation!

Here is a breakdown of their stay:

They arrived early morning Tuesday jet lagged and tired from their travel delays. I let them take a quick nap and had them up early for a doctors appointment. Afterwards, we headed to Dempsey Hill for some shopping and lunch. We came home and they both crashed napping and lounging around.

On Wednesday we attend a coffee meet up and walked around Orchard Road. We came home for lunch and then they headed out for a a sightseeing adventure. They took a Singapore River Cruise.

Orchard Road-ION Shopping MallIMG_1774

River Cruise PicturesIMG_1794 IMG_1790 IMG_1785

Thursday was the big day! They were waken up early to the excitement that they need to get dressed and ready we were heading to the hospital. To pass some of the time waiting they were able to head the Singapore Botanical Gardens to explore. They picked up some lunch for Taylor and then it was about time for Addy’s arrival!

Nana-to-be and Nana

Addy Birth-40

Friday morning they stopped by our room for a quick visit before they headed off for a tea workshop. They went to Yixing Xuan in Chinatown for the tea and had some small bites along with their tea. The Tim Sum items were: Kwantung Dumpling, Crispy Vegetable Pancake, Vegetable Spring Roll, Siew Mai, Har Kow, Chicken with Minced Prawns, Fried Rice. After their tea, the came back for a short visit with us at the hospital and then headed home to relax.

Saturday they helped us return home and settle in as a family. We celebrated our birthdays with a homemade banana cake with cream cheese frosting and a bottle of champagne.

Sunday was a low key day around the house.

Monday was a holiday in Singapore, but they ventured into Chinatown for some exploring.

Tuesday was a super busy day for all! Mom and Jeanne Ann escorted Addy and I to her first doctors appointment. We all ran some errands together and had our first lunch out. In the afternoon, they headed to Arab Street for some shopping. Jeanne Ann bought some awesome scarves!

Wednesday morning was spent lounging around the apartment and they headed to the pool. Later in the afternoon they explored Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands. Their evening night cap was spent at the top of Marina Bay Sands at the Chocolate and Cheese Buffet Bar. They loved it!

Garden by the Bay
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Thursday morning I sent them on errands to the Tiong Bahru Neighborhood. They explored at the wet market, looked at a temple, picked up some treats at a favorite bakery(Tiong Bahru Bakery) and stopped at the butcher(Foodie Market) to stock our freezer before they left. For lunch Addy and I took them to Din Tia Fung for dim sum. It was delicious!  We continued with some errands around Orchard and then Addy and I headed home, but Nana and Jeanne Ann had other plans. They headed to the  Peranakan Museum and Postal Museum for some exploring. Later in the evening our good friend Colin came over for a taco dinner! (Geesh! Writing their day out made me tired!)

Din Tai Fung Lunch
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Their last full day in Singapore was spent around our condo. They enjoyed some pool time and relaxing. I had them help Addy and I with a big grocery shopping run to stock us up before we left.

I captured Jeanne Ann in Purdue Gear! Addy loved this!

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Mom could not escape the post office!IMG_1781

How mail is delivered in Singapore, could you imagine her on one of these?!?2014-10-08 14.43.04

Saturday morning they grabbed a taxi and 3:30 AM and were headed to the airport for their flights back. Addy, Taylor and I were super sad to see them leave and we miss them both a lot!

Like my questions in my first guest blog post, here are some new ones for our guest (Taylor even helped write some of these.)

1)  When you first hear Mary&Taylor were moving to Singapore, where did you think it was?

M: I was unhappy and happy at the same time. Happy because it sounded like a great adventure for both of them and unhappy because it was so far away. I also had to look Singapore up on a map because I was unsure of where it was.

JA: I actually knew where Singapore is because I teach with a woman from Malaysia.

2)  How was the jet lag?  Is it as bad as its cracked up to be?  What’s the best way to deal with it?

M: I really think the jet lag was awful . I just wanted to sleep but Mary would not let us . I did what Mary said in I regards to sleeping because I thought she knew best. After being here a few days I adjusted.

JA:  Jet lag is every bit as horrible as people say it is. We arrived at the condo as Taylor was getting ready for work-about 5 am. We slept for a couple of hours and then got up for the day. By 7:30 pm I was practically incoherent. I’m pretty sure I was sleeping between blinks. Unfortunately this didn’t get better for a few days. Neither did waking up at 3 am. My suggestion: sleep!

3)  What climate in the USA would you most compare Singapore too?  Why?

M: The climate here reminds me of Florida-hot and humid.

JA: Singapore’s climate reminds me of West-central Indiana during the dog days of summer when the heat is 90 and the humidity is 98. Walking feels like moving through molasses and sweat is instantaneous.

4)  What’s the deal with driving on the wrong side of the road?  (Seriously, whose the better driver?)

M: I could drive with the steering wheel on the left side since I do it for work. I’m unsure if I could actually drive the car on the right side of the road. The cab drivers do an excellent job but they do scare me. As of today we have not driven with Taylor or Mary.

JA: Driving on the opposite side of the road is interesting and scary. Taylor negotiated the traffic to and from the hospital very well. We go on an outing with Mary later today, and she says she is an excellent driver.  We’ll see.

5)  What’s been the coolest thing you’ve seen in Singapore?  Most surprising?

M: The best thing about being in Singapore is the birth of my first grandchild Adelaide Lucy. I’m very surprised how well Mary has done after giving birth. She has been very active and acts like it was no big deal giving birth. I’m very proud of both Mary and Taylor for their excellent parenting skills .

JA : Adelaide Lucy. Also the variety of cultural influences on food, clothing and architecture is pretty astonishing. Most surprising? Singapore has deceptive hills. They don’t look like much, but sometimes walking up in the heat after a long day is a bit of a challenge.

6)  If you could change one thing about your Singapore experience so far, what would it be?

M: I was unprepared for the hill outside the the apartment that you have to climb down to the grocery stores and then climb back up to the apartment with the groceries.

JA: I would want to spend just a couple more days. I feel as if there are more sights to see and culinary opportunities to take advantage of that I will miss.

7)  What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen/experienced so far?

M:At the pediatrician office with Mary and Adelaide is was strange to see children clinging to their “mothers helper” after a shot instead of looking to their mother for comfort.

JA: Well, I never thought I would see McDonalds being delivered by scooter or high end vertical shopping malls with the same stores within four or five blocks of each other, or such a mix of haute couture, traditional dress, and casual wear in the streets. And such high heels!

8)  What’s been the best “Asian” eating experience that you have had?

M: The best food experience that we have had was at the Marina Bay Sands eating at the chocolate and cheese buffet!

JA: The steamed dumplings from Din Tai Fung were wonderful. The fried rice was pretty awesome, too, Mandy.

Final thoughts:

Mom: I am very sad to leave Mary, Taylor and Adelaide here in Singapore. I can’t wait until they “hopefully” come back to the States. I’m sure they won’t be living in Indiana, but anywhere in the States is closer than Singapore.

JA:  This trip has included many “firsts.” Being here to share Addy’s first days and Taylor and Mary’s first days as parents has been very special. Other “firsts” have included first international flight, several dining “firsts” and cultural “firsts.” I look forward to sharing many more of Addy’s firsts and visiting her wherever Mary and Taylor’s life adventures take them.

Addy Update:

Addy2ndweekTime is flying by, we can hardly believe its been two weeks already!While it has been hectic(more on that later!) we are all doing well. Today, we both had check-ups and everything looks well!

Loves: Eating, sleeping in her car seat/stroller, napping on your chest, tummy time with her giraffe from Nana

Weight: 8.7 pounds (I did say she likes to eat!)  photo (13)

A Week of Firsts!

Addy_week1

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been parents for over a week now! Addy is doing great as we are adjusting to life at home together. She has done and an excellent job feeding and loves to snuggle.

Addy 1st Week -10 Addy 1st Week -13

We have had many firsts this week as a family. We had our first bath which she was not a huge fan of, but we all survived. We have all gotten much more comfortable during bath time and it’s becoming a much smoother process.

First Bath -3First Bath -10First Bath -16

Addy also, had an exciting past Tuesday. She had her first taxi ride, doctors appointment, walk, shopping experience, lunch out, and poop explosion in her car seat. It was a busy, but very exciting day and she slept through most of it.  We both enjoyed getting out of the house. The doctors appointment went great and I really like our pediatrician. Addy is back to her birth weight and show no signs of jaundice, we go back next week for another check-up.photo 2 (7) copy 2

Today she had another dinning out experience at a popular restaurant here in Singapore, Din Tai Fung. I had wanted to take a picture there, but we had a mini meltdown as we were leaving and needed to find a place to nurse.

Tonight, we have had our family friend Colin over for dinner to meet Addy. IMG_0587 IMG_0590

 

Loves: Milk, snuggling, sleeping in her car seat on walks or rides, being swaddled by Daddy, sleeping in her crib

Weight: Back to her birth weight of 7.9 pounds

Length: 21.25 inches