Easter weekend

20 Apr

Pierce pretending that his carrot snack was Jesus, and showing me how He died on the cross. And then he asked for another carrot – a big one – for the tomb and stone. Love this kid!


The kids before heading out to the Easter Egg hunt Saturday morning.


We enjoyed an Easter potluck brunch and egg hunt with the other expat families.


After the egg hunt and pool party we came upstairs to go thru the eggs. I laid Addi down on her back to play while I helped Pierce go thru his candy. I couldn’t believe it when I saw her on her side. And then as soon as I snapped the picture she completely rolled to her belly. She had dropped her book and really wanted to get it back. She even scooted her way to the other side of her mat for it. She does the same thing in her crib. Uh oh…this girl is going to be trouble!


Easter morning we had brunch with some close friends at the Rasa Sayang Shangri-La.

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Happy Easter everyone!!



The 4th Trimester

14 Apr

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And just like that, Addi goes from ‘newborn’ to ‘infant’. Sigh. I can’t believe she is 3 months old today. Already?


Somewhere within the last 2 months she’s gone from diva to the perfect little angel baby (ahem…as long as I’m holding her.  Thank god for the sling – it’s become a permanent wardrobe accessory). She is so happy and smiley now, and she’s even started laughing. She’s at that stage where she gives you that great big smile, as if she hasn’t seen you in hours. So adorable!

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Finding her thumb at 9 weeks old was a game changer. She has refused a pacifier since day 1, so now that she’s able to soothe herself everyone is much happier. But especially momma. Since about 10 weeks old she’s been sleeping 11 hours straight at night (thank you, thumb)!!


Pierce is still as sweet as can be with her. Always hugging and kissing on her. Until he remembers how boring it is to lay down and be still for 2 minutes, and then he’s off to his playroom.


But as we celebrate 3 months, it’s also a sad day because my parents left today. It looks like a happy picture, but there were tears just afterwards as we said goodbye.


Addi loved meeting her Nini and Poppy for the first time…

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…and hanging out in and around Penang. It was so nice having them for such a long visit. We miss them already! :(

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So now the real fun begins as a mom of 2. Next week Justin is traveling for work. It will be the first time since before Addi was born that I’ll be without my in-laws or my parents to help out. Here we go…wish me luck!


10 Apr

Familiar with this acronym? As of Feb 21, 2014 these four little letters have replaced my previous title of Trista Mennen, IT PM. I am now Trista Mennen, SAHM (stay at home mom). Woot woot! That’s right people, I am officially retired. Justin and I recently celebrated with – how else – Mexican food and beers!


In other news, we just extended our assignment here in Penang for another year. We plan to be here until June 2015.

Spring Break in Pangkor Laut

8 Apr

As soon as we got home from KL we unpacked and then immediately packed again to head out the next morning to Pangkor Laut. This little island off the coast of Perak in the north-west peninsular Malaysia was a little piece of paradise. Who knew something so nice could be so close to home?

After a short 2 and a half hour drive we arrived at the jetty where we’d take a quick boat ride out to the island.


Pangkor Laut Resort is gorgeous, and it’s the only resort on the entire island

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Fortunately some friends of ours were also spending Spring Break here, so Pierce had some buddies to play with all week. They didn’t waste any time…got straight to building sand castles, crab hunting, swimming in the ocean, and starting what would become a week long effort at digging the biggest hole on any beach. Ever.

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While the bigger kids had fun playing in the sand all day. Addi preferred to lounge in the shade.

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Addi went for a quick dip in the ocean – her first time – but didn’t care for it too much. She’d rather sleep I guess :)

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When Pierce wasn’t playing at the beach, you could find him and dad in the pool.


Or sometimes we’d just go exploring around the resort. There was lots to see.

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The resort was full of exciting wildlife. Pierce enjoyed feeding the koi fish each morning at breakfast time. We were greeted by monkeys at the beach and Nini was brave enough to stand in front of one to have her picture taken. And these “pterodactyls” were all over the resort. Thankfully we only saw one snake the entire time!

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Justin and Pierce took a kayak out one morning and saw sea otters, fish, iguanas, crabs and monitor lizards bigger than Pierce.


Lucky me, I was able to sneak off for a few hours to enjoy the spa. It was AMAZING. Before my massage even started I was offered a complimentary 45 minute bath ritual that started with a footbath and Chinese foot pounding, then a traditional Malay bath, then a Japanese-style bath, followed by a dip in the heated pool with cold tea, and then an exfoliating Shanghai treatment and wash. I’ve never been so clean and pampered!


This place was gorgeous, and we didn’t want to leave. Now that we know it’s so close we will certainly be back!


Pierce turns 4

8 Apr

This year we celebrated Pierce’s birthday at Adventure Zone in Batu Feringhi. We started at the indoor plays cape where the kids ran wild.

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Then we moved over to the Shangri-La restaurant for cake and lunch

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The family on the beach after the party


P opening his presents after his party


Pierce got a new big kid bike from Nini and Poppy; and a new Police Lego City from Grandma and Grandpa. His two favorite presents!

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Since we were travelling on his actual birthday, we found a kid-friendly place in KL called Kidzania and spent the day there. This place was AWESOME and Pierce loved every minute of it. It’s a miniature city where the kids can dress up and pretend to be certain professions. Pierce was a firefighter, toll booth operator, gas attendant, construction worker, window washer, paramedic, surgeon, pediatric nurse, Dell notebook engineer, airplane pilot, photographer, burger flipper, and a policeman. Whew! What an awesome busy day. He had so much fun here!


That night we enjoyed some good Chinese dim sum for dinner, and then a complimentary birthday cake from the Marriott.

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I can’t believe he’s already four! Time is slipping away right before my eyes. Such a bitter sweet thing to see my baby growing up.

Kuala Lumpur roadtrip

8 Apr

Justin had business in Kuala Lumpur last weekend so the whole family tagged along. My dad flew into Penang late Wednesday evening, and we left for KL Thursday at noon after Pierce finished school. 4 adults, 2 car seats and everyone’s luggage meant we all had to pack light. Somehow we made it all fit in our car!


Justin was entertaining Michael Dell on Friday in the office, so the rest of us spent the day shopping in the local markets and mega shopping malls.

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Over the weekend we explored the city, spending some time at the Petronas Twin Towers, saw the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, visited the Aquarium (self-proclaimed largest aquarium in the world) and even tried out the infamous Mexican restaurant, La Mexicana.

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Monday Justin was back in the office. And because it was Pierce’s 4th birthday we spent the day celebrating him. The birthday blog is coming soon!!


It was a fun family trip, and Addi was a great little traveler on her first trip (since coming home from Singapore). She spent most of her time in the sling and was happy to go with the flow as long as she was on her momma.

A lot changes in a month

14 Feb

Addi Annoucement Front

A month ago today, on January 14, we welcomed Addison Jane into our family. Hard to believe she’s already a month old!


And since it’s also Valentine’s Day, happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Pierce wouldn’t let me take a cute picture of him today, so we just get Addi for now.

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Our hospital stay and the care we received in Singapore was excellent and we are definitely happy with our decision to go there for the birth of our daughter. We weren’t planning on having a c-section delivery, but I’m not surprised that’s how things ended up. Nothing about this baby girl has been easy (but all totally worth it, of course)! Here are some pictures from the hospital, including Pierce enjoying the cocktail party on our last night. IMG_9486  IMG_9480  IMG_9542 IMG_9530

Friday morning, after 3 nights in the hospital we were ready to take Addi home – in her little pink Jayhawk outfit.


But instead of going home, we went straight from the hospital to the US embassy to apply for Addi’s passport. After handing over her baby mugshot (hilarious), a mountain of paperwork, and a quick family interview with the consulate we were finally on our way home – with her American flag in hand, a gift from the embassy.

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Addi’s passport was processed quickly and before we knew it we were on a flight back home to Penang!


Ahhh, so good to be home and back into our normal routine. And Pierce was back at school just in time to celebrate his 100th day of preschool. He is 100 days smarter!


Big brother Pierce could not be more proud and protective of his new baby sister. He loves to cuddle and hold her – which she loves as well. Sometimes when she is upset or crying we just ask Pierce to talk to her or sing to her and she goes quiet and calm. My heart is BURSTING with love for these two.

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We are having a great time getting to know our baby girl. She is a sweet little cuddle bug (mostly) but also has a cry not to be ignored. The doctors and hospital staff commented on it frequently and her pediatrician called her “feisty”. Uh oh, maybe she has a little too much of her momma’s temperment :)

Here she is over the last 4 weeks practicing her smile.


After two months of having around the clock help from Grandma (Justin’s mom) we were sad to say goodbye to her last week. Lucky for us we only have a week gap before Nini (my mom) arrives. We definitely need and appreciate the help from family.



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