Santa made a special visit to Penang today, but even he thinks it’s too hot for pants here!
The Australian Hostie put on a great Christmas party again this year with a jump house, Christmas elves, balloon making clowns, face painting, etc. Some of P’s best friends from school were there. Here he is with his friend Axy, acting “silly for Santa”.
The kids were super excited about the free trishaw rides. Truly a Penang Christmas experience!
And here is our electronic Christmas card this year. Sorry for not sending the real deal. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Minus the football. Minus the Turkey Trot. Minus the Grey Thursday/Black Friday madness. And minus the Macy’s parade. But with great food and even better company, this American holiday was not lacking here in Penang this year!
We kicked off the holiday by bringing treats to school on Thursday morning. P was so excited to make these Oreo turkey cookies – and even more excited to eat them with his friends. He was so proud of his big blob of sugar, and wondered why I wouldn’t let him assemble all of the cookies!
I briefly considered hosting dinner at our home, but after adding up the guests that we would need to invite, I quickly realized there was no way we could accommodate so many people. Instead some friends and I rented the event room at our condo and we held a potluck style Thanksgiving for 50+ people. We had a great buffet turnout of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and even pumpkin pie! Turkeys and traditional ingredients aren’t always necessarily easy to come by here, so I’m very glad everyone was resourceful and able to pull this all together. It was a YUMMY dinner!
This year we have so many reasons to be thankful. Along with the obvious ones, topping my list right now is our survival of the recent Dengue breakout. Everyone I know in our condo has at least one family member with it – plus another 25 or so reported cases between our building and the building next to us. Crossing my fingers we remain healthy for the next two weeks until we leave for Singapore.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. I hope you have many reasons to be thankful this holiday season too!
My girlfriends in Penang threw me an Indian themed baby shower last weekend to celebrate our baby-girl-to-be. There were many trips down to Little India the week leading up to the shower, which was part of the fun (maybe you saw the over-sized Indian dosa on my Facebook page?). Everyone really enjoyed buying sarees and accessories.
On the day of the shower the security guards at our condo (who are mostly Indian) thought it was hilarious and interesting to see a bunch of white girls showing up in full on Indian attire. They were entertained for sure but everyone looked AMAZING! And we all had SO. MUCH. FUN! It was the most festive baby shower I’ve ever been a part of.
Why Indian, you ask? In the Indian culture, henna in the 8th month of pregnancy is an ancient practice which is intended to have a calming and soothing effect for mom and baby. And trust me…with the heat and humidity here, along with a traveling husband I need all of that I can get! It is believed to help bring about an easy birth, a healthy child, and in general a beautiful way to celebrate new life.
My amah, Jenny (our wonderful domestic helper) had been wanting to gift me a sari of my own, and to cook some authentic Indian dishes for me, so this was the perfect opportunity! The sari blouse isn’t quite complete – we’ll have it fitted properly after I deliver and am back to “normal” size – but I love it, and think it’s so nice of Jenny to do this for me.
Jenny’s daughter, Jessy did the henna for me and my friends. They are really so nice, and I feel so fortunate to have them be a part of this celebration.
The girls came up with a funny and creative (and not at all offensive) game called pin the bindi on the baby.
Me with the hostesses of the shower.
Such a fun party, celebrating our little miracle. I can’t believe we’ll meet her so soon. I know the growing belly should be a sharp slap of reality, but it still feels surreal and I just can’t believe we’ll have a daughter soon. So exciting!!
A friend here in Penang offered to take some maternity photos of me for free, to help build her portfolio. I had no idea what to expect but she had some specific props and poses in mind, and I didn’t have to worry about a thing which was nice. I just showed up, wore what I was told, stood where I was told. I forgot how easy pictures are without having to worry about a toddler/preschooler! Even though she’s been into photography less than a year, she has a very artsy eye and I think they turned out beautifully. I think every woman should have pictures of her pregnant belly. Such a special time in one’s life.
The photographer also took pictures of my baby shower this weekend, which was a fun Indian theme! Stay tuned for that blog post, coming soon…
Pumpkins aren’t cheap or easy to come by in Penang – and even if you find one, it won’t be the kind you’d see back home. So you gotta get creative! A friend threw a Halloween party and challenged us to a tropical fruit jack-o-lantern contest. FUN! There was watermelon, papaya, local honeydew, grapefruit (ours) and a shark fin melon (ours). Our grapefruit won honorable mention at the party, yay us!
All my little pumpkins:
Painting our “pumpkins”:
Trick or treating at the Straits Quay mall event:
Costume parade around the pool, and checking out his loot after more trick or treating at a friend’s party:
And last but not least, here is our proper American jack-o-lantern, carved before we left Alabama. Meow!
Hope your Halloween was a great one!!!
After a lot of thought and much debate, we decided it’s in our best medical interest to deliver baby girl in Singapore instead of here in Penang. Sounds like an easy enough thing – go to Singapore to have a baby. But actually, we’ve got A LOT to do in the next few months to prepare for our extended stay in Singapore. We kicked off the planning frenzy last weekend with a quick trip to Singapore to visit some hospitals and find a place to live. All in all, we toured 4 hospitals and checked out about 15 apartment complexes.
Here is big brother at one of the hospitals, practicing his baby care.
Because I’ll be too far along to fly, we plan to drive to Singapore mid-December (a 9 hour drive). We can’t leave the country with her until she has her official US birth certificate and passport, and this is expected to take up to 6 weeks after her birth, so we plan to stay until mid-February. Once back home in Penang we can get her Malaysian visa. No, she won’t have Singaporean citizenship – many have asked. They don’t give that out as readily as the US does.
Although it was a tiring and hectic 2 days, it was a very productive weekend in Singapore. We decided on a hospital and narrowed down the apartments to our top 3. Yay! We celebrated with a Miller Lite (for Justin) which we can’t get here in Penang, and some delicious buffalo wings for me. So let’s make this the 3rd post in a row that includes food. The chicken is significant because with my last pregnancy I had a severe aversion to chicken. Funny, with this pregnancy I actually crave it, and sometimes it’s the only thing I can eat. Wish I could get these wings in Penang!