Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Raphael Update

Raphael is four months old today! Time needs to slow way down. I want him to stay little forever. Okay, not really, but he is no longer a new born and he just keeps growing. All good things, but he is my baby and I want him to stay a baby for a little while longer. And I have a while cause he is only four months old. 

Things that he is doing: smiling, cooing or gooing because that is what he does. He will say "goo" and it is the sweetest. Sleeping through the night (a chorus of angels is singing hallelujah as you read this)! Don't ask me how, he just is. He started laughing this past week!!! No amount of exclamation points can express my joy when I heard his little laugh. Apparently I am hilarious because he laughs at me when we talk. He likes to bounce too. That makes him giggle. His two main nick names are Raffa and Ralphie. He is very curious about his surroundings and looks all around. Cosette will tell you that he likes songs. She sings the primary song "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ" to him and that will calm him down. I'm not sure what he thinks of Henry. Henry was jumping around saying peekaboo to him tonight and Raphael had this look on his face like buddy what are you doing? It was hilarious. Raphael probably thinks Henry is a little too wild right now. But before too long these two boys of mine will be jumping, climbing, swinging on whatever they can find. Our kids have a lot of energy. 

We are grateful he has stayed healthy during all this traveling and change. He has been a dream. Glad he is ours. Love you baby Raphael.   

Friday, 20 November 2015

What Singapore is Like

Singapore is better than what we expected. We are all loving it here. We have been here just over three weeks now and I cannot remember what our life was like before this. We have acclimated very well so far. New York is very different from Singapore and I do not want to compare the two, but life here has been a lot easier so far. We are living in a very central area close to a lot of things so it might be a little different once we move to our apartment. For right now Singapore is home and it really feels like home. 

We take our swim suits everywhere. There is a pool at every apartment complex, home, or splash pad. We have started not leaving home with out them. 

Cosette and Henry have been working on their photography skills. And don't let this innocent face fool you. He has pulled out the ice cube trays, spilled some yoghurt, and torn up an entire roll of paper towels all within sixty seconds. 

Eastern culture meets Western culture here. I was surprised that there was such a large European influence here. To use my term it is very "Eurofied". We were told that everyone speaks English. That is not the case. Most people can understand English, but may not necessarily speak it. That has not been an issue though. There are four main languages spoken here: Mandarin, English, Tamil, and Malay. Talk about a melting pot. 
The subway here is called the MRT. I am in love with it. The cars are huge! It can be packed and I can still push my Uppa Baby Vista with both seats and piggy back board on with no problem. There are also glass barriers between the platform and tracks. I love that. It is safe and I do not fear for my children's lives every time we are on the platform. It is air conditioned, so you are not dying of heat. The best part is that there is an elevator at every single stop!!!!!! I could put a million exclamation points and I still think that my excitement and gratitude for this would not be expressed. It makes getting around so stinking easy. No more bumping my stroller up and down the stairs. It's a dream. The buses are great too. Although you do have to fold your stroller up on the bush, which is a downer, but we are used to that. Once we get our McClaren it won't be such a big deal. We have taken the bus a few times. Some are double deckers, which are the best to climb up to the top and look out over the city. Taxi's are cheap. We use them a lot more here because there are some places that you simply cannot get to with out taking one, or you have to take a train and then two buses to get there. With three kids and a giant stroller we have to fold up those trips are not feasible alone. We are all really enjoying the transportation here. Getting around is so much easier and makes my life so much easier not having to worry about how many flights of stairs I am going to have to bump my stroller up or down. And all my New York friends will appreciate this. The elevators do not smell like pee. Every subway elevator smells like pee in New York. So grateful for them, and so grateful to get off them.
The weather is hot and humid, no surprises there. I like it though. Every place is air conditioned, so if we get to hot we just go inside for a little bit to cool off then we are off again. The rain storms here are awesome. It will just pour for a while then stop. I like it. There is not a constant rain fall all day. It just pours for a little while then stops. We have experienced some really big thunder and lightning storms here so far. Hearing it makes me think how awesome mother nature is.
The food is your typical Asian food. I'm so happy to have the Asian French style bakeries every where. Asia has the best bread! And our favorite place in the Philippines is everywhere in Singapore! We have been eating rice or noodles with every meal. We have had a lot of exposure to Asian food, so it is not a huge shock. We are still getting used to some new tastes. I am telling the kids a lot we have to get used to eating different food. And we are learning to love all the different new flavors. We are lucky that the kids do like Asian food a lot. Rice and noodles are some of their favorites.

We are really lucky to have a sister missionary who served in our ward in NYC who is from Singapore show us around. She has taken us to several food places. One of the places she took us to had restaurant with the meat hanging up and Cosette said that we needed to tell them it was not okay to kill animals. She has shared some traditional kid snacks with us, introduced us to some traditional Chinese desserts, and to Awfully Chocolate. Which for that we are eternally grateful. The ice cream is to die for. Her parents had us over for dinner one night and prepared traditional foods. It was delicious.

We have met the nicest people here. The Singaporeans are such kind people. At least people have shown me a lot of kindness. A woman was so nice to me on the MRT when Henry and Raphael were both freaking out. Instead of people rolling their eyes at me they help. One woman saw me waiting for some friends with the kids and started talking to me about how wonderful it is that I can stay home with my children and I will see the results later in my life. The kids were being kind of rowdy while she was talking with me. After our brief conversation she came back with a snack for the children. It was the sweetest, kindest thing a stranger has ever done for me. I am so grateful for her kindness. It was so sweet, words cannot justly express my gratitude for her. Another story for how nice people are is that I was checking out at the grocery store. It had been kind of stressful grocery trip. Henry, Henry, Henry. Love that boy, but wow! I understand the terrible twos. He is not terrible, he is just into everything. Nothing, I mean nothing is safe. So grocery shopping with him a little crazy. He opened the eggs and got a couple out, he opened the milk, the oranges.  So once we got to the check out line I was ready to book it home. And then as I am bending down to pick something up my diaper bag hits a row of gum and knocks the whole shelf off. The lady behind me in line started helping me unload my groceries and one of the employees told me not to worry about it and she picked it all up. Maybe these people think I'm crazy, but at least they are helpful. I do not know what it is, but I am so grateful for the kind actions instead of the negative comments. I have had a lot of people come up to me and tell me how capable I must be to handle three children. It makes me laugh because I am thinking I'm glad you think I am handling it. Its a whole mess of crazy of at home, but thank you. I guess a lot of people have helpers here or family close by that help out. And they only have one or two children. 

The people from church have been amazing. We have all felt so welcomed. I had friends who put me in touch with friends over here and we had some contact with people and got the low down on what to bring and what Singapore was like before we got here. So grateful for all of that information. We were able to find out about a ward Halloween party and attended. I am so grateful for the church. I would be struggling with out it. The ladies have been so wonderful. I really feel that if I need anything I can reach out to them and get help. Like I was sick and Lyndon has been super busy (he did not get home till 5am one night). I needed help with the kids and I knew I could not do it by myself feeling this way. I reached out to several people and some kind sister in my ward took the older two for the whole afternoon and brought us dinner. I am so grateful. I am excited to get to know them all better. 

The hotel we are staying at right now has a lot of families in our situation. I have met several ladies with kids similar ages and gotten to know them. One friend is even from the South. I have a testimony that our Heavenly Father knows our circumstances and puts us where we need to be. We had only been here a couple of days and I saw a girl wearing a BYU shirt and found out there are three other LDS families staying in our hotel and have kids the same age. Things like this are not coincidence. 

I am really grateful we are here. I am grateful for Lyndon being the hard worker he is. I am grateful that the children have been doing so well. I am grateful for the sunshine and the heat. I am grateful we can go swimming everyday. I am grateful for the public transportation and elevators here. I am grateful for the people. I cannot complain about anything and I have nothing to complain about. Life here is wonderful. I am so happy. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Cirque Du Soleil and Mickey Mouse

A friend told us about a free Cirque du Soleil show down in Marina Bay this week. We were able to get tickets (thank you Natalie) and got to see Totem, Cirque du Soleil's two brand new act. The show was pretty amazing. It is incredible how they can bend their bodies. Cirque du Soleil really demonstrates how amazing the human body is.The kids were enthralled by the performance the whole time. Cosette has not come out and said she wants to be and acrobat, but was clearly inspired by the show. She was climbing and doing all sorts of tricks on the way out of the venue. Henry was cute during the show and said “look Mommy! Look!”. I love my littles. I have never been interested in going to one of those shows before, but since the kids loved it so much I think we will have to check it out. Since they enjoyed the show so much and were entertained the whole time it gives me hope that we can do more things like this in the future.
There were two acts that they performed. One was a aquatic theme and the second was man's journey to discovering himself. 

She was having the time of her life. I'm going to have to start calling her my little acrobat.
I am so happy Henry enjoyed the show. It would have been difficult if he had not been interested to juggle him and Raphael. It was kind of hard not to be enthralled by it. The costumes, the tricks. It was a time to remember. 

This photo to document that Raphael and I were there.

After the show we ventured around the Marina Bay area. It is so lovely down there. I cannot wait to get our shipment (it comes on the 19 and we get all our things on the 26th) so we can get the kids scooters out and scooter around the bay. The kids had a great time going through the “forests” which were just clumps of trees next to this huge mall by the Sands Hotel. They pretended to be explores and kept telling each other to watch out for boobie traps. Oh, to be a child again and experience things like they are brand new.

Being explorers here.
They would point to the lights in the ground and say "don't step on the boobie traps".  Henry is making sure Cosette knows about this one. I heart them!
Lyndon's building. We met him for lunch there afterward. They have a awesome food court at work with food from every part of Asia, and hot dogs. Chicken hot dogs actually. The kids were thrilled.
Singapore is getting all decked out for Christmas. I love it. On the Tang Plaza there is even a New Testament verse. I love seeing the religious side of this holiday being broadcast. 
When we got back we went straight to Takashimaya to see if we could get into a small Disney performance and meet Mickey Mouse. And we did! Cosette even got called on to go on stage and answer a question, “what color is Donald Duck’s sailor suit?”. She answered correctly, blue! I made sure to tell her the answer before she went on stage, because she had told me it was green. She got a cute little Anna and Elsa purse. I was really happy for her that she got that experience. Then we got our picture with Mickey, Minnie, and Donald. It made me happy to get that. Henry has been way into Mickey Mouse Club House lately. I even let them watch extra TV that day, because when I was planning on turning it off Cosette yelled to Henry that it was coming on. It’s his favorite.I love my babies.

They were kind of unsure about Mickey. They warmed up enough to get some pictures. 

Here is a clip I got of Cosette answering the question. I was to slow to miss her telling her name and age. She said it loud with gusto. 

This day was a great one. I did a good job of wearing us all out, but it was so great. I just don't want to miss anything or the kids to miss out on any experiences here. I am grateful that I get this time with them to explore this new beautiful place we live in. We are still in the honeymoon phase here. Everything is new and exciting. We are all loving it. Cosette does say that it is too hot, but we get to go swimming every day. She is mighty okay with that. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Happy Birthday Lyndon!

Happy Birthday to my love. Lyndon turned thirty this year. It was a big birthday and we celebrated kind of big.

His birthday morning he opened his present from the kids. Cosette picked out the Lego Tree house creator set. Lyndon is really into Lego's right now. He was excited exclaiming "my first Lego set!". He and the kids put it together this weekend. His dreams of doing things like this with the kids are coming true.

He had to work late on his birthday, so we brought his birthday to him. We went down to his work and had dinner with him. We brought his presents and cake. It was kind of a lame party, but Lyndon said he was happy that we came down to be with him. We do what we can. And we had to go down, it was his birthday!
We had a pool party at our place Saturday to celebrate him with friends. We invited everyone we have met here so far and had a great turnout. The kids had a blast playing with all the other kids. Everyone was happy. We filled up a bunch of water balloons and had a water balloon fight. Lyndon kept throwing them at me trying to get me wet. I would be talking to people then out of no where a balloon would hit me and I was soaked. I had to hold the camera so he couldn't get me wet. It was so great to get to know people here better. I appreciate everyone coming out to celebrate my handsome hubby. Lyndon said he felt very loved after the party, so thank you everyone for coming.

Spot light on our new friends the Darren and Sarah who are from Tennessee! Glad we will have some friends to watch the Vols play football or basketball with while we are here. They also know my brother in law. Such a small world. 

The finished product. The creator sets are pretty awesome because it is three creations in one. They are going to take the tree house apart and do another one this weekend.
That night we had a date night and saw the new James Bond movie. We really liked it. Not our favorite Bond film, but still pretty amazing. I wonder who will be the next Bond?

I hope this next decade treats you well, babe. Me and the kiddos love you with all our hearts.
xoxo, Christine, Cosette, Henry, and Raphael 

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Red Barn: Pumpkin Patch Take Three and Four

We spent a week in Utah before we left for Singapore. We had a great time! Lyndon was made a lot of plans. One of the plans was to find a pumpkin patch. We decided you can never go to too many. We went to The Red Barn out in Santaquin on afternoon. When we left Orem it was hot, like we were sweating hot. When we got to Santaquin it was freezing! None of us were prepared for the cold because it had been so hot. So we all kind of froze. We grabbed blankets, pillows, whatever we could find in the cars to bundle up with.

This place was probably my favorite out of all the pumpkin patches we made it to this season. There were a lot of things for the kids to do as well as us big kids. The apple gun was pretty fantastic. My brother was the only one who actually hit the target. The ice cream was really good. You don't need to go do all the other stuff, just go for the ice cream.

We had so much fun we got a bounce back ticket so we could go again the next day. We brought home a lot of pumpkins. Like a lot. I think like nine pumpkins, no joke. It's hard to only pick one when there are so many to choose from.

The corn maze lived up to all of Lyndon's dreams. There was a treasure hunt you could do while going through it. It made it a lot more fun for the rest of us because we had a purpose. We found just about every clue and the workers said we had about the highest score they had seen anyone get.

It was a successful couple of days spent there. All of our fall fantasies were fulfilled. 
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