Thursday, June 25, 2009

It only took 3 years and 4 months

and a bunch of beer! Free I say--free like the birdies! This is the first night Justin and I have shared with Nate nowhere in sight since his birth! So what the hell am I doing talking to you?

Love Patty!

P.S. She's had a few drinks.

This is where we are!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A celebratory lunch

To celebrate mum's birthday and Fathers' day, we went out for indian food at Vansh.

I'll let the photographs speak for themselves.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nate and the family in Singapore

It's never been a big secret that the primary reason for this trip to Singapore was so Nate could spend time with his grandparents. They've been to Vancouver to see him twice already, but he'd never been to Singapore to see them. It was so nice to see Nate run up to his grandparents at the airport and give them big hugs, even though he hadn't seen them since April 2008. Since then, it's been nothing but grandma this and grandpa that.

In addition, Nate has finally met my brother. It didn't really take very long for him to make up his mind about his uncle Kevin. On their second meeting, he turned to Kevin and said 'You're a cool guy!'. Since then, whenever Kevin is around, Nate is stuck to him like glue.

'Is Uncle Kevin coming?'
'Uncle Kevin, are you coming with us?'
'Uncle Kevin, I have to tell you something.'
'Are you coming home with us uncle Kevin?'

These are just some of the things you'll hear Nate say when his uncle Kevin is around. The list goes on. I always knew that the two of them would hit it off, but it's so nice to finally see it happen. Just look at them, you'd think they've known each other forever!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some of the things we've been up to

Yes, that is Nate feeding an Aldabra giant tortoise at the Singapore Zoo. We spent about half a day there on Tuesday, and got to see all sorts of animals including bats and snakes, which made Nate very happy. I don't think he was so sure about the giant tortoises, but I thought they were lovely. Their keeper told me that they will actually seek out human contact, and enjoyed being scratched on the neck or patted on the head. Somehow I never really thought of tortoises as social/affectionate types. Who knew?

This morning we took Nate to the beach, something we've been promising him for quite a few days now. It's just been too hot the last few days and no one has felt much like being at the beach under the sun. To that end, we left first thing this morning when it was only 29 degrees! I think Nate has a love hate relationship with water. He never seems very sure of it when he gets up close and personal with it. It takes him awhile to warm up to the idea of getting wet. He always excited to go to the pool, but usually spends the first 10 minutes or so just sitting on the first step with his ankles in the water. It was the same at the beach this morning, but he eventually settled in and really enjoyed himself.

As for food, we are working our way through it. My brother brought curry puffs over on Monday, a deep fried pastry filled with chicken and potato curry. Patty and I used to make these when I first moved to Vancouver, but it has been quite awhile since we've made any. Eating them here though might just change that. They really are very good, and I wish there was an equivalent back in Canada.

Finally, some nasi lemak. Rice cooked in coconut cream and usually served with a small fried fish, egg, chili sauce and a slice of cucumber. I remember it as breakfast food, but this is Singapore and you can pretty much eat it any time of day you like. When I was a kid, there were always boys cycling around our neighbourhood with packets of nasi lemak in baskets attached to their bikes. You only had to walk down the driveway and hail one of them to get a great meal.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In Singapore

Breakfast at the hawker centre

After some 34 hours of travelling time, we arrived safely in Singapore. Our plane landed at 11.30pm and it was 30 degrees Celsius outside. I was informed by dad later, that it was a cool night!

Nate did remarkably well on the journey, and seems to have adjusted very well to life in the tropics. I wish the same could be said for me. I spoke to an old friend yesterday and he complained about the heat. People who live here are finding it hot! It's not so much the heat as the humidity, which hovers around 90% most of the time.

We are slowly getting our body clocks adjusted, although Nate did wake up at 4.30 yesterday morning. We've been spending lots of time at the pool, although it's not the cool relief I was expecting. It's more like getting into a warm bath.

Cooling off

This being Singapore, we are spending lots of time taking part in the national pastime - eating. Jack, if you are reading this, the food photos are for you. I know it's not the same thing as eating it, but it's the best I can do right now. Enjoy, there will be more to come.

Lontong - cabbage, tofu, rice cake in a coconut curry broth

Roti Prata - fried bread with curry
The only food I truly miss from Singapore

Monday, June 8, 2009

Inside our house

The front door/hallway

The living room

Dining room

Master bedroom

Nate's room


New do

Cut short in preparation for Singapore.  Once again, he was very good in the chair.  Made some small-talk, held the spray bottle and the trimmer, and pretty much charmed everyone there.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Our house

I've been trying to get photos of the house, but haven't been too successful. I just don't seem to have a wide enough lens to shoot the interior. They all end up being views of walls, and not much else. I will keep trying, but in the meantime, here are some photos of the outside.

I assure you, there really is a house in there somewhere.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today and the weeks past

Today was our tenth wedding anniversary. The weather here in Halifax not unlike the weather in Vancouver 10 years ago. It was wet, windy and cool. We started off the day with coffee courtesy of my friend Jesse, who had sent us some Guatemala SHB from Vancouver. Thanks Jesse! You have excellent timing. There was a phone call from my folks, which turned into a teleconference on Skype (yes, I finally unpacked my old computer and got it up and running). A trip to Walmart, window washing, dinner, house cleaning, and laundry. Not exactly romantic stuff I suppose, but we got to spend the day together.

A lot has happened in the weeks since my last post. I probably won't remember everything, but I will attempt to summarize the important bits.

  1. I have started working at The Smiling Goat, a small cafe across from the Public Gardens downtown. So far it's just half days twice a week, but those hours will increase later.
  2. We spent a week painting the house and getting it cleaned before we moved in.
  3. We moved into our new house on 16 May. We're mostly unpacked, although there are a few boxes to go, mostly books and CDs. For those of you who are thinking of visiting, the guest room is all setup.
  4. I discovered that our espresso machine had not survived the journey across the country. I suspect there was water left in the two heat exchangers, and that water must have frozen at some point, causing the boiler to rupture. Hoping to get it welded back eventually. Fingers crossed. For now we're using the french press.
  5. About nine days after we moved in, Patty left for Regina and Ottawa. This left me, Nate and Snoopy bouncing around in a huge house, an odd experience that will probably take some getting used to. During this time, I spent a lot of time watching Flight of The Conchords. So much so that I found myself speaking with a kiwi accent.
  6. While Patty was away, I took Nate for his first dental checkup. To my amazement, he did not throw a fit. Instead he was the complete opposite. He listened and did as he was told, he asked questions, he joked and shook hands with the dental hygienist and dentist. I was so proud of him! And to top it all off, no cavities!
  7. My brother completed his tour of Afghanistan and made it back to Singapore safe and sound.

There's probably more, but I can't think of what it might be right now.

Come Wednesday, we'll be getting on a plane and flying to Singapore. I would be lying if I told you I was looking forward to this flight. It will take us some 30 hours of travelling to get from here to Singapore. The longest flight Nate has ever been on was from Vancouver to Halifax, 8.5 hours that seemed too long for him and me! People have suggested we drug him for the trip, but I think it'll work out better if I drug myself.

I hope to be updating this from Singapore, so stay tuned.