Tuesday, December 28, 2004

In the city of angels

First full day of the Lau family reunion, and some things never change. It still takes the group an hour to get going anywhere and a convoy of mini vans making a couple u-turns to get to our final destination. All in all, its good fun to be together again. Our last one was about 7 years ago, so its quite a shock to see how everyone has aged.
Last night everyone stayed up late playing mahjong and Halo 2. The Halo 2 group lasted to about 5:30 am, keeping people with jetlag (like me) awake. Sleep has become something we do on the go since all our travels began.
The thing about being Chinese and pregnant is that everyone will tell you or try to feed you strange things. Supposedly, anything or anyone touching my shoulders is a bad thing. Eating green mung beans is not good. Warm water good, cold water bad. With my cold I can't get anyone to give me any medications. And ginger is my friend.

But, I still love my family reunions.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas...

Well, we're in Taiwan for Christmas this year. We won't be in Seattle at all this holiday. Strange to be in a country that's predominately Buddhist, so there is little Christmas spirit here. That's ok, "Christmas is in the heart", right?
We were having a great time till Mark got food poisoning, I caught a cold, and we got an email from our real estate agent saying that our neighbor called to let us know DC's weather has been 11 degrees lately so our pipes froze, and we got a new swimming pool in our basement for Christmas. whoo hoo.
I wouldn't feel so crappy about it, if the water didn't leak over to our neighbors (we live in the end unit of a row townhouses), flooding their basement, and therefore forcing her to close her daycare. I'm glad she was nice about helping us out while we are out of town.
Figures we'd have something like this happen. Our new place has been nothing but water problems.
Other than that, we're doing good. Mark's getting better from his encounter with bad shellfish, I'm over thinking about my cold cause I've been thinking of how much damage there will be when we get home, and we'll be in Los Angeles next week for a family reunion. The fun never ends in the Chang household.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Look! It's alive! Our baby at 9 weeks. It's not the "bean" shape. It's the figure between the two "plus" signs. The brighter spot close to the middle is its heart, and the little protruding part on its right side is its little arm nub! Woohoo! We're gonna have a baby! Posted by Hello

What a Day

Well we went to our first doctor appointment to check on our baby. It actually was supposed to be the day before, but we were late because Bev was stuck in Southeast DC and I was stuck in Northwest, and anyone who knows that area, it's pretty hairy during traffic hours. Anyway, we waited and waited, in anticipation to catch the first glimpse of our baby. It was a touching moment to be able to see the little baby there, with little arm nubs waving back at us, and watching its little heart beat. I held back my tears, but was filled with excitement to see a little healthy baby growing up in there. I couldn't be more honored/blessed to be entrusted with raising a baby.

On a funny note, Bev almost passed out giving blood for the bloodwork. I think it was because I started asking the nurse, "so, how many ounces do you take out?" Bev started turning green and feeling faint, I kept talking about food, and then the doctor came in and said she looked pale and needed to lie down. The nurse finally got what she needed, and laid Bev down and gave her water and a chocolate truffle. Ok maybe it's not a funny note. It was my fault really.

Now we're in Seattle (I know, long long day). Bev's brother Leroy is coming home from his mission in Sydney, Australia, today, so we're going to welcome him back. I'm still stuck on Eastern time so I've been up since 5am PST, while Bev seems to have no problem adjusting. Oh well!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Combined Federal Campaign

CFC as it is called in our acronym built government, is a "wonderful" thing that happens this time every year. And lucky for me I was drafted to be the CFC cheerleader in our office. Basically it's the one time of the year that government workers are solicited for time and mostly money to a list of charities that qualify to be in the CFC's catalogue. I think the only requirement is that they have to have less then 25% of their donations go towards their admin costs.
Although, there are PLENTY of charities out there that I believe are a joke, I've decided to give them the benefit of doubt and give my time and efforts. So, today we held our book drive. We collected used books from people in our office and sell them again at a cheap-o price and give that money to CFC. I can say some people get real snooty about giving in any way shape or form. Some go as far as to squeeze behind me and the wall to not have to walk infront of the books. We call it the "walk-of-shame". Well, despite the weirdos in my office building, we managed to sell enough books to exceed my goal for a 3.5 hour sale. $152. Not bad I think. Some people thought it was books I was selling for myself. "Hello? Do I look that desolate and poor?" Must be the lack of sleep.
That's the one thing I can't stand about some people here in the DC metro area. They assume way too much. Then they open their mouths, and I want to shove my foot in it to plug up the crap that falls out. I know, I know, one day I'll move away from here and miss the stupid things some people do and say here. They just say the darnest things!
Why do they say "Virginia is for lovers"? it's more like "Virginia is for people who think too much about themselves" Its the what's-in-it-for-me syndrome and its like a chronic plague here.

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Where's the landlord

There's a big hole in our ceiling because the guys upstairs with the big butts broke the toilet and the water dripped all day downstairs, so we called the landlord. And told him to fix it. So we went out to buy the stuff we need to fix that big hole in the ceiling because of the big water stain. It's times like this when it'd be nice to not be the landlord and not be the guys upstairs with the big butt.

Monday, October 18, 2004

*Sigh* it's Monday...

I thought about calling in sick just to play with my new sewing machine. I've wanted my WHOLE life! Seriously. When I was 10, I begged and begged my mom to get me a kid sized sewing machine, that actually sewed a simple straight stitch, I had seen in the toy store in Hong Kong. It was pink with flower stickers on it, it had a little light bulb that would go dim whenever you started sewing, and it came with all the little gadgets a little semstress would ever need. I sewed little bags and clothes for my dolls, I was even sewing on paper before any scrap-booker thought of it. I used it until, like most toys, my baby sister got ahold of it; parts got broken and pieces were lost. But it was a toy, so it wasn't going to last me till college, And since then, I've always wanted one of my own.
Like any childhood toy, you always think back and wonder, "whatever happened to that?" I think it may have got lost in the shuffle of moving.
Mark bought me this sewing machine as a late birthday present. I wanted to do my research to find one that would meet my needs at an affordable price. Sewing machines have come a LONG way. This one is almost completely computerized, has an LED light that doesn't dim when you sew, and comes with tons more of everything. I love the LED light, it's like the color of the Zenon headlights on a BMW! So cool.
Now, what do I sew first?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Liew & Andrew

Liew & Andrew
August 5, 2004

I'm finally getting around to posting these. See pics here
There's more to come! DVD coming soon.
Posted by Hello

Casa de Jasper

See more pics of our house

Our house in the middle of the street, the one with the red door.
Oh look, its Car! The same car that won't let go of the license plate cover!
Bad, Car!!

this is an audio post - click to play

Audioblog from: YourFriendMark

It's Saturday again!

So it's been a while since I last wrote...
Update on the bathroom, "it looks marvelous darling!" It didn't look as great when I was putting the special glaze on. I kept washing off the glaze and starting over. But as it turns out, the stuff is pretty forgiving. In the end it looks like a pro did it, and our powder room looks like a hotel bathroom. :) Nice. I will take pictures tomorrow and upload them here. I forgot that I was supposed to take pics of our house for Mark to show to his mom. opps. Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day in DC.
My latest adventure was my struggle with my arch nemesis, the screw on the license plate cover of our Camry. Naturally over time, metal screws will rust. This one however decided it was happy were it was and pretty much fused itself to the car. I had already been driving a few days without sticking the 2005 sticker on our license plate, and with how strict the cops are here, I wasn't about to go another day without the sticker on the car. So I fought and struggled with this certain screw. I even bent the screwdriver in my attempt to just crack its seal.
After a few attempts with multiple screwdrivers and a pair of pliers, I gave up. I was cold, late for work, and my hand hurt. I ripped that little sticker from its backing and slapped it right on to the clear plastic plate cover! At least I can't be ticketed for not having the sticker. I was told by a co-worker that it’s pretty much impossible to peel it off in one piece because it basically disintegrates as you pull on it. That's cool.
I guess I'll wait for Mark to get back from his trip to AZ to figure this one out. Meanwhile, I'll go to the DMV and ask for a new sticker.

I went to see Mark in AZ last weekend. It was so good to spend some time with Mark, even though the town of Sierra Vista next to Ft. Huachuca isn't all that exciting. AZ is fun for a visit, but long term is out of the question. There are too many creepy crawlies that could kill you. But they do have the most beautiful sun sets.
We visited our friends the Romneys in Phoenix (we used to be in the same ward in VA) on Sunday and watched General Conference on satellite with them and there little boy Jase. Jase is at that age where he’s personality is starting to shine from his little body. I’ve been around a lot of kids at 18 months and they are all so much fun. They just bought a cute little house out there, in a newly developed community with a lot of other LDS in the area. It’s not a bad place to raise kids, since they are pregnant again. Wow, we’ve got some catching up to do. : )
We also went to visit the Krouses in Tucson. They just barely moved out there from Mukilteo, WA where the evergreens are tall and the Puget Sound is blue. Big change. They moved into a really nice adobe styled home with an amazing view of the mountains. They’ve got quite a bit of land there and say they’ve seen jack rabbits, coyotes, scorpions, snakes, tarantulas, and wild boar that smell bad. They said that if your pet gets out, they’re pretty much goners. That’s so sad! I can’t live there always worrying about that’s out there. We had a good time visiting them and chatting. Mark helped them by figuring out how to turn the shower on in the tub. It’s weird you have to pull down on part of the faucet.

So things have been great. I love how things are going now. I’ve never traveled SO much in my life! I think a majority of our income goes to our housing and travel. Mark’s mom has been super generous to us. For our Christmas present she’s paying our way to Taiwan. Wow, thank you! I’ve never been and I still haven’t met Mark’s mom side of the family that still live out there. I’m taking Chinese classes now to get better at mandarin. I’ve done ok at listening, but speaking is another thing. The teacher is from mainland China so when I’m done with class I’m going to sound like I’m from Shanghai. : )

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, September 26, 2004

My family dog, Rosie. She's too cute for words, and she knows it.
When we have kids we'll get a dog like Rosie too.
See pics of Rosie

Just wanted to show off a pic of some of my really long time friends from S'pore. Back to Front: Alexis, Valerie, me, Crystal. Posted by Hello

No real reason for posting this pic... other than I think it looks cool and I'm gonna try to paint that one day. Posted by Hello

If you're ever in HI, I totally recommend going on a dinner cruise. It's a bit pricey, but worth it.  Posted by Hello

Mark tried to dig to China, but realized the cement he hit wasn't the great wall. Apparently all the sand at Waikiki is imported. lame. Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 25, 2004

It's Saturday!

I love waking up and realizing it's Saturday. Its like finding out you got a raise for your hard
work. There is just so much potential for Saturday. What to do with so much
time? But then you realize it isn't that much time, because time flys faster
on Saturday than any other day.

Mark has been out of town for 2.5 weeks now. And I'm holding up better than I thought. Though, some days I feel I've got no motivation to really do anything. But it's Saturday, and Saturdays are different!

Mark won't be back til Oct 14. So in that time I wanted to start decorating our new home. I spent a good hour and a half at Home Depot (c) last night. Was there till closing time to find just the right color of sophistication for our home. I thought I'd start with a small project, i.e. the
powder bathroom in the foyer. It's really a closet sized bathroom next to the front door.

I can't say what the colors are cause Mark will probably read this, and it's supposed to be a surprise. So it will be a surprise for you all too. Lets just say it's not your ordinary powder
room color. Its called a colorwash where you paint your first base coat then use a faux texture glaze with a darker color and brush that on in no particular pattern on the wall. It almost has that faux suede look.

If I screw up... well then I guess we'll just go back to Home Depot for a gallon of eggshell white.

What a beautiful day to climb Diamond Head, HI! Posted by Hello