Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in the Tropics: Snow in Singapore!!

One of the best things/worst things about Singapore is they do everything BIG!  Christmas has been the biggest yet.... everything is as fancy as it gets.  I had been hearing about the "snow" at Tanglin Mall.... How cool can it be?  Really bubbles??  I had NO idea!  We took the kids last week with a bunch of friends... It was AWESOME!!

First they start by having bubble come up by the kids feet... then the bubbles start to come from the sky!  It was amazing!  For about two seconds I felt like I was in a snow storm.... Sigh... Big Sigh... missing the crazy storms from last year... did I just say that??

Kid shot by the tree right before the "snow" started

ME and BFF (in Singapore Charlotte :)

LOVE this one!  A is betrothed to the cutie on the right..... If only :)

And there is the palm trees in the snow....

And this would be G's betrothed..... Cute isn't he :) 

Love this girl!  Sweet Jane....

OMH of the Day

Don't ask me why but ME is obsessed with makeup...... Any time she gets a friend over she wants to apply makeup with them.  She looks at women and comments on their make up or lack of... What have I done wrong?? 

This particular day we had some good friends over and we were enjoying a wonderful meal.  The girls came out and asked if they could do face paint just like all of the other kids had done.  Of course we said happily!  20 minutes later they came to show us their faces....

My first thought... that looks a little to bright... oh wait.... is that PERMANENT MARKER???  Why yes.  Ugh! 

She had the remnants for days to come....

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in the Tropics: Gingerbread Houses

We have had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas in Singapore.... MUCH much different than the east coast winters that we are used to but I could get use to this.... We decorated ginger bread houses in our bathing suits for instance.....

Who knew that the humidity would turn the houses into mush in a matter of hours.... Sigh... so that is why the little girl who was over doing them with us suggested we put them in the fridge... Live and learn.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I held out as long as I possibly could on getting a helper.  I was determined that I did not need it.  I could do it on my own.  I didn't want to have that expense.  I didn't want to have another woman in the house.  I didn't want to navigate all the trickiness I heard other women talking about.  I finally hit the wall in November and decided that something had to change in order for me to survive and thrive living in Singapore.

We had two options... 1.  Get a car.  2. Get a full time "helper" or maid.  I figured either of those two things would increase my happiness and ease the stress of living here.  Ironically, the car was WAY more expensive ans so we went with option 2! 

Enter Jenny...... It has been almost a month since she has come to live with us.  The first night Martin came home and she was in the living room folding clothes and I was in the bath tub.  He spent a few minutes chatting with her and came back to our room.  He had a panicked frenzied look on his face.  I asked him what was wrong and he said, "do you realize I am supporting TWO families now?!"  I assured him that just because he found out that she has three children in the Philippines did not change how much we were paying her.  That night he felt certain he couldn't do this whole maid thing.  That was Monday.  By Friday he was handing her a stack of his shirts to be ironed and was praising the invention.

I have had mixed feelings about it... for only a minute.  My feelings stem from my strong Mormon work ethic... if you are not ANXIOUSLY engaged there is something wrong.  For the past 8+ years I have gone non stop to maintain my home and family.  This is the first time that I have actually had the space to sit down.  I feel like I am not working hard enough.  These feelings have been fleeting and other wonderful things have taken the house works place.  Things like, being able to go to the hospital to support a friend, making dinner for friends, being happy to send my husband off to work/church and know I wouldn't see him all day,  sitting with my kids and playing... fully engaged, taking my kids out one on one, having time for my spiritual growth, having emotional energy to do the fun Christmas things.  It is amazing how much different my cookie decorating has been this year.... instead of freaking out because my kids were making a mess I was able to fully enjoy the experience.  I didn't realize that it really would take two woman working full time to live out my expectations for myself.

The best part of Jenny is that my drawers magically have underwear in them... shirts magically appear in my closet ironed.  I feel like a kid again.  This is a sort of happiness money really can buy :)

I know this sounds so foreign to most of you.  It is a really weird thing.  I have decided to embrace it.  The whole when in Rome concept.  It won't be forever so I will just enjoy the ride!

ME "helping" Jenny with laundry

Happy Birthday Jenny! 

Ms. Jenny with her BFF Ms. Joyce (my good friends helper!)

Family Pictures!

Family Pictures.... They are always a nightmare for me.  This day proved to be no exception to the rule.  I am not sure why they have to be so hard.... I always find it comical that we get some of the best pictures of family under such duress. 

The last time we took family photo's Martin and I were on the brink of really calling it quits and  hadn't been talking for a while. We had won a family sitting at a fancy photo studio and they expired that month so we were going to use it!! We had a bubble eating gay man that helped them turn out beautifully.... amazing actually. 

Luckily I can say these family pictures found the Vaughan's in a better, more stable place in our marriage but not in our mood.  Martin wouldn't talk to me most of the photo shoot because I was mad he was late to our 5pm almost dark shoot (such a b I know)!

This time around we had one of the most patient, kind, and talented photographers I know.  She was very cheery despite the tense mood and I think she got some wonderful shots of the family!  Here are the rest of the photo's that didn't make the Christmas Card!!

Thank you Malia!!

Umm.... where is dad??

ME was so animated this day!

I love this kids teeth!

I love this one.....

Yeah.... I am mad.....

Best eyes ever :)

My favorite!


The mood is improving!

Right before the cat fight and clumps of hair went flying....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Tree - Singapore Style

So many of my friends have been posting their pictures of obtaining their Christmas Tree... It got me thinking that I needed to document our trip as well... Real trees are very hard to come by in Singapore and if you do find one it is very expensive and dries out very fast (think couple of days) from what I have heard.  So we decided to go fake.... bleh.   Much different than in years past.......

It all began with:

Waiting for taxi man to pick us up... Don't mind Greta's funky outfit... Home schooling has caused me to sink to whole new lows on NOT giving a damn what my kids are wearing... sigh

Ahhh... our ride to get the tree

Uncle helping us put our umbrellas up so that ME did not get wet... they care about the silliest things here and then do them for you if you don't do what they suggest.

I would have been horrified last year at the thought of EVER buying a fake tree much less a fake tree at a cheap, worse than Walmart, store in Asia.  But here we are......

And here is the perfect tree.....

So glad Samantha and Kit came with us :)