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Posts Tagged ‘mason’

2014-2015 School Year Begins

August 6th, 2014 No comments

The kids woke up at 6am and got ready for their first day of school!  They were both very excited to see friends at school and anxious to see what this school year brings.

First day of Middle School in 5th grade

First day of Middle School in 5th grade

Ready for Kindergarten

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Blake has arrived

July 26th, 2014 2 comments

After years of not being able to get pregnant we decided to do “In Vitro Fertilization” . It wasn’t something I thought we would do in the Philippines, until we found Kato Repro Biotech Center. Kato was very professional and high-tech — overall we were very impressed. Our first appointment with them was in August and the last appointment was in December. Everything was really easy for us without any complications and we were successful on the first attempt (the doctor had quoted a 33% chance of success in our case). It was a great experience and the final result was our baby boy Blake!

Blake arrived at 4:10am on June 26 and weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long

Blake arrived at 4:10am on June 26 and weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long

My sister was at the hospital with us until 4am when she then had to leave to catch her flight back to USA...she missed meeting her new nephew by 10 minutes!

My sister was at the hospital with us until 4am when she then had to leave to catch her flight back to USA…she missed meeting her new nephew by 10 minutes!

Although we had been up for nearly 24 hours, we were so happy to meet our new son

Although we had been up for nearly 24 hours, we were so happy to meet our new son

Just over 36 hours old and we are ready to go home

Just over 36 hours old and we are ready to go home

Kalani and Mason couldn't wait to go to the hospital to meet Blake and hold him

Kalani and Mason couldn’t wait to go to the hospital to meet Blake and hold him

Now we have the 3 Amigos!

Now we have the 3 Amigos!

They may not grow up to look alike, but they start off as newborns looking like siblings

They may not grow up to look alike, but they start off as newborns looking like siblings (From left to right: Kalani, Mason, Blake)

Blake is now 1month old

Blake is now 1month old weighing in at 10 pounds 3.5 ounces and 22 inches

More photos of Blake here.

Categories: Family Tags: , , , , , ,

Vacation – Brunei

May 29th, 2014 No comments

The last country we visited during spring break was Brunei. We were excited to visit this country since the only cousins from the Philippines that we had not met yet live in Brunei and we were anxious to meet them. Matt booked us a wonderful tour guide through ViatorEsjay was a great fit for our family and easy to work with, and without her I don’t know how we would have gotten around since there are NO taxis in Brunei. We only had 2.5 days in Brunei and at first the kids were done traveling, but they had a wonderful time meeting our cousins and seeing the sites of Brunei.

Day 1

Our flight arrived in Brunei around midnight from Manila

Our flight arrived in Brunei around midnight from Manila

We spent our first afternoon swimming with our cousins at the Radisson Hotel pool

We spent our first afternoon swimming with our cousins at the Radisson Hotel pool

Royal Regalia Museum you can see things that the Sultan has used like this chariot that is about 50 years old

Royal Regalia Museum, where you can see things that the Sultan has used; like this chariot that is about 50 years old

Brunei has proboscis monkeys in the wild; along with other animals that we were fortunate enough to see

Brunei has proboscis monkeys in the wild; along with other animals that we were fortunate enough to see

We visited a water village that we had to take a "water taxi" to reach. There was a home that was open to tourist and it was interesting to see how people live at this water village

We visited a water village that we had to take a “water taxi” to reach. There was a home that was open to tourists and it was interesting to see how people live at this water village

From the water village we took a boat to try to find some wild animals. Our bout driver spotted this crocodile

From the water village we took a boat to try to find some wild animals. Our boat driver spotted this crocodile.

We also found these monkeys near the water edge. We also found proboscis monkeys and a lizard, but they were too far for a clear photo

We also found these monkeys near the water edge. We also found proboscis monkeys and a lizard, but they were too far for a clear photo.

Esjay, our tour guide, was well prepared and brought along binoculars that Mason loved using

Esjay, our tour guide, was well prepared and brought along binoculars that Mason loved using

 Day 2

We also got to tour around the Mosque that the current Sultan had built. It caught me a bit off guard when the men wouldn't even acknowledge me or the kids while there

We also got to tour around a Mosque that the current Sultan had built. It caught me a bit off guard when the men wouldn’t even acknowledge me or the kids while there.

In order to tour the mosque we had to dress appropriately and remove our shoes

In order to tour the mosque we had to dress appropriately and remove our shoes

Our tour guide drove us around Brunei and told us how the country/government functions. This is a government built home.

Our tour guide drove us around Brunei and told us how the country/government functions. This is a subsidized government home.

At the Marco Polo Club there is an elephant kept there. We were told that the elephant belongs to the Sultan's sister.

At the Polo Club there is an elephant kept there. We were told that the elephant belongs to the Sultan’s sister.

Our last night we stayed at the Empire Resort and it was spectacular. The kids didn't want to leave.

Our last night we stayed at the Empire Resort and it was spectacular. The kids didn’t want to leave.

Matt took Kalani kayaking for the first time in one of the pools of the Empire while Mason and I hung out at the kids pool/playground.

Matt took Kalani kayaking for the first time in one of the pools of the Empire while Mason and I hung out at the kids pool/playground.

Our family in Brunei stayed with us at the airport while we waited to board our plane. We LOVED being with them and getting to know them better...Family is what it is all about

Our family in Brunei stayed with us at the airport while we waited to board our plane. We LOVED being with them and getting to know them better…Family is what it’s all about!

More photos of Brunei here.

Categories: Family, Travel Tags: , , , , , ,

Vacation – Myanmar (Burma)

May 28th, 2014 No comments

Burma, officially the “Republic of the Union of Myanmar” (commonly shortened as Myanmar) was an adventure. We had 4.5 days there and went to 3 different cities via airplane. So basically everyday (except for one) we were on a plane and visiting a new part of the country. The Myanmar government hasn’t been very open to tourism tour in the past and only in the recent years have they made it easier for foreigners to come visit. And because it has had “closed boarders” it is a country fairly untouched and well preserved in its heritage. We booked a tour guide through Tint Tint Travel but were not that impressed with our guide. She spoke French, some Spanish, plus the native language, but her English was very poor. It was easier for us to understand her in French or Spanish than it was in English. I would also eavesdrop on other tour guides in Spanish to figure out what exactly we were looking at and why it was important. So, the tour guide wasn’t awesome, but we still had an enjoyable time in the country.

It’s also worth noting that our vacation happened to fall during “Thingyan” — the Buddhist New Years Water Festival. The entire country celebrates for 3-4 days by engaging in non-stop water fights, concerts, disco dances, parties, etc. It was an unbelievable spectacle, and we had a blast participating!

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We arrived at the Yangon Airport and were greeted by our tour guide, the owner of the company and our driver

We arrived at the Yangon Airport and were greeted by our tour guide, the owner of the company and our driver

Straight from the airport we headed to a family's home to watch a puppet show...this group has traveled to the USA to perform their show

Straight from the airport we headed to a family’s home to watch the famous Htwe Oo Myanmar Puppet show…this group has traveled to the USA to perform their show

We took this type of airplane nearly daily to travel to our next city. At the airport we never once showed our ID since we had our tour guide with us and took care of everything for us

We took this type of airplane nearly daily to travel to our next city. At the airport we never once showed our ID since we had our tour guide with us and took care of everything for us while traveling domestically

We stayed at the "Amazing Bagan Resort" and really enjoyed the pool, especially in the afternoon when it was hot

We stayed at the “Amazing Bagan Resort” and really enjoyed the pool, especially in the afternoon when it was hot

Our first stop in Bagan was at the Nyong U Market. They have produce, meat, souvenirs, etc

Our first stop in Bagan was at the Nyong U Market. They have produce, meat, souvenirs, etc

With our tour guide at the Shwezigone Pagoda, which was one of many that we saw in Bagan.

With our tour guide at the Shwezigone Pagoda, which was one of many that we saw in Bagan.

At the top of a Pagoda during sunset. So many pagodas in Myanmar. It would have been fun to take a hot air balloon and see all of the pagodas from that view point

At the top of a Pagoda during sunset. So many pagodas in Myanmar. It would have been fun to take a hot air balloon and see all of the pagodas from that view point (but the balloons don’t operate in the summer).

We went to a lacquer-ware factory to see how they make things. This shows the different steps to making something from lacquer

We went to a lacquer-ware factory to see how they make things. This shows the different steps to making something from lacquer

In Bagan they have a Golden Palace...this only shows half of the palace

In Bagan they have a Golden Palace…this only shows half of the palace

While in Bagan the "Water Festival" started. The locals are out getting people wet and painting faces

While in Bagan the “Water Festival” started. The locals are out getting people wet and painting faces.

After 2 nights in Bagan, we went to Madalay and stayed at the Mandalay City hotel

After 2 nights in Bagan, we went to Mandalay and stayed at the Mandalay City hotel

We went to U Bein Bridge which was super busy and crowded

We went to U Bein Bridge which was super busy and crowded

We visited a monastery around lunch time and saw the monk procession where they bring in their donations for the day and then get their lunch meal

We visited a monastery around lunch time and saw the monk procession where they bring in their donations for the day and then get their lunch meal

Mason ready to all people to prayer with a prayer gong

Mason ready to call people to prayer with a prayer gong

Ladies could only get so close to a Buddha to worship

Ladies could only get so close to a Buddha to worship

So many people have put gold flakes on this Buddha that he looks like he is getting fat

So many people have put gold flakes on this Buddha that he looks like he is getting fat

We went to the Mandalay Hill Pagoda and had a beautiful view of the city and also saw the beautiful pagoda

We went to the Mandalay Hill Pagoda and had a beautiful view of the city and also saw the beautiful pagoda

The most memorable part of Myanmar was the "country-wide water fight!" We were able to open the sun-roof to our van and have people throw water on us...yes it got the van completely soaked inside

The most memorable part of Myanmar was the “country-wide water fight!” (Thingyan) We were able to open the sun-roof to our van and have people throw water on us…yes it got the van completely soaked inside

The locals here are making a traditional sugar snack that is only eaten during the Water Festival

The locals here are making a traditional sugar snack that is only eaten during the Water Festival

Matt and Kalani got out of the van and started dancing with all of the locals while getting water thrown on them

Matt and Kalani got out of the van and started dancing with all of the locals while getting water thrown on them

Matt and the kids joined in the fun of throwing water on people as they drove by

Matt and the kids joined in the fun of throwing water on people as they drove by

Yangon was first and last city we visited in Myanmar. They had awesome water stations to get wet

Yangon was first and last city we visited in Myanmar. They had awesome water stations to get wet

Getting wet with water wasn't bad since it was mostly warm water. But then there are some people who buy ice and pour ice cold water on you and of course you scream and they laugh

Getting wet with water wasn’t bad since it was mostly warm water. But then there are some people who buy ice and pour ice cold water on you and of course you scream and they laugh

They were done getting wet so they went inside the cab of the truck we had and were so much more happy

The kids were done getting wet so they went inside the cab of the truck we had and were so much more happy

Our very last stop in Myanmar was at Shwedagon Pagoda. It is pretty amazing looking especially at night

Our very last stop in Myanmar was at Shwedagon Pagoda. It is pretty amazing looking especially at night

More photos of Myanmar (Burma) here.

Categories: Family, Travel Tags: , , , , , ,

Mason turns 5

May 26th, 2014 1 comment

We have had Ma$on Man in our family for 5 years now! We love the fun little boy that he is with his sweet personality. He has had a busy year traveling around the world and getting a tooth pulled out due to infection and then losing 2 baby teeth because his adult teeth were already coming in. And this coming year will be another adventure with him starting kindergarten and becoming a big brother.

Australia - May 2013

Australia – May 2013

Singapore - July 2013

Singapore – July 2013

Malaysia - July 2013

Malaysia – July 2013

Vietnam - October 2013

Vietnam – October 2013

California, USA - November 2013

California, USA – November 2013

Indonesia - February 2014

Indonesia – January 2014

Philippines - February 2014

Philippines – February 2014

China - March 2014

China – March 2014

Laos - April 2014

Laos – April 2014

Myanmar - April 2014

Myanmar – April 2014

Brunei - April 2014

Brunei – April 2014

A favorite pose, making muscles and kissing them

A favorite pose, making muscles and kissing them

We love the twinkle in his eyes

We love the twinkle in his eyes

5 facts about Mason:

-Loves babies

-Our “Adventure Boy”

-Good singer & swimmer

-Enjoying doing school with his mom

-Loves Skylanders, Legos, Super Heroes, Dinosaurs, etc.

Categories: Family Tags: ,