I’m having a moment…..

It’s bad enough when your child hits double digits in your home country….but as an expat? I feel like things are just amplified.

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For A’s TENTH birthday we had a party! The first proper party since we moved here….and it was FIVE years since her last one at the Children’s Museum in 2010….

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Needless to say Dora was OUT and Lasertag was IN.

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Such a fun day! (now if I could get the pictures they took from the party that would be nice….but I try to remind myself to remember where I woke up!)

It was super easy. We had Papa John’s pizza and Krispy Kreme donuts instead of a cake! Props to the ATL (and D’s hometown) for sending KK to KL. A little bit of ‘Merica in those yummy -heart attack on a plate- donuts….

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If you have a child with a December birthday you realize that it is a stressful crazy month….so we did the party early….A had a birthday weekend on her ‘real’ birthday the following week.

What did she choose?

THE KL BIRD PARK….sigh….It has been three years since our first visit there and that put me in to a very nostalgic mood….Would you like to reminisce with me?

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For us, the Bird Park holds so many memories….and it is fitting to celebrate her birthday and three years in KL there….and what other theme would go hand in hand with all these memories? aaaah yes….MEXICAN FOOD….

She wanted it and I’d heard the margaritas at this place were good. I’ll admit, I had tried this place 2+ years ago (minus the margaritas)…..when I could still remember what real Mexican food should taste like…. but with time and expat life, my rigidity and expectations have lessened….and we headed over for a celebration.

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The food was ok….but the staff were so sweet and the birthday celebration was great. The margaritas were actually pretty good (not as good as D’s – trust me – but much more relaxing than the effort it takes to squeeze all those Asian limes!).

We headed home for presents…..and fantastic birthday cards….

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I could tell A was a bit down when she saw how small her present was…..until she opened it!

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Her very own iPod 🙂 Now she can take photos on our next adventure! The best part was that her headphones matched her iPod case, totally a random fun thing. I love when things like that fall in to place without planning….

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what memories we’ve made in these last three years. I’m still in shock that this sweet girl is double digits now….

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We love her to the moon and BACK!

Our FIRST visitors!!!

There is something to be said for living half way around the world from friends and family and when they make it on the very looong plane flight to see you it means the world!! The girls were beside themselves with excitement and we were too when their grandparents came for a visit.  Familiar faces in a unfamiliar place is very welcomed.

We showed them around Kuala Lumpur and to a few favorite places and some new ones too… Of course, the Bird Park was on the top of the list:

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We made it to the bird show. It was cute. On a different topic, there was no option to feed the parrots like during our last visit. Not completely sure why but c’est la vie.

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We decided that Ostriches have a prehistoric amphibian vibe….look at those FEET. eek.

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We even got to feed the Ostriches, something we missed on our first visit, click on the picture below to watch the video:

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And I got a much better picture of the Hornbill. He was eating his lunch….He is HUGE!

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We made a visit to a Batik workshop at the Kompleks Kraf. This is a must if you come visit. Even my in-laws, who initially were unsure about it, were pleasantly surprised. We wanted to go back again and paint without S. It is really relaxing and cheap! Plus even the artistically challenged have a shot at making a cute painting. The sections are closed off by wax so none of the colors bleed in to each other. If you want a color lighter? Just add some water in a bowl before applying to the canvas. You can experiment with mixing colors in different trays with a bit of water to find the perfect color for your owl, turtle, elephant or any other canvas they had. They didn’t allow us to take pictures of the finished products on the walls – but trust me, they were really amazing.  I’m completely hooked and can’t wait to take A back during summer vacation.

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We *finally* made it to Batu Caves. Shingles sidelined our plans to make a visit earlier in the year. It is free and super easy to get to so we will definitely go back again…No I didn’t climb the stairs…but everyone else did. The monkeys are everywhere and rather aggressive. The people feeding them by hand were insane in my opinion. Nothing like rabies to make your trip to Malaysia complete!

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Above is a pic of inside the cave.

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The view from the top of the stairs…

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They sell coconuts right outside. I took a video of the guy cutting them (click on the picture of the guy with the coconut below to view it)….one wrong move and a disaster! Seriously, this guy is fearless.

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We did a lot of fun stuff during the visit from our family….grandpa and S were pooped!

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Until next time….

KL Bird Park

We’ve been focusing so much on getting settled (bank account, apartment etc) that we’ve really neglected venturing out.  Friday night it came to a head at dinner….We were eating sushi and ‘A’ had had it. She was very tired and emotional….She said “I don’t like KL! I and proceeded to throw the food and culture under the proverbial bus…..

Yes, we jumped in to the culinary scene with both feet hoping the kids would be converted. It doesn’t help that Tex-Mex and Mexican food are very limited and the options that are out there are pretty pathetic.

On that note….****Can anyone tell me how to make corn tortillas?*** I’m as serious as a heart attack….desperation can really get you motivated!  Ok…this was a post about the Bird Park.  Sorry!

I went to bed with a lump in my throat, hoping that things hadn’t made a turn for the worst.  We decided to venture out Sunday morning right after breakfast….

We have arrived…

Here’s a bit of information about the park…since I’m too lazy to write it out. Synopsis: lots of birds from lots of places!

http://www.klbirdpark.com/index.cfm

Walk in/free flight was an understatement….

I really didn’t expect to have the experience we did. I knew that there would be birds and tropical birds at that — but Wow is all I have to say…I think a story through pictures is much more interesting….

Introducing themselves….

I love this picture!

The peacock wants to be friends. S isn’t so sure…

Just enjoying some ice cream and a pelican decides to stop by….I am still kicking myself that I didn’t have the external flash on and this came out so dark! He was there for at least 5 minutes just hanging out!

The grounds were so beautiful…

I never expected that the girls would have the option to hold birds…NEVER. It was MAGICAL! This memory will warm my heart for the rest of my life. They had photographers taking pictures for $5 USD a polaroid!

No words…

There was a separate area for the parrots…..and there were A LOT of them!

Wow! A little intense…that milk they were drinking was so good, they were fighting over it. I am so glad that ‘D’ held it and not the girls. He got bit!

I love the look on this little boy’s face…

Everyone was so friendly. The little boy above was there feeding the birds and the grandfather and father were trying to get the birds to sit on ‘S’s head too.  I love that we didn’t need to speak the same language to come together and enjoy this experience…

This was a little bit intense…

The above picture shows an area where you could choose what birds you want a photograph with. ‘A’ wanted the red bird that is on her head…but was afraid of the hornbill because she thought it would have to rest on her arm and he’d be too heavy!  They assured her he would sit in her lap.  The photographer suggested one bird over the other – he said “Pick blue one, he nice! White one, he naughty!” That pretty much sealed the deal for us.  Look at the beak on that thing! YIKES! ‘A’ was very brave and excited!

I think the park was wonderful. We took over 200 pictures of all different types of birds just walking around, hanging out or being friendly.  I read a review in Tripadvisor saying how awful the park was. I felt like the grounds were nice/well maintained and the prices reasonable ($16 for adults/$13 for kids over 3) (snacks and water for $2 total). We got there later than we hoped (after 10) and easily found parking. They had a decent restaurant on the grounds with chicken nuggets! SCORE! My only frustration was seeing people feed birds crackers and bread they brought from home.  It stated specifically NOT to feed them anything aside from the feed you purchased from the park…There are people everywhere that think rules just don’t apply to them.  But on the upside they hold birthday parties there too! Pretty cool. After the fun day ‘A’ had she was ecstatic. Kuala Lumpur was completely transformed in her eyes. I can sleep well tonight.