25 September 2011

we heart it because we made it [cloth high chair]

having baby cedar has changed our lives in a very lot of ways, but actually one of the changes we notice the  most is how it has changed the way we move around the city.  in our pre-cedar days, we traveled very happily to & fro on our little 100 cc moto (what they are called here, i think its the french word for motor scooter).

[the "you" sign was for a project - this was the only picture i could find of us on our moto!]

since we have seen several moto accidents involving babies, we figured we'd wait awhile before our family moto riding begins.  so, in the meantime, we've taken to traveling around by tuk tuk. which is basically a little carriage carried behind a moto

tuk tuk travel
now, a tuk tuk feels pretty luxurious compared to a moto, but its still no piece of cake trying to transport ourselves & cedar & all his baby accouterments (really, who knew how much stuff one little baby can use!).  which brings me to our current dilemma - how to eat out (a real cultural pastime here since its often the same price as cooking at home....& doesn't heat up your house & is easier too!) with cedar.  in the past we just took him & set him on the table or on a blanket on the floor (plus the restaurant staff often take turns holding him anyway which is always great!).  but now our little guy can move a lot & basically needs a place to be restrained. since high chairs at restaurants aren't very common here, when we go out, we have to take along some sort of chair or umbrella stroller, which is a pain, particularly when traveling alone in a tuk tuk or by bus, which is how we travel whenever we leave phnom penh. dilemma.

cedar with sophoen tuk tuk 
so! i was excited to find the perfect solution while we were in kampot a few months ago.  a family there had this cool high chair thing that was made out of cloth & could fold up to be really small.   now, with  the solution to our troubles in mind, i searched high & low on google for "cloth high chair patterns", but couldn't find any in the totseat style.  thankfully, daniel (who is a much, much better sewer than i) was able to make a pattern based on some pictures we took of the baby in kampot & now we have our very own homemade version! (if you want a copy of the pattern, just email me)


so far, baby cedar seems to like it.
cedar + cloth high chair-1

we're off for a week in hanoi tomorrow, which will be the true test.  daniel made a sweet little carrying case too, so it sure was easy to pack!

headed to vietnam

23 September 2011

gratitude [two crafty grandmas]

thanks to my two grandmas for such handmade goodness

thank you oma & grandma
[thanks oma for the coolest cross-stitched wall hanging 
& thanks grandma for the sweetest leaf shirt]

21 September 2011

[8 months]

[8 months]
[8 months & the old man grin is back!]

baby cedar continues to grow & change at breakneck speed & we actually can't believe he is 8 months old already.  this is the month he became truly mobile & now alternates between scootching, crawling & wiggling his way through his days.  his new nickname is "cedar the curious cat" because he wants to look & touch & explore everything & everyone.  gone are the days of chilling calmly on a blanket, this little baby is on the move.  thankfully we have a bit more energy to chase after him these days now that he's gone back to sleeping through the night - hooray!

in some ways, it seems like baby cedar has always been with us & in other ways it seems we're just now realizing that baby cedar is always with us - we're not just babysitting, soon to return to our normal life. this smiley little guy & all the changes he's brought with him (most notably the lack of sleep & the realization that our schedules are no longer just about us) are here to stay!

18 September 2011


daniel: (waking up in the middle of the night): see, i knew it!
amanda: um, you knew what?
daniel: i knew the tiger would win.

17 September 2011

gratitude [cris]

cedar + nikki mcclure
thanks auntie cris for the beautiful nikki mcclure book.
 (i think its fair to say i'm a lifelong fan!)
 i'm learning all about what farmer's markets are like in north america.  so far my favorite page is the one with all the red apples. 

15 September 2011

laos [luscious & lovely luang prabong]

its hard to know where to begin when describing our trip to laos.  it was such a beautiful, lush, welcoming country & we loved our time there. 

descending into laos
[daniel & baby cedar checking out our descent into laos]

from siem reap, blaine, lindsay, daniel, cedar & i took a flight that dropped us off in northern laos, in a town called luang prabang.  we were en route to an mcc regional retreat so we joined up with several mcc friends there.

pagoda laos
[laotian temple buddhas]

luang prabang is officially one of my favorite place ever (perhaps vying with ubud in bali for tops). the whole town is a unesco heritage site & with good reason.  the town is a great mix of charming, vibrant, & exotic all set along the picturesque banks of the mekong & lush mountain valleys.  highlights included a trip to a waterfall, a boatride on the mekong, great times with friends & family, & the really delicious laotion food.  (its much spicier than cambodian food, which was a fun change.)


*pictures by a combination of hastings, talstras, & fowlers

a note to travellors: don't be tempted by the $1 street food buffet, even after 3 years of living in cambodia, it knocked both daniel & i out with gusto!

13 September 2011

blaine & lindsay in cambodia

in july & august we were lucky enough to host two of my (amanda's) brothers & their lindsays (yes, they have the same name).

first to arrive on the scene were blaine & lindsay!  we hadn't seen them since their wedding exactly a year ago, so it was great to catch up, hear about their new life in colorado, introduce them to their nephew & show them our life here in cambodia.

Blindsay & Amandaniel

we had some laid back days in phnom penh - recovering from jet lag on our porch,  playing with cedar, & eating fried tarantulas (eek).

blaine & lindsay in cambodia

after a few days in phnom penh, we headed to siem reap to explore angkor wat.  we'd been there before, but it really never ceases to be awe-inducing in its sheer epicness & this time, we had a really good tour guide to boot! (seen in the umbrella shot below, explaining something very meaningful to lindsay)

angkor wat

after angkor wat we headed to laong prabong & vientiane in laos & phuket in thailand, but more on that later.

*pictures taken by a combination of hastings & talstras

12 September 2011

worry & peace

Peace I Leave with You

we start our monthly mcc team meetings with a short devotion time.  this month was my turn to lead & i prepared to share about worry & peace & how even when we're not lying awake at night worrying about big things (like really bad things happening to people we love, plane crashes, economic collapses, etc) there are so many small worries, stresses, anxieties that can steal the joy & meaning of the present (fear of not getting everything done in a day that we need to, of not pleasing others, of not making the right decision, etc).

but in the moment, as we all rushed into the office on monday morning with a bustle of printing agendas, wrapping up language studying, & organizing our presentations for the meeting, it seemed like the right time to stop talking about relinquishing worry & accepting the peace of Christ & a time to sit in the silence & actually pray, reflect & receive it.   a few quiet minutes before a staff meeting was too short a time, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

8 September 2011

gratitude [tiger toes]

tiger toes
[thanks courtney & joe for the loveliest of baby blankets
& aunt tracy for the sweetest tiger toed pajamas]

5 September 2011

snapshots [august 2011]

snapshots [august 2011]

3 September 2011

picture of the day [kampong cham bath]

recently cedar & i (amanda) traveled to a rural part of kampong cham province to observe a women & children's righs training that MCC supports.  during the lunch break the mings (aunties) thought cedar needed a bath & i couldn't resist snapping a photo.