Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Maddie Writes Thai

I found this video today from our July trip to Krabi Thailand. Maddie thinks she can write Thai. Love it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Short Cut Through the HDBs

Today I took a short cut through the HDBs. A HDB is a housing development building where most of the Singaporeans live. They are eleven stories tall in our neighborhood and we live way out of the city so you can imagine most are much taller. The ground level usually has an open air cement plaza under the building and breezeways at the stair cases. Today the breezeway I walked through made me laugh. There I found something fantastic. A vending machine that sells loafs of bread. I love this country!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Broken

Jacob has decided that a totally legitimate excuse for not working around our house is to simply say, "I bwoken." The kid is two and a half. I therefore expect certain things of him. He can take his stinky diapers the twelve steps to he front door trash but he is starting to refuse. It's totally time to wrap up this potty training. Today we had about five successes. I think we are getting close.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tooth Fairy Oops

Warning: Brian don’t read this one to the kids.

The tooth fairy fell asleep on duty last night.  We had a wildly fun kiddie party last night with make your own pizzas, juice and watermelon.  Then marshmallows and freezie lollies for the Aussies, otter pops for the American crowd and I can’t remember what the Swiss kids called them – some kind of lollies though.

Brian cleared the kitchen, I had the kids literally shove the toys against the wall out of the stairway path so it was safe to walk in the night and I got pj duty and teeth brushing.  Brian read scriptures and we said nighttime prayers then I popped Ben’s tooth out.  He and I laid down at 9 o’clock for bed and I was out cold.  Didn’t even brush my teeth or wash my face.

There is a reason I usually set an alarm on my cell phone to remind the tooth fairy of her duties but it was ALL THE WAY DOWNSTAIRS and I was way too tired to go get it.  Good thing he’s not too heart broken.  He figures she’ll come tonight.  Good sport. Now I’ll go set that alarm right now for 10pm.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It was pretty much just a regular one

Ben lost another tooth tonight.  He asked me if I would check his remaining top front tooth to see if it was ready to come out.  This tooth didn't just wiggle forward and back, it twisted almost a complete turn.  It was definitely ready to go.  I gave it a quick tug and POP out came the tooth.  No blood this time. Ben said it was pretty much just a regular one-no blood in the spit.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Insubordinate Maddie Mae

Ben read aloud a book for his daily reading this morning.  It was about two kids who’s dad was late picking them up from school.  A stranger tried to pick them up in a setup that was obvious to an adult to be a kidnapping but the kids were brave and told her, “No.” Then they ran inside. They told the principal that it was hard to tell a grown up “no”.

Maddie then offered her unsolicited two sense, “Yeah, but it’s NEVER hard to say “no” to your mom or dad! See, watch.  ‘NO Mom!!’ See, it’s easy.”  Great.  The stellar parenting we are doing around here is obviously not working on her.  To be clear, she says no all the time.  It’s an issue we’re working through. Glad to know where she officially stands on the issue and that she’s so secure in the fact that open rebellion is a-okay.  Not sure what to do about it, but at least I’ve been given notice now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Is it because of the lack of availability or is this just regular pregnancy?  I don’t recall this intense preoccupation with food during my first three pregnancies.  I think about all the things I can’t have all day long now.

With Ben I definitely craved French fries. With all three pregnancies Brian and I have had a tradition of making hot dogs at midnight for our fourth meal together so I am full enough I can sleep through the night. It’s kind of fun actually to have that weird late night tradition together.  Right now Richard keeps us stocked up with beef hot dogs and buns since I can only find chicken hot dogs in the stores.  They don’t taste exactly right, but at least it’s something.

One day all I wanted was a bag of Swedish Fish but I know that ain’t gonna happen.  Where the heck would I buy Swedish Fish candy here in Singapore? 

Sunday night it was Chipotle.  Oh the tender pulled meats piled high on a soft bed of rice and beans with a big blob of guacamole on top.  Makes my mouth water.  Even just guacamole.  Avocados never ripen here and premade guac is weird here.

Monday night when we were trying to figure out when to fly home and pick dates we were discussing how even though our plans were to come home for Christmas this year, it looks like maybe the work schedule is becoming flexible enough to allow us to come in the summer after all.  I would absolutely rather travel in the summer because it’s just ten times more fun to be outdoors playing rather than stuck inside (plus we don’t have winter clothes for our kids anymore – interpret this to mean not even a single pair of long pants).  I happened to mention to Brian that another main deciding factor was that if we went in the summer we could stay about a week longer and that translated directly into two more Chipotle nights, three Café Rios and at least one Olive Garden with unlimited bread sticks, salad and chicken alfredo.  He just laughed at me but has no idea how serious I was.

I need to eat of course a lot more than I used to so Sundays can present a problem for me.  We eat about 7:30 breakfast so we can leave at 8:00 for 9:00 church in the city.  We pile back into the car about 12:15 and eat lunch about 1pm if we’re fast and efficient.  That’s a long, long time to not eat for me right now.  Twice I brought Goldfish to eat in the car but we have a serious no food rule so we don’t have cockroaches in the car. (Yes, that’s a real issue here and I have roach traps under the seats in our car.)

This week the sharing time lesson for the children’s class was about how our body is like a temple and God wants us to take care of it.  They picked pictures off the wall and had to place them on the “Good for Your Body” or “Bad for Your Body” side of the board.  There I was sitting in the back row wanting to throw up or eat something to settle my stomach while they began the discussion about hot dogs, pizza, strawberries, bread, ice cream, watermelon, corn on the cob and all sorts of other mouthwatering sorts of things. (Don’t worry - drugs, alcohol and cigarettes went on the bad side, ice cream, hot dogs and pizza got a middle spot signifying “okay to eat but not every day.”)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sometimes I can't sleep at night

Actually, I can't sleep just about every night. First, my parents follow their idea of a bedtime routine. They read scriptures, say prayers, put me in bed and then sing me a couple of songs and kiss me goodnight. Then I begin my bedtime routine.

I climb out of bed and grab the tub of diaper rash cream. After I have lugged the canister of cream into my parent's room to get lathered up, I go back to bed and lay down.

I still cannot sleep so I inspect my water bottle collection and test out each one. If I find one a little lacking in volume, I carry back up the stairs to let my parents know, "this one needs a yittle more."

Once my bottles are topped up, I let my parents know I am feeling cold. "Mom, I am feeling a yittle bit colder. Can you turn down the fan?"

If I still cannot sleep I spy on my parents for a little while longer. Here I am peeking over the top step. If I see my Dad get up I run back into my room and climb in bed.

Don't tell my parents. They don't know I am still awake.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The announcement...Its a tradition

Here is the announcement...

Many years ago my parents announced the coming of my little brother (the fourth child in our family) by calling the family together and giving everyone a gift. We never received gifts other than birthdays and Christmas, so we knew this was a very special occasion, and boy, were we excited. Not only were we getting a gift, but it was HUGE!!! Even our birthday presents weren't this big. Imagine our surprise when we unwrapped the packages to find...diapers. I was five at the time, so I cannot recall the emotions of the day. I only remember seeing the huge present. I remember laughing, but not much else.

Recently my younger sister announced the coming of their fourth child by following what is now an official family tradition. I am not sure if my older brother followed this tradition, but a tradition it now is. As you can see in the video, I followed the tradition to announce our new baby to our kids. In case you don't want to watch the 4 minute clip, the highlights are:

  • Ben's smile when he finally figured out why our family would need newborn diapers. He is excited to have a little brother (he'll accept a little sister if needed)
  • Maddie was completely ticked off because "Diapers are a terrible present!"
  • Once Maddie understood we were announcing a little baby, she asked me if I could feel the baby yet. I answered that I couldn't so she decided it might be a large vegetable growing inside me...perhaps a giant broccoli.
  • Jacob was super excited to receive a package of diapers. Perhaps he thought this meant that we were postponing the potty training and he could just enjoy life a little longer.
  • Jacob decided that we are not going to have a baby, but instead a "yittle fluffly doggie."

I am due in March and we are all very excited.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Potty Training Jacob

We started Wednesday.  Pretty good day. Four successes in a row.  Thursday not one success.  We were just too busy to stay home and do nothing.  Friday I tried but I just too tired to fight.  At almost 10am he was still in his overnight diaper and pajamas having a play date with the neighbor over here.  I think I’m too tired to potty train right now.  Maybe September?

Maddie's New Patch

School started this week and we are still patching Maddie's left eye. With that in mind and knowing it would come and go back and forth to school everyday I ordered two new patches for her and let her pick her favorite styles. That way if if gets left at school or lost we have a back up plan ready to go. They arrived last night in the mail and today she can't decide which one to wear. In the end she decided to wear both at the same time. This kid cracks me up!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We Got In!! Spanish Immersion at Laurel Ridge

Remember how stressful the whole Spanish immersion program decision was for us?  Then the wait list.  Then the waiting.  Then we moved.  Well, we got a call from Laurel Ridge Elementary School at 2:45 am this morning.  When good news is good you gotta share it, right?  Why not call in the middle of the night.

That local US number is a blessing and a curse.  I don’t think we’ve got any middle of the night calls in the last two months but last night we got two.  At midnight the bank in California called about a loan on a rental house we own.  Then 2:45 the school.  When I saw “Laurel Ridge Elementary” on the caller ID my first thought was that one of the Hyatt kids had another problem like the last time Laurel Ridge called in the middle of the night.  Then I panicked because I was positive Jonathan was injured on the playground. 

As the fog began to clear from my sleepy head I realized that I was sure Jana must have changed my number from the emergency number on her forms  by now and I could hear Brian telling the lady that we moved to Singapore so Ben couldn’t accept the spot.  He hung up the phone and told me, “Ben got into Spanish Immersion at Laurel Ridge.  I told them he couldn’t make it.”  Now that I’m fully awake I realize the Hyatts are still in Warsaw, Poland anyway.  And school hasn’t even started in Fairfax, Virginia yet.  They have another three weeks off before they report back to class.  So thank you dear secretary for ending my night of rest at 2:45 – I rarely get back to sleep once woken up.  It’s gonna be a long, long day now.  At least she will now make the day of whoever was #8 on the wait list.

Things being what they are, I’m not sure I would have had the heart to rip Ben from his happy life at his old school over Spanish anymore.  He was so happy and so settled.  It would have been hard.  Especially to leave his best friend Anthony.  Glad I don’t have to agonize over this decision in the end.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It Took Like Twenty Spits

The tooth finally came out! I ask Ben every night to see how wiggly his tooth was getting. Tonight it was finally begging to be pulled. With his permission I got dental floss to check exactly how much root was left holding that puppy in place. As I suspected it was almost nothing at all. The first three or four teeth fell out entirely on their own but this one had taunted us by hanging crooked for weeks. It was time.

I threaded the flosser above the tooth and before I even started to pull, the blood started flowing. I cracked the root a little and pulled away worried he would be too upset to finish the job. He just said, "It tastes TERRIBLE!" He kept spitting blood in the sink and I kept rinsing it away so it didn't look so bad to him.

When he was ready I put my fingernail above the tooth and in two quick tugs it was out and he was happy as can be smiling at his new look in the mirror. He figures it took twenty spits of blood and it was worth it. The tooth fairy is sure to come tonight!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

McDelivery...It Was Time

Today was a lazy day.  I just wanted to lay around the house and do nothing.  The kids played fantastically together and Jacob even got a nap on the couch while Maddie watched cartoons and I paid bills.  The afternoon was filled with Legos and Littlest Pet Shops.


August 9th is a national holiday so everyone was off work, except Brian, who is working in Tokyo.  Tons of festivities all over the island to celebrate National Day (like the 4th of July to Americans).  No energy to go. Maybe next year when he’s around to help me wrestle the short people and keep them all in step.  When Brian called to check in with us about 5:30 I hadn’t even started dinner. I’d been playing Candyland Castle with Jacob upstairs.  I told him the only thing that sounded good for dinner was McDonalds and he gave me the push I needed to make our first order tonight.  For just $3 delivery fee they will deliver almost anywhere on the island. We’re anxiously awaiting the guy on a moped delivering Double Cheeseburgers to our front door.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fall Out Already!

This tooth has been hanging sideways for two weeks now.  It is finally just yesterday getting wiggly and loose.  Don’t you think it’s about time for it to give up and let go?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Richard - My Name Is 20 Beechwood

Richard.  Richard is his own post all together.  Or maybe he's an installment series with at least fifteen episodes all ready written in my head, but for today this one story will suffice.
Richard is our provisioner.  Interpret that to mean our grocery delivery man to put it simply, but he is so, so much more than that.  If you want something and it's on the island, Richard can and will find it.  Brian says that in fact, even if it isn't on the island he might be able to get it for you.  We wouldn't know. He always seems to come through for us.
A few weeks ago I was so sick with a fever that Brian had to take a medical day from work and stay home to take care of the kids on a Friday. He got ambitious and planned three days of menus and I suggested he call Richard to just get it all delivered to the house instead of deal with dragging all three kids out to shop (that's what I've done all summer long and it's been fantastic).  I gave him my phone with the number and headed upstairs to sleep.  Richard answered and I hear Brian tell him, "This is Brian Zufelt." Pause. "Brian Zufelt, Angie's husband." Pause. "Angie Zufelt's husband." I yelled down the stairs, "My name is 20 Beechwood." He repeated our address to Richard, "This is 20 Beechwood" and all was instantly well.  He gave the order and it was all delivered to the kitchen counter at 4:30 like he does every day like clockwork.

Kids Gone Wild

No real explanation for why our kids got really into their chores one Saturday.  Ben was asked to sweep the dining room area because it was pretty bad.  He just kept going and swept the kitchen and the wet kitchen out back.  Then he wanted to mop.  I got him all set up to mop with a bucket of warm soapy water and he wet right to work in the back wet kitchen.

Brian was cooking dinner while I did it and when I passed through the kitchen one time I busted up laughing. There he was standing high on a stool bent over so he could stir the pot on the stove at knee level.  Ben, in his seven year old wisdom, had come up with a way that the two of them could co-exist in the kitchen.  If Dad just stood on this stool then Ben could mop the floor and Dad could still cook. Genius!  I love how creative he is in his problem solving skills.  And what a good sport his dad is to cook dinner from a perched position!