72 Months (a.k.a the sixth birthday!)

And so the girl is now six years old! 72 months old! Hurrah!!

[[image:2014-yaya72month-33.jpg:My big six-year-old:center:0]]

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

Apparently we are feast or famine type people. After the end of June (and the end of my contract), a month where we did not do anything at all – did not go anywhere or do anything much – July has been very very active and social. I had a 20-day break before the start of my next contract, and since it was Ramadhan and the days were ridiculously long, you would have thought that we would have just holed up and done nothing. Nope, we were not going to waste the beautiful summer days where I didn’t have to work! We had a trip to Elkhart to see Becky and her family, and my next contract dictated that we be in Minneapolis on July 21st. So more traveling there! Unfortunately, given that Yaya’s actual birthday fell on Day 2 of the new contract, I was not able to take the day off and spend it with Yaya like I usually do. But we’ll get to how much fun she did have on her birthday later, even though I did have to go to work.

Given that we did have some travel, and saw a bunch of people, plus it is Yaya’s 6th birthday entry, there will be very many pictures in this entry. Fair warning. But before we get to that, let’s do a round up of our six-year-old for the month of July.

Food status: some more progress. Since we told her that her pediatrician would not be pleased at how few different foods that she eats, she has been trying more foods. She tried sour cream and onion flavored Pringles potato chips, french fries (in the car on the road), and a plain croissant. However, still no cupcake or birthday cake though! Again, I realize that none of the foods that she tried are healthy, but we are focusing on the trying. So count it as a win!

Reading status: I really think what Yaya lacks is confidence. She can read many words but she does struggle to sound the letters and second guesses herself every time. We are being patient and not forcing it, letting her go at her own pace. I do hope that she doesn’t start resenting her little brother because he just seems to have such a facility with the written word and can usually read the word much faster than she can. It does make it a little difficult to help Yaya think through the word and sound it out when her brother just swings on by, glances at the word and yells it out. However, Yaya really does seem to get the sounding out the letters bit. I explained to her how the letters sound in Malay, and she had no trouble reading all the animal and body part flash cards in Malay that Zarin brought for the kids. So we just have to keep on being patient I think. I just have to remind myself of how long we waited for Yaya to feel confident enough to start speaking and then, boom! We can’t get her to stop talking now!

So I guess we better get to the (many) pictures of how Yaya spent her birthday month.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-01.jpg:Fun in a box with Adik:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-02.jpg:Hanging out on the bed with Adik and Bradley the bearcat:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-03.jpg:Adik loves Yaya!:center:0]]

Here are some photos of our 4th of July weekend in Elkhart. When we arrived at Becky’s, we jumped right onto the boat for a boat ride on the lake!

[[image:2014-yaya72month-05.jpg:Yaya is excited about tubing:center:0]]

Since we just hopped aboard without putting swim suits on, Yaya had to beg and beg before I consented to her joining in the tubing fun (fully clothed).

[[image:2014-yaya72month-06.jpg:Yaya, Bailey and Grace:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-07.jpg:Yaya and Grace go fast!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-08.jpg:And end up capsizing:center:0]]

Yes, so my fully dressed Yaya ended up in the drink, completely soaking wet. Luckily, we were at Becky’s so her clothes went into the washer and dryer and she stayed in her swim suit for a while.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-04.jpg:Wrapped in a towel:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-09.jpg:Playing in Olivia from next door’s paddling pool:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-010.jpg:More paddling pool fun:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-11.jpg:At the splash pad at St Joe’s beach:center:0]]

We went to St Joseph’s beach on Lake Michigan when we were in northern Indiana, but I didn’t get very many pictures of Yaya as she was too busy swimming in the very cold waters of Lake Michigan. Adik set foot in it and refused to swim so I stayed with Adik on the beach playing with sand and Vin stayed with Yaya in the water. It really was a nice beach! We very much enjoyed our time there, so much so that Yaya was crying when we had to leave. Definitely need to go back there again! And you might ask, hey, where are the pictures of the fireworks? Adik was super scared of the noise and I ended up in a windowless basement bedroom away from all the hue and cry with him for several hours for a couple of nights. He is apparently, not a fireworks kind of kid. He doesn’t like loud noises (reminds me of Hisham!). So that was that!

Then some at home fun.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-12.jpg:Still playing together on the owl bed after two and a half years!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-14.jpg:Bergomol (wrestling):center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-15.jpg:Lion and Tiger roar!:center:0]]

We spent the rest of the month in Minnesota. Here are pictures of Yaya’s actual birthday!

[[image:2014-yaya72month-16.jpg:Huge smiles after Vin and Adik sing Happy Birthday to Yaya:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-17.jpg:Running at a grassy area in Minneapolis:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-18.jpg:They had a grand old time!:center:0]]

Meanwhile, I spent part of my lunch time at the Marshall’s by my workplace and picked up a few treats for Yaya.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-19.jpg:Birthday goody bag:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-20.jpg:Happy birthday Yaya!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-21.jpg:Yaya loves her new pastry chef set and stickers:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-22.jpg:Yaya the chef and her little brother:center:0]]

We decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and long days and went out for a walk after I got back from work.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-23.jpg:Whiffle ball area in a little amphitheatre:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-24.jpg:Having lots of fun at this fountain on Nicollette Mall:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-25.jpg:Fun birthday selfies:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-26.jpg:Sticking her tongue out:center:0]]

We stopped at a little french bakery but they did not have any cute cupcakes. They did however have macarons and croissants!

[[image:2014-yaya72month-27.jpg:Yaya eats a birthday croissant:center:0]]

Even though Yaya chose a lovely lemon-lavender macaron as her birthday treat, she ended up refusing to eat it. Vin and I enjoyed our pastries though. The next day I found a cupcake place and brought home cupcakes for Yaya’s birthday (and more the next day as it was Vin’s birthday). Sadly, Yaya did not try any of the cupcakes. So Vin and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Yaya said that she had a fun birthday! And she ate a new food!

Since we were downtown and Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins was within walking distance of our hotel, Vin decided to take the kids to a day game. Sadly, Adik started freaking out (from the crowd? from the noise?) so all they have are pictures of the outside of the field and then they had to leave before Adik went off the rails. Poor Vin! Even though they called me and I tried to talk Adik into calming down and going in to watch the game, Adik kept on crying to go back to the hotel and covering his ears (like the 4th of July weekend). So sadly, no game!

[[image:2014-yaya72month-28.jpg:Yaya is joyful while Adik is grim in this selfie:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-29.jpg:Yaya dances and tries to cheer Adik up but he just covers his face with the hat:center:0]]

That was it. One of the highlights of that day: Vin and kids got to ride in a bicycle taxi (pedicab or beca to us Malaysians). Yaya was gushing about the ride in the bicycle taxi. Teehee. Downtown Minneapolis was very cool. We walked around and found a lovely greenway which led to a fun little playground.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-31.jpg:Shadow play:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-32.jpg:Playground backhoe:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-34.jpg:I love this photo of Yaya and Adik at the hotel lobby:center:0]]

We also had a social time in Minneapolis. We went to visit Melissa at her house and got to meet her family. Yaya and Adik loved Maddie and Mason (and also loved all the fun things at Melissa’s house!).

[[image:2014-yaya72month-35.jpg:A little birthday celebration for Yaya at Melissa’s house:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-36.jpg:Some trampoline fun:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-41.jpg:Yaya and Maddie in matching tops:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-37.jpg:A little “Frozen” Karaoke?:center:0]]

Man, both kids fought over that microphone and Adik had it right in his mouth and drooled majorly on it. Sorry again for that Melissa! Many many thanks to you, Mark, Maddie and Mason for having us over for a yummy dinner and a really good time!

Also, we saw Aeisha a couple of times. The last night we were in Minneapolis, we went over to have dinner at Aeisha and Nelvin’s and got to see Mrs Robb and Aeisha’s two nephews.

[[image:2014-yaya72month-30.jpg:Chatting with Auntie Aeisha:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-39.jpg:Israel engineers a fun pose:center:0]]

[[image:2014-yaya72month-40.jpg:Adik foils the fun pose!:center:0]]

All in all we had a super fun month! Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya everyone! Happy 72 month birthday, my beautiful 6-year-old baby girl!! We love you!!!

[[image:2014-yaya72month-13.jpg:Playing guitar together:center:0]]

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