Rafe’s 36 Month Birthday (And he is 3!)

And so, the boy is now 3 years old! Or as he would say it, “thwee” 🙂

[[image:2014-adik36month-32.jpg:A beautiful smile on my not-so-babyish-anymore baby boy:center:0]]

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

To be in line with how I did Yaya’s blog entries, this will be the final one of Adik’s entries that document how he spent his day. Instead, from next month onwards, Adik’s entries will be more of a round-up of the month with fewer photos taken from the entire month. I feel a little bit sad as I’m writing this, since this will really be the last one of these kinds of entries, but it is time. Adik is three. We will keep to a shorter format with favorite photos from the month. Like Yaya’s entries are now.

Second announcement, I suppose as a way of overcompensating for the fact that this will be the final long entry for any child of mine (sob!), I have a lot of photos in this one. I have a lot to say. Fair warning. Of course there might be some long entries for special occasions after this, but that’s going to be fairly few and far between.

Now that Adik is now three years old (!), here are his stats:
* Height – 39 3/4 inches (101 cm) in the 90th percentile according to the WHO growth charts
* Weight – 37 lbs (16.8 kg) in the 94th percentile according to the WHO growth charts

Speech status: Great! He speaks in full sentences, copies his sister, expresses original ideas, quotes books and movies, and sings songs with and without words. He calls all other languages that are not English “Spanish” so for instance, he will come over and say “This is my bibir. Bibir is lips in Spanish”. No matter how many times I say, it’s Malay, he always says it’s Spanish. It’s fine. I hope that just means that he is internalizing all the different inputs. One day this month, he woke me up in the morning and said “Let’s go downstairs, Mama! Vamnos!” So he is starting to mix different languages into his speech. I think that just means Vin and I have to step up our efforts to converse with the kids in both Malay and Spanish as well as the regular English.

Reading status: Yes, this three year old reads. He reads at about a first grade level. He doesn’t like to spell words anymore but he can read and read well. It will now be a challenge for Vin and me to continue to keep him inspired and moving forward. On the other hand, even though he reads at an advanced level for a three year old, in most other things he is a typical three year old. Having him try to locate something (behind you, go forward, look up a little, etc.) is still amazingly frustrating as he never seems to be able to find anything! Adik can count in English to about twenty although he might skip a few numbers here and there. He enjoys blocks and loves to paint abstract works. Unlike Yaya who really was into building things and drawing things, Adik is a bit different and prefers to read and play. I think Yaya was already doing jigsaw puzzles with medium difficulty all by herself at this age, but Adik likes assistance, even when doing puzzles on the iPad. His physical coordination seems good too, he enjoys playing ball (kicking it, hitting it with a bat, dunking it, throwing it, attempting to catch it, etc.). He is attempting to jump down the last 2 steps of the stairs (stunt boy!) although he will get reprimanded for it. He likes to help with baking bread and mixing things in the kitchen. He just wants to be involved in everything, basically, and not be left behind.

His little personality is shining through. He is full of fun, is trying to tell jokes and make us laugh. He seems to empathize well and seems to have a knack for diffusing situations (e.g., if I am mad at Yaya, he will say something funny to make me laugh and forget my anger). He plays well with his sister for the most part. Although their games can devolve into yelling, wrestling, tug-o-warring, and sometimes even hitting each other (show me siblings who do not fight occasionally, I challenge you!), in general they play games well together, playing pretend, hide and seek, tag and all kinds of other games that they can think of. These days Adik participates and also contributes his own ideas to the games and doesn’t just do whatever his sister wants him to do anymore, which can be a challenge for Yaya to accept. Adik can be wilful and naughty, and there are times when he must be put in the playpen for a time out. But on the whole, he is a sweet and mostly gentle little boy with a tendency to cuddle and snuggle, a ready giggle and is always up to play a game.

Potty training status: Adik will go pee-pee sometimes if we remind him and he has to go, but he has so far refused to try to go number 2 in the potty chair. Wish us luck here! Let us hope we can be diaper free before too long.

Both he and Yaya are friendly little children. However, Adik does not like big crowds and prefers gatherings that are smaller and more intimate. He hates loud noises (channeling his Pak Yope here) and is not at all a fan of fireworks or bubble wrap.

Foodwise, he likes “spiky” noodles, roti canai, goldfish crackers, peanut butter (with or without toast), toast with butter or “chocolate butter” (nutella), assorted chocolates, peanuts, pringles, beef bacon, and whatever strikes his fancy that day. He does not like to eat a whole meal in one go but prefers to graze, snacking on food all day. The only vegetables that he likes to eat are the ones in his favorite Vietnamese spring rolls. He doesn’t tend to want to eat much fruit or vegetables (unless they are hidden in other foods like noodles or spring rolls or chocolate covered raisins) though. That is something we will have to work on. He is drinking 4-5 bottles of Carnation Breakfast (chocolate flavor only) which is easier on the budget than Pediasure was, although some days he gets Pediasure still, depending on what the store might have in stock. His pediatrician said we could switch to Carnation Breakfast. He has refused milk, chocolate milk and other drinks of this ilk. He enjoys orange juice at bedtime and gets Sprite as a treat every so often.

Let’s get to the pictures of how Adik spent his third birthday! We actually start with pictures from the night before. Jo (Vin’s sister) was leaving for England on Adik’s birthday itself so we decided to have a little pre-birthday celebration while Jo was around. Here is the cake I made for the occasion:

[[image:2014-adik36month-01.jpg:Adik is 3 (-1 days!) and Yaya made the red heart:center:0]]

Obviously it is an amateur attempt at writing on a cake using cookie-decorating icing, but it gets the idea across, right? Adik was so cute when we brought out the cake and the lit candle, he was yelling “but it’s not my birthday yet!”. We told him we were having an early celebration so Auntie Jo could be there but it did take some convincing before he would stop yelling that it wasn’t his birthday. Once he accepted it though, he threw himself into it!

[[image:2014-adik36month-02.jpg:Papa and Adik blow out his candle:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-03.jpg:Happy Adik loves his cake and early celebration!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-04.jpg:Both Yaya and Adik seem fascinated by the cake:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-05.jpg:Getting interested in tasting the ganache covering the cake:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-06.jpg:Tasting the frosting!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-07.jpg:Adik tastes the frosting with Auntie Jo:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-08.jpg:The kids and their Auntie Jo:center:0]]

OK – I have included a few pictures of Jo in this entry as she is integral to this birthday story. However, stay tuned for a Jo-filled entry coming soon (active link here when available)!

After the cake, it is time for the almost 3-year-old to open a couple of presents. First he opens Auntie Jo’s gift.

[[image:2014-adik36month-09.jpg:Tearing the wrapping paper:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-10.jpg:Ooooh! Digital drumsticks!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-11.jpg:Next is another present from Auntie Mandy (Auntie Mandy went all out this year and the kids have been completely spoiled by her!):center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-12.jpg:Playing with the new car tracks and battery operated cars!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-13.jpg:Car climbs the hill:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-14.jpg:Adik shrieks as the cars collide in the X section of the track:center:0]]

These tracks and the cars are pretty cool. They have so much power, they’re like the energizer bunny. Do not hold it by your ear to listen to the motor or you will get it stuck in your hair (like Yaya did!) and have to be cut out. Also the tracks extend the Pocoyo car tracks that Adik received at Christmas so now they have more car tracks! After they played with the cars and the new drumsticks, it is bedtime so Adik will wake up and be an actual three year old on the morning!

[[image:2014-adik36month-39.jpg:Good morning Adik (and Bradley!):center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-40.jpg:Yaya gives Adik a birthday hug and kiss:center:0]]

Adik goes downstairs with Bradley the Bearcat (another beloved present from their Auntie Mandy). First thing’s first, let’s play with the new cars and tracks!

[[image:2014-adik36month-15.jpg:Yaya helps set up the tracks and cars and Adik watches with Bradley:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-16.jpg:Birthday boy walking around with Bradley the Bearcat:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-17.jpg:Smiling! Still with Bradley!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-18.jpg:My cutie pie:center:0]]

And then it is time for breakfast. Adik decides he wants a chocolate butter sandwich.

[[image:2014-adik36month-19.jpg:Happy about his birthday nutella sandwich:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-20.jpg:Eating breakfast with Auntie Jo and Bradley:center:0]]

Sadly it is Jo’s last breakfast with us! She is heading back home after two weeks here :-(.

[[image:2014-adik36month-21.jpg:Munch munch munch:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-22.jpg:A drumstick break:center:0]]

These digital drumsticks are also very cool – they make a drum sound on any surface (with little to no force required), have several different drum sounds, cymbal sounds and even a beat track. Adik likes to put it to his ears which is kind of loud. And then it is time to take Auntie Jo to the airport. Vin and the kids are going.

[[image:2014-adik36month-23.jpg:Loving his blue jacket:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-25.jpg:Sitting with Papa:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-26.jpg:Attacked by Papa!:center:0]]

When they come back from the airport, Adik goes back to his cars.

[[image:2014-adik36month-27.jpg:Don’t get it tangled in your hair, Adik!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-28.jpg:The kids attack Papa!!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-29.jpg:Peeping out from behind the playpen:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-30.jpg:Yaya took this picture of Adik using his safety scissors:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-31.jpg:Another shot by Yaya:center:0]]

After a full day, it is evening and Yaya wants Adik to have another cake and candles so we cut a slice of yesterday’s cake and put candles on it for him.

[[image:2014-adik36month-33.jpg:Adik is ecstatic (and this is one of my favorite shots of him!):center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-34.jpg:Candles! Waiting while we sing the happy birthday song:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-35.jpg:Taking in a deep breath to blow the candles out!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-36.jpg:Adik has a GQ-esque pose while both he and Yaya try to convince us that he wants to blow out his candles again!:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-37.jpg:Yes, we succumb and re-light the candles:center:0]]

[[image:2014-adik36month-38.jpg:Adik blows them out all by himself!:center:0]]

We had an excellent day, and cannot imagine life without this bundle of fun. We are blessed to have these two children in our lives. Happy birthday, baby boy! You’re three years old now! May you continue to grow up to be your unique and wonderful self. Happy 36-month birthday, baby boy! We love you!!!

[[image:2014-adik36month-24.jpg:Sweetie pie:center:0]]

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