Rafe’s 35 Month Birthday

One more month before Adik is 3! [[image:2014-adik35month-20.jpg:Happily eating Nutella:center:0]] That photo was not taken on Adik’s 35-month birthday but it was so cute I had to include it. The makers of Nutella can feel free to contact us if they want to use that photo. Not! Also, if asked, I will categorically deny that I am writing this entry on the first day of 2015. I deny it, I do! ūüėČ * Mouse over the pictures for captions So let’s quickly do statuses. Reading: check. Boy is literate. Speech: good. Food: OK. He does gravitate towards toast when we are on the road but will eat all kinds of things at home. He will chow down on roti canai, mama’s “spiky” lunch noodles (“spiky” is how he says “spicy” and he hates non-spicy noodles but doesn’t like it to be too spicy either), Pringles, goldfish crackers, and is following […]

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70 Months

And Yaya is now 70 months old! Two more months before the big S-I-X! [[image:2014-yaya70month-05.jpg:Demure young lady:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions It has been an eventful and social month. Really beginning from being on the east coast in April for two weeks where we saw work friends and relatives. Zarin stayed with us for almost 10 days in May (see pictures of that visit in another entry to be written later), and then we went on vacation to Orange Beach and New Orleans (separate blog entries for those as well). Food status: some exciting news! Yaya ate seven disc-shaped pieces of carrot (chewed, swallowed, and enjoyed!). She also tried celery, but did not like it. She also ate bits of apple (not a resounding success like the carrot pieces were). So we are pleased! Yaya has earned some new toys/games now! Reading status: still the same. She […]

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67 Months

Another month! 67 months old! [[image:2014-yaya67month-06.jpg:Yaya the butterfly (note the antennae):center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions Food status: Yaya has been eating home made bread. Mostly the Cuban Bread (which looks and tastes like her favorite bread from Dorothy Lane Market, the french boule), but she did gobble up the schiacciata, which contained molasses and was brown. So that counts as a new food and she did get a new toy for that (the Peppa Pig ball, see below). Also she had a few licks of vanilla ice cream and an actual spoonful of it. Unfortunately she needed three mouthfuls to qualify for a new game/toy, and she refused to go to 3 mouthfuls, so she did not get anything for that. Now she declares vanilla ice cream her favorite (she had 1 taste of it and refused any more). What can we say? Reading status: same as […]

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Painting Plates

Since Yaya loves doing artwork so much (just like a certain Pak Yope of hers), we found a place nearby, Paintbrush Pottery, where you can choose something ceramic (a plate, figurine, etc.), paint it, and they would fire it up and glaze it for you. It was a nice Saturday afternoon surprise activity for Yaya. She wasted no time in choosing an owl plate to paint and an angry bird figurine for Adik. [[image:2013_paintpot01.jpg:Painting the owl plate:center:0]] However, Adik was not overly interested in all the painting. [[image:2013_paintpot02.jpg:Adik plays with Papa’s phone:center:0]] It was a bit of a challenge in the beginning. Yaya is used to just painting willy-nilly, but with pottery, you have to think about it in advance, plan it and then paint it. Meaning, you need to paint all the light colors first and gradually get to the dark colors. Also, each color needed to be painted […]

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Return to Orange Beach – The Beach

Contrary to popular belief, the beach in Orange Beach, AL is actually not orange. In fact, the sand was beautiful, white, fine sand. Wheee! We loved it so much when we went there in April that we decided to go back there for a longer almost week-long vacation there in September. At the time of this entry, it has been almost a month since we were there, but given my track record it’s a wonder it’s only been delayed a few weeks. Hehe [[image:2013_sep_orangebeach35.jpg:The kids playing on the beach:center:0]] We chose to go after the Labor Day weekend, so not only was it fairly quiet, and we had the beach mostly to ourselves, but it was still hot and summery. And with off-season rates, well, it was icing on the cake. We drove down to Alabama in a 2-day road trip (each way), arriving on Sunday September 8th and leaving […]

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Bye Tim 02

Bye Tim

Tim the Turtle had grown too big to reside in its tank. And there is no surplus space in the house for a bigger tank. Which meant it was time to say goodbye to Tim. Thankfully we had the foresight to scout for release locations in the city beforehand and had already decided on the lake at Ampang Hilir Park. The lake was large for a body of water mere kilometres away from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It shot to the top of the list of release locations because it was big and had a sizeable population of red-eared sliders (and assorted fish) within its waters. We also hoped Tim would find a girlfriend some day. Or a boyfriend. We never really determined if Tim was a male or a female. If Tim was female, its name would have been a contraction of “Timah”. When we opened up Tim’s […]

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Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter

Aidiladha 2012 In Pasir Mas

This year for Aidiladha, we travelled to Pasir Mas for the holidays. However, instead of driving with our own car, we hitched a ride with Irfan’s aunt Cik Emma’s. We left home at 5am. Despite that, it took us 14 hours to reach Pasir Mas via the Gua Musang route. There were horrible traffic jams in nearly every town en route because of the holiday season. There was even one instance where we didn’t move out in the middle of nowhere – well, Bukit Tujuh, – for 30 minutes that other drivers left their cars to stretch their legs. But it’s all good because as you can see above, there was ice cream in Gua Musang. Because it was Hari Raya Korban, many cattle and goats were felled and converted into delicious, delicious consumables. So when we visited relatives, we had nothing a lot of delicious, delicious beef. Irfan busied […]

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Transforming into a Tiger: An Additional Birthday Story

A short addendum on becoming and being a tiger on one’s fourth birthday. [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-09.jpg:Happy Tiger!:center:0]] You know what to do for captions, right? You begin with face paint and instructions to do what the face painter tells you to do (remember that listening isn’t exactly Yaya’s strong suit right now): [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-01.jpg:White goes on first:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-02.jpg:Then a layer of orange:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-03.jpg:Some yellow for depth:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-04.jpg:Painting in white above the lips:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-05.jpg:Blackening the muzzle:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-06.jpg:Finally the stripes:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-07.jpg:Transformed Tiger admires herself in the mirror:center:0]] Tigers like to be at the zoo with other tigers. [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-10.jpg:Tiger with white siberian tiger in the background:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-11.jpg:Tiger communing with her own kind:center:0]] [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-12.jpg:Tired Tiger goes home:center:0]] And most of all, Tigers love their fathers! [[image:2012-yaya4thtiger-08.jpg:Happy Tiger and her Papa:center:0]]

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48 Months (a.k.a. Fourth Birthday)

The big day arrived! Yaya is four years old, officially! Unbelievable! [[image:2012-yaya48month-02.jpg:Princess Fairy Yaya waves her wand:center:0]] It feels like Yaya cannot possibly already be four. Didn’t we just bring her home from the hospital last month? I guess time flies when you’re having fun. ūüôā * Mouse over the pictures for captions So her birthday came along a week after her birthday party. We had another busy month. It does seem to be that Vin and I sort of hibernate during the winter months, not doing too much if we could help it, but come the summer we seem to explode with activity! This past month we went to Bloomington, IN to visit the IU Campus and for Vin to attend a DVD launch party, and then a weekend trip to Vin’s hometown of La Porte, IN for a class party, and then to hang out with Becky in […]

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36 Months (aka Third Birthday)

Not too terribly late this month! And here is the 3-year-old Yaya on the morning of her birthday! [[image:2011_0722yaya01.jpg:3-year-old Yaya says Hi!:center:0]] Before we start, just a note that this is going to be the last of the long monthly blog recapping her entire day. While I’m torn about the decision, I think three years of this has been a lot. I’m not going to stop blogging on her birthday, just not quite as long an entry just chatting about what she’s done or accomplished, and maybe one or two pictures. Three years is a long time. I’ll miss it. But there will still be long entries when we have stuff to say. Plus with Yaya’s Adik’s impending arrival, inshallah, in the interest of equality I will try to do a monthly blog for the new little one when the time comes and Yaya will no doubt be prominently featured […]

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Get off my antenna!

The Ant Grapple of Death

  And so it came to pass that I had to drive pass Petaling Jaya toward Klang during the holidays, and we met up with Ivan for teh tarik. During the course of our hanging out, Ain flicked a bug off my neck and it fell onto the banana leaf on the table. It looked like an ant – except it was colossal, and was green in colour. Then we realised that it had a smaller red ant attached to it. At first we thought it was a battle to the death between the two insects, but we discovered that the little red ant was dead and a lifeless husk. An even closer inspection yielded a stranger observation: the dead red ant had its mandibles tightly bitten into the base of the green bug’s antenna. Light prodding by us did not help loosen it from the larger insect. So, with […]

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Allie’s 27 Month Birthday

And lo, the child speaks!!!!! Seriously, Allie finally started talking! It all happened starting about two weeks ago – but hey, better late than never, right? [[image:20101122-15.jpg:Smiiiiiiiiiiiiile:center:0]] The smile-grimace hasn’t changed though. ūüėČ So now, at 27 months, Allie has been actually speaking (intelligibly) for about two weeks. I guess something finally clicked, and instead of conversing with us in her own special baby language, she’s speaking. Real words! It is all very exciting. It started, as I said, about two weeks ago, after a bath while I was toweling her and getting her diapered and dressed, she pointed to her feet and said “Toe”. And she would do this consistently! And then she pointed to Vin’s hat and said “Hat”. And then it snowballed from there! The words she says now include: * Body parts: Eye (said with a distinct southern accent), Telinga (which means ear, her first Malay […]

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Guiding little Alya around the zoo

Allie’s 26th Month Birthday – Zoopocalypse Now!

In case you haven’t notice, it’s Hisham writing this birthday entry for Alya instead of Sila, because Alya was at the Tenth Floor when she turned 2 years and 2 months, and Sila thought I should write a word or two about my awesome little niece. From the first time we met her, she was a darling. She was warm, funny (sometimes hilariously) and loved interacting with everyone. I was ecstatic that she got a long with her cousin Irfan great. They played together, read books together, and she always had something to say about anything, albeit her language skills were still that of a two-year-old. Sometimes, she’d get me to draw animals, like bears and cats and bearcats, like I just did in the photo below, where her hair was going every direction under the sun and Atok tried to fix it. The photo was taken in the morning […]

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Pangkor with Jenn

After a decade away, I finally made it back to Pangkor. And this time, I got to share the experience with Vin, Allie and Jenn, Vin’s cousin who is teaching English in Jakarta. Jenn hopped over to visit us for a few days in Sitiawan, arriving after Hisham and his family returned to Kuala Lumpur and the Tenth Floor. Abah helped me book two chalets at the Puteri Bayu Resort on Pangkor. Unfortunately, Abah and Mak had other commitments and could not come with us. [[image:2010-sept-pangkor18.jpg:Pantai Pasir Bogak:center:0]] We left on Friday afternoon, September 17th. Abah dropped us off at Lumut, and it was pouring rain. We bought our tickets, waited a little, before we got on the ferry. [[image:2010-sept-pangkor01.jpg:Ferry looks like a train, no?:center:0]] The ferry to Pangkor has certainly come a long way! It used to be more open air, less organized, and certainly not air-conditioned. Plus instead […]

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Irfan with the bird

Avian Visitor at Night

And so it came to pass that as I was relaxing in the living room as the last glow of the setting sun disappeared, a bird flew into the house. At first it just rested on the carpet looking forlornly at me, perhaps wondering into what parallel universe it had travelled to. I called Irfan to approach slowly, but as I edged for a closer look, it flew. Because the top of the doors and windows were a couple of feet lower than the ceiling, the bird had difficulty trying to leave the house. It flew here and there, catching a breather on the floor, at the top of the cupboard and clinging onto curtains. As we tried to help it leave the house, Irfan called up his grandparents to let them know what’s happening. It even flew within an inch of Irfan’s head – causing him to shriek – […]

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