Then we headed for Bukit Jerneh

The Outbreak Aidilfitri II

Previously, on “The Outbreak Aidilfitri”… It has been 12 lunar months since the last Hari Raya and now Eid has returned, just in time for another nationwide lockdown. So that means we are unable to balik kampung again during the festive season. We had actually planned to spend Eid at a hotel but I decided against it for safety’s sake. For both days of Eid, we went for drives all around the state, staying away from crowds and other humans in generals. Day One On the First Day of Hari Raya, we went to nearby locations taking family photos. We stopped near Irfan’s history teacher’s house because of the greening bendang padi there. The riceplants were starting to sprout at their tapak semaian turning their nursery plots green after a month or so of being mud brown. We also went to the Grape Farm at Sungai Batu Pahat. But we […]

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It them

Here’s the Ohio Crew By The Way

We have been talking to Ayah Cik Vin, Cik Dik, Yaya and Adik the Younger on Skype more these days. Irfan’s cousins are smart and loquacious young dudes and I enjoy talking to them. Yaya is a formidable artist and craftsperson for her age and Adik has a talent for music and languages. My niece and nephew will grow into amazing human beings.

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Yes, this is Rafe

Happy Birthday to Little Adik

Happy birthday, Little Adik who is now four solar years old. He is quite the loquacious dude on Google Hangouts as the image to the right reveals. I can’t believe he’s talking to me using text on the internet these days. Maybe someday he’ll be a writer, if he writes as well as his sister draws! May he continue to communicate honourably and wisely throughout he future. Verbally, visually or meta-textually.

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83 Months

83 months of Yaya! [[image:2015-yaya83month-01.jpg:Happy girl at the beach at night:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions This entry is written two months late so I will keep it short. June was a busy month with work travels for me. We didn’t take that many photos of the kids this month (oops!) but here’s a quick summary. Food status: I don’t believe Yaya tried anything new in June. Reading status: Yaya is doing really well! Starting to read some cursive text. Handwriting improving. Two thumbs up for her glasses. New thing: Yaya started piano lessons in June! Wheee! Adik too but we’ll get to that in his own entry. Yaya is doing pretty well for a beginner. Go Yaya! Let’s see the photos taken in June! We were in the greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida area for work and in the pond outside my office lived a gator, turtles, fish, […]

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82 Months

82 months of Yaya! [[image:2015-yaya82month-13.jpg:Yaya and Adik:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions I’m feeling pretty proud of myself in that it’s not yet the middle of July (only the end of June) when I’m writing this entry! I will count this as a win! ūüôā May was another full month. We were in Florida for work the beginning of May and we also ended May in Florida. Which was a lot of fun (albeit tiring). I’m trying to keep the pictures in the monthly entries less beachy and have some beach-related entries, but there are a few that may have crept in to this entry because I liked them so much. Food status: No new foods. ‘Nuff said. Reading status: Yaya may even be reading some words faster than Adik! Go Yaya! She still spends a lot of time doing art and definitely enjoys doing arts and crafts. […]

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Rafe – 41 Months

The boy is now 41 months old! Almost 3 and a half! [[image:2015-adik41month-07.jpg:Happy roti canai-filled Adik:center:0]] That is the face he made after eating his fill of roti canai at the Straits of Malacca. * Mouse over the pictures for captions May was a very busy month, bookended by trips to Florida. Even though I’ve been two months late writing the last few entries, I’m actually not ridiculously late writing this entry! Whee! Food status: same as last month. We have learned that when Adik says he wants to go to Straits of Malacca to eat roti canai, and we take him, he will eat like a champ. He’s been known to eat almost a whole piece of roti canai all by himself! And this from a grazer who prefers eating little bites of this and that and snacking throughout the day rather than sitting and eating a proper meal. […]

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Rafe – 40 Months

And so Adik is 40 months old! [[image:2015-adik40month-03.jpg:And he’s excited about it!:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions It is mid-June and I am yet again very very late in writing Adik’s blog entry. All the same reasons and excuses as the previous months. I can’t turn back time but I can try to keep it short. ūüėČ Food status: the same as last month. Reading status: still good. He seems to be able to read in other languages (he sounds out the letters). He is also starting to text me while I am at work using Vin’s phone. I get very very cute texts, mostly along the lines of “Hi Mama. I love you Mama. When I’m 3”. I love all the texts that I get from him, even the ones filled with gobbledygook. Adik also is showing more interest in writing although he always asks for help […]

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81 Months

81 months of Yaya! [[image:2015-yaya81month-09.jpg:Artsy selfie:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions It’s the same old story of super late writing of the entry. April entry written in mid-June. But that’s how it’s been going lately. So we’ll keep this entry brief, and focus mostly on the photos. We had a late April trip to Florida which will be covered in other entries (eventually). Food status: Yaya did not try anything new in April. Reading status: we are moving along swiftly. Yaya can be seen (and heard) reading books on her own, and her artwork contains far more written words than it used to. So, whee! She is also reading instructions on various things. We are pleased with her progress. And on to the photos. First some egg-dyeing photos: [[image:2015-yaya81month-01.jpg:Pleased as punch:center:0]] [[image:2015-yaya81month-02.jpg:Look at all the colorful eggs! Are they all ready yet?:center:0]] Not sure why they are making […]

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Rafe – 39 Months

And now Adik is 39 months old! [[image:2015-adik39month-10.jpg:Happy little boy, up close:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions Somehow I am getting more and more delinquent – it is mid-May and I am just now writing this March entry. Oh well. Here are the basics for March, Adik’s 39th month: Food status: no change. Still no veggies or fruits other than veggies I sneak into noodles for him. But his palate is still fairly open, as compared to his sister’s. Reading status: still amazing. He seems to be able to read more and more. However he seems to have forgotten how to spell in that when you ask him to spell a word, often he needs help or prompting. He can write his name, but for the most part he likes to draw happy faces on paper or just scribble. Potty training status: Adik refuses to go without his […]

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80 Months

80 months of Yaya! [[image:2015-yaya80month-13.jpg:I was framed, I say!:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions It is mid-May as I write this and so I will keep the chatter brief. March was another busy month where I had my very first taste of having a “real job”. I had to get in my car and drive to work Monday to Friday for 2 weeks. It was both good since I got to be home every day, but also brutal. I am not sure how people do this every day, to be honest! But we all adjusted and it was interesting. But again, we kept it pretty normal for the kids. Food status: Yaya tried Jonathan apples. Whee! [[image:2015-yaya80month-15.jpg:It was not bad, she said:center:0]] Reading status: good progress! The glasses have been a game changer for her. Yaya seems to enjoy reading. I also make her read the synopsis on […]

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Rafe – 38 Months

Here are Adik’s 38-month photos. [[image:2015-adik38month-05.jpg:My happy little boy:center:0]] Mouse over the picture for captions. So, when I mentioned in last month’s entry that we were moving to the smaller entry, I really meant it. Especially since I am writing this so late it is practically April. So let’s stick with the basics. Food status: still good. However still can’t get him to eat fruits, although I get to sneak vegetables in via fried noodle dishes and spring rolls. Reading status: Adik is even reading words in other languages now. He can attempt to read his Malaysian flash cards (courtesy of Uncle Zarin, thanks, yo!). And he is very interested in languages, asking about words in different languages and whatnot. He still prefers shorter books over the longer ones. Even though he can read the words he doesn’t want to grasp with plot lines and character development yet. He wants […]

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79 Months

79 months of Yaya! [[image:2015-yaya79month-02.jpg:Peekaboo!:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions February was another crazy busy month. I traveled (without Vin and the kids) 2 out of the 4 weeks of the month. In fact, I’m writing this entry so late that it’s almost April now and I’m only just writing the February entry. Since this entry is being written so late, I will keep it brief. Despite the craziness that was my life, Vin and the kids had a pretty quiet month. They got to stay home and be normal, and we all learned how to enjoy FaceTime and cope with time differences and distance. Yaya did very well during my absences, it’s a little sad for me to realize that my little baby girl is growing up and getting independent. She does enjoy the bribes that accompany me (and my suitcase) upon my return from these work […]

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Scenic Silver Springs

While we were in Ocala, Florida on a work trip, the local colleagues recommended that we visit Silver Springs, Florida and try out the glass bottom boats. So that is what we did! It was not far from our hotel (one town over) and quite convenient, and as it turned out, it was really really amazing! We all loved it! So here are some pictures. [[image:2015_silversprings_36.jpg:Silver Springs State Park:center:0]] OK, here are a lot of pictures! We weren’t there more than a few hours but it really was very cool. We would definitely go again if we had the chance, to experience the glass bottom boat again. * Mouse over the pictures for captions We start with some photos that we took while waiting for the next glass bottom boat tour to begin. [[image:2015_silversprings_01.jpg:Hanging out on a bench:center:0]] [[image:2015_silversprings_02.jpg:Bit bundled up as although it was sunny it was in the […]

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Rafe – 37 Months

Adik is 37 months old! [[image:2015-adik37month-09.jpg:Winky boy!:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions As mentioned in last month’s entry, we are now moving to the smaller entry for Adik, where we just round up his month and choose photos from the entire month rather than documenting how he spent the actual day. However, yes, I am finding it difficult to limit myself. So for this month’s photos, I have included a few from his birthday trip to the Boonshoft (Dayton Children’s Museum). But before we go to the photos, the monthly roundup. Food status: still good. He tries stuff, likes Asian food, even asks to go to the Straits of Malacca (which warms the cockles of this Malaysian girl’s heart) and comes running for noodles. However, he does seem to be anti-fruit and anti-vegetable. Argh. He does eat veggies if it’s in the noodles or in his favorite Vietnamese […]

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78 Months

And so, the girl is six and a half years old! 78 months of Yaya! [[image:2015-yaya78month-09.jpg:In the sun:center:0]]¬† * Mouse over the pictures for captions January turned out to be a crazy busy month! I started a new project at work and had my first solo trip away from Vin and the kids (to California!) so that was exciting, thrilling, scary, dramatic, disturbing and in the end, not as painful as we anticipated! In the end, the kids are getting older and do not need their Mama around 24/7 any more. However, it was quite an adjustment for everyone. But on top of this, we had Adik’s birthday party, and we spent almost 2 weeks in Ocala, Florida for the new project with side trips to Silver Springs and St. Augustine Beach. So it was a very busy month and also a fun month! Food status – sadly, due to […]

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The one with the no-Graeter’s Ice Cream Cake party

Thirteen days after Adik’s third birthday, we had a small party for friends and neighbors.¬† [[image:2015_adik3rdbday02.jpg:Excited about the party!:center:0]] * Mouse over the pictures for captions In the morning, we take a short break during the frenzied preparation for the party. I had just returned from my first solo trip away from Vin and the kids that Friday night and Sunday afternoon was the party. You can imagine the crazed amount of clean up and food preparation and whatnot that had to happen. [[image:2015_adik3rdbday01.jpg:Happy together during the break:center:0]] And then it was time for the festivities! [[image:2015_adik3rdbday03.jpg:Papa lights the candle:center:0]] [[image:2015_adik3rdbday04.jpg:Happy Adik while we all sing the Happy Birthday song:center:0]] [[image:2015_adik3rdbday05.jpg:Deep breath in!:center:0]] [[image:2015_adik3rdbday06.jpg:The candle was blown out in one go!:center:0]] And if you noticed, this is not our usual Graeter’s ice cream cake. The Graeter’s location in Springboro that had been our usual Graeter’s had been closed down, and […]

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