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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby Bag Bagnapped

"Stolen" should have been the word to use, but "bagnapped" was more appropriate to achieve a hatrick of Bs :o).

22 December 2009 saw us make a late evening trip to Butterworth immediately after picking Julian and Justin from the babysitter's. The purpose was to meet up with Angie's parents and her two sisters as it was rare to have all of them around during the holiday season.

After a quick dinner, all of us headed to a neighbour's house for some Christmas reflection and carolling. It was already dark by then. We wanted to walk but decided to drive over instead because we didn't want Justin to be "exposed to the elements" since he had his immunisation that morning and was feverish.

Upon parking the car, we decided to leave the baby bag in the front seat to avoid the hassle of lugging the bag in and out. Afterall, if we needed anything, we could just go to the car and get it.

During the session, Julian was restless (failing to find anyone in his age group, except for Justin) and wanted to go back to Ah Kong's house. But we tried to stay on longer since we were already there and the session had only just started. But as Julian grew more restless, we decided to leave.

Once out at the porch and after putting on Julian's shoes, we heard a sickening loud thud and smashing of glass. We saw someone at the car. We shouted but it was all too late. We saw the person jump onto a waiting motorcycle ridden by an accomplice. They both rode off into the darkness.

Upon inspecting the car, we guessed as much that the baby bag had been bagnapped. We were normally very careful about not leaving things in the car but somehow that night, we threw caution to the wind. We learnt a costly lesson that winter solstice night.

Among other things, we lost some cash, some spare clothes, a nice fishing hat Julian was fond of, Justin's cute ladybug wrist rattle (his first toy), a small toy jeep, a small toy duck, my spare SLR battery, the boys' clinic appointment cards, Julian's water bottle and snacks, and the usual diapers, baby wipes, and changing mat (which served us well since Julian's birth).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Justin the Catholic

Julian was baptised last Saturday (19 December 2009). Niq and Chui Ying (Ah Sook & Sook Meh) are his godparents (they are also Julian's godparents). Fr. Fabian Dicom conducted the baptism.

In contrast to Julian's baptism 2 years ago, Justin was pretty well-behaved and hardly fretted as he had had his feed just before the rite began :o).

Justin, I baptise you...
[Justin, I baptise you...]

Justin baptism
[... in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit]

Justin's baptism group photo
[A group photo]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Morning at the Arboretum

Last Friday morning saw me indulging in some photography at the arboretum behind the School of Pharmacy in Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Pied Fantail
[Pied Fantail]

Pied Fantail showing vent
[Pied Fantail: Showing off its "fan" and its vent]

White-breasted Waterhen
[White-breasted Waterhen (or Burung Ruak Ruak in Malay)]

Black-naped Oriole
[Black-naped Oriole]

Black-naped Oriole in flight
[Black-naped Oriole in flight]

[A stuck moth: This moth was flapping its wings in the water]

Dragonflies mating
[Dragonflies mating]

Dragonflies mating, another angle
[Dragonflies mating: From another angle]

Getting Along on the Gym

Julian and Justin seem to be getting along, save for the occasional attention seeking antics by Julian.

Sharing a gym
[Love is Sharing]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Julian at 30 Months

Julian turned 30 months (2.5 years) old on 28 November 2009.

On the talking front, he's progressing... sometimes surprising us with short sentences, e.g. "I want [something]" instead of "ai [something]", or "Where is it?" We also noticed that he has started to pronounce certain words in full instead of just one or some of the syllables, e.g. "motorbike" instead of just "bike", or "chimney" instead of just "chim".

He can be quite imaginative while playing - he was given a small Chinese drum by Ah Kong and it has since served as a drum, a stool and a cauldron.

At home, he's a generally well-behaved boy, save for the occasional need for discipline. In the absence of his peers, he's also pretty manageable while out shopping or for meals. However, he shows his "wild" side in the company of his "idols", i.e. those slightly older than he is. This is when he runs, prances, chases, squeals, and sweats *slaps forehead*.

Julian with pacifier
[Oral Addiction: Still asks for the pacifier especially before bedtime and while travelling in the car]

Julian and Ah Kong
[Julian and Ah Kong]

Run! Run!
[Run! Run!]

Game, set, and match!
[Game, set, and match!]

Julian smiling
[The "good boy" smile]

Friday, November 27, 2009

Justin at 4 Months

Justin turned 4 months old on 25 November 2009. We took him to the clinic on 24 November 2009 and he weighed 7.1kg (an increase of only 100g from the previous month). His length is 65cm.

Some observations:
  • Since 23 November 2009, he is able to flip over onto his tummy with ease.
  • He is also able to lift his head up while on his tummy and has started some "skydiving".
  • Over the last 1-2 weeks, his intake of expressed breast milk (while at the babysitter's) has increased a little bit to about 3oz per feed.
  • He has started to baby-blabber, sometimes up to a minute or two at a stretch. Don't know what he's trying to say though... quite amusing :o). He seems to have a lower voice tone compared to Julian. In a choir, we think he'll be singing bass.

Justin lifts head
[Paradigm shift: A different point of view]

Justin and Poh Poh
[Justin with Poh Poh]

Justin smiles
[Justin smiling]

Justin smiles again
[Justin smiling, again]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Buggy Deposit

We spotted a patch of insect eggs on one of the doors of our car. Anyone knows what insect deposited these eggs? We suspect it could have been a moth.

Egg patch
[Buggy deposit: The patch of eggs measured about an inch across]

Close-up of eggs
[Close-up of the eggs]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cameron Highlands 2009

We were all in Cameron Highlands from 31 October-1 November 2009 with Mom and Dad, and Niq, Chui Ying and Gabriel. We left Ipoh in 2 cars at about 10.30am and arrived at Brinchang via the Simpang Pulai route at about 1.00pm for lunch. After lunch, we headed down to Tanah Rata and checked-in at Oly Apartments (RM210 per night, low season).

We then went to pluck strawberries at Mountain Strawberry Farm in the Sungei Palas area. It's an all-in-one farm with a mini zoo, cactus garden and flower nursery. A plus point about this farm is that, since it's quite secluded, we practically had the whole farm to ourselves :o). As soon as we were done plucking, it started to rain heavily.

Plucking strawberries
[Julian having a go at strawberry plucking]

Grandma and Justin
[Justin amazed at the size of the strawberry Julian plucked]

That night, we had dinner at Jasmine Restaurant in Tanah Rata. It's a cozy Dutch-themed restaurant serving oriental and western fare. Then, after some shopping, we headed back to the apartment to celebrate Dad and Niq's birthday.

Dad and Niq's birthday
[Happy Birthday! Julian and Gabriel couldn't resist joining in the fun]

In the morning of the 2nd day, we attended the 9.30am mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Convent. After mass we bought some mango chutney, and orange and grapefruit marmalade before heading to town for Bah Kut Teh brunch at Mayflower Restaurant.

After checking out of the apartment, we visited the Agro Tourism Park in Brinchang and a bee farm at the Kea Farm area. We also opted not to fight with the weekend crowd at the Kea Farm and settled to buy some corn and tamarillos (buah cinta) at a smaller market just at the junction of the road leading to the Sungei Palas Boh tea plantation.

Julian the Strawberry
[Julian the Strawberry]

Julian the Vege-inspector
[Julian the Vege-inspector]

We left the highlands at about 3.00pm.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Are You Sleepy?

Julian readily complies when asked to say certain words in our effort to teach him new words.

Conversation #1: After picking him from the babysitter's...
Mummy or Daddy: Julian, did you have a good day?
Julian: Day?
Mummy or Daddy: Julian, say "yes".
Julian: Yes.

Conversation #2: Sometimes, just for fun, Daddy will teach him some exclamations...
Daddy: Julian, say "Alamak!"
Julian: "Amak!" (and laughs...)
Daddy: Julian, say "Oh! My goodness!"
Julian: "Uh-ness!" (and laughs...)
Daddy: Julian, say "Ayoh!"
Julian: ... (just laughs)

Conversation #3: Since he's quite good at "parroting" what we say (just like most kids his age), we tried to "con" him into agreeing to go to bed, but we were in for a surprise.
Julian: (Yawns...)
Daddy: Julian, are you sleepy? Say "yes".
Julian: No.
Daddy and Mummy: ????

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Justin the Story-teller

Justin was in one of his story-telling moods...

Why didn't you tell me?
[Chehhh! Why didn't you tell me earlier that you also go hunting??!]

Justin loads gun
[I went hunting the other day. I loaded my shotgun like this...]

Justin aims
[Then, I saw this huge bird. I took aim... and fired! Bang!!]

It got away
[But it got away...]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Julian at 29 Months

Julian turns 29 months old today.

On the talking front, he's progressing but still isn't talking in full sentences. He's now better at talking over the phone instead of shying away when he hears someone talking at the other end.

His latest pre-occupation while on the road is spotting trucks, buses, or vans, and saying e.g. "truck, round!" (with hand gestures), prompting us to sing "The wheels on the truck go round and round..." *can be tiring*...

He's now interested in the computer *sweats*! Just like how he used to be glued to the TV, we sense that the computer is starting to be one of his staple entertainment *got to remember to keep this in check*.

Anyway, although he has yet to recite his ABCs in sequence, we discovered that he actually recognises all the 26 letters of the alphabet, all thanks to his punching away at the keyboard. He now also knows the numbers 1 to 20 (but he still says 13 as "three-teen" and 15 as "five-teen"). He pronounces 11 and 12 correctly, though.

For more than a month now, Julian readily wants to go to bed at night. With some prompting from us, he'd turn the TV off, wish Mummy or Daddy "goodnight" (depending on who's minding Justin), run off to the room onto the bed, pop his pacifier into his mouth, and after some "minor" rolling-around (and some shoulder and bum patting), doze off to sleep. It all takes an average of 15-20 minutes.

Julian's lantern
[Julian is facinated with candles]

Julian leaning
[I'm better with my sleeping routine now]

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Great Big Hug

"With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you" (ala Barney) is not necessarily a gentle thing. Let Julian show you how...

Gentle hug
[Julian: With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you...]
[Justin: :o) Thank you, kor kor (elder brother)]

Rough hug
[Julian: Won't you say you love me too?!!]
[Justin: Akkk!! Okay! Okay!]

Actually, the photos were taken in the opposite order... more interesting when presented in reverse :o).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Justin at 3 Months

Justin turns 3 months old today. (Update: Justin went to the clinic for his immunisation on 27 October 2009. Weight: 7kg (about 75th percentile). Length: 62cm). Justin still sleeps a lot and doesn't drink very much (no significant increase noted). However, he's now getting used to the bottle at the babysitter's.

Last 11 October 2009, he was able to flip over from his back onto his tummy. He did it twice that day but hasn't repeated it since.

Other things we noticed about his development:

  • Still trying to lift his head while on his tummy.
  • Gets excited when he sees someone face-to-face and starts to smile, say his "ah-goos", and squeal.
  • Can almost hold his head steady when upright.
  • Loves to blow raspberries
  • Loves to suck his fist.
  • Can bear some weight on his legs when held upright.
Justin fell a little ill on 17 October 2009 with a runny nose and a low-grade fever. Fortunately, it didn't get any worse.

Justin asleep
[Justin asleep]

Justin on glider
[On the glider: We put him here when we have our meals]

Justin smile #1
[Smile #1]

Justin smile #2
[Smile #2]

Justin smile #3
[Smile #3]

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sticky Situation

Julian found himself in a sticky situation yesterday when Daddy decided to put some stickers to "good use"... much to Daddy's amusement.

Sticker all over
[What's all this?]

Sticker on the head
[Hey! Bodily accessories! What fun...]

Get them off
[Arrgh! Get them off! Get them off!]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quick Updates on the Boys

Julian seems to be able to recognise the roads leading to places he's interested in. For instance, as we head to a seafood restaurant in Pantai Bersih, he would say 'crab'. This is before the restaurant is in sight. Hope it's a sign of a good sense of direction!

Nowadays, when Julian sees words he would quite often say 'A-B'. He hasn't got his alphabet in order yet but at this stage, we're not worried :-)

Justin is starting to play with his saliva.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Julian at 28 Months

Julian turned 28 months old on 28 Sept 2009. Last month we forgot to note that he weighed 12kg and was 95cm tall.

Julian can now generally understand instructions quite well. Sometimes, of course, he chooses to ignore them.

He's still not speaking fluently yet and quite often we still need to decipher what he's saying. However he is able to express himself more. He can tell us that he's hungry and wants to eat. Previously he asks for food only when he sees it. He can even ask Ah Kong to BUY something for him - and of course he almost always gets it! :-) When he has a physical discomfort, he is able to indicate to us where the discomfort is - which is helpful.

Although he can speak, he seems to get tongue-tied when on the phone. When we try to get him to talk to someone on the phone, he would become silent. When he does finally speak after much coaxing, he would speak very softly. Wonder why...

He also likes to punch away at the keys on the computer keyboard and has learnt a few more letters of the alphabet this way.

[Amen! Rare quiet moments...]

Peace be with you
[Peace be with you]

Me and my mess
[Me and my mess...]

[... Land me in jail!]

Signature smile #1
[Julian's signature smile #1]

Signature smile #2
[Julian's signature smile #2]