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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Highland Holiday 2010

Going to Cameron Highlands seems to have evolved into an annual 'pilgrimage' :-) This year, we were there from 24-26 Sept 2010. Papa and Mummy came with us. We stayed at O'ly Apartments in Tanah Rata, same as last year. Julian could remember the apartment. He remembered celebrating Grandpa and Suk Suk's birthday there.

Day 1:
We left Penang close to 11am. Stopped in Simpang Pulai for lunch before heading up. We arrived in Tanah Rata at almost 4pm. After settling in and having a rest, we went to the Bharat Tea House (a yearly 'ritual'). Since it wasn't raining that evening, we went to the night market in Brinchang. We decided to buy dinner from the night market and eat at the apartment.

Julian at Bharat Tea Plantation
[Julian admiring the view of the Bharat Tea Plantation]

Tea at the Tea Shop
[Tea at the Bharat Plantation Tea Shop]

Day 2:
The morning saw us at the MARDI Station, viewing the plants there. Julian was more fascinated with the decorative fountain and waterfall. The only 'plant' that fascinated him was the giant wintermelons hanging from the vines. He spent most of the time running/walking around.

Justin at Tanah Rata
[Justin satisfied that he was really in Cameron Highlands]

Julian swinging the wintermelon
[And now for the wintermelon swinging competition...]

At the Edible Garden
[At the Edible Garden]

After that we went to EQ Strawberry Farm to pluck strawberries - the highlight for Julian. Justin fell asleep in the car on the way to the farm so I stayed in the car with him while the rest went to pluck strawberries.

Julian plucking strawberries
[Julian likes plucking strawberries more than eating them]

We went back to Tanah Rata for lunch then back to the apartment for a rest. While Papa and Mummy rested, we decided to take the boys for a drive. Our intention was to check the next day's mass time (which we did) and buy something for tea. However, both boys fell asleep in the car so we abandoned the tea idea and drove around a bit before heading back to the apartment. It was raining so we decided to sleep in the car instead of trying to get the boys into the apartment without them waking up or getting wet!

In the evening, we went to Tanah Rata town for a walk and had dinner at a cafe. We also bought some tea to bring home. It rained while we were in town, but luckily stopped when we were ready to leave.

Day 3:
We went for mass in the morning, quite disastrously. The boys were causing quite a havoc and we had to banish ourselves from the chapel upstairs :-( We checked out after mass and went to Brinchang for lunch. After lunch we went to the Big Red Strawberry Farm (another yearly 'ritual'). After a bit of shopping and Julian running around, we left. It was almost 2pm.

Julian inspecting vegetables
[Julian's annual vege-inspection]

Justin walking at cafe
[Justin minding the tuck shop]

We stopped in Simpang Pulai for tea, then headed back to Penang. We arrived at about 6pm. Papa and Mummy then drove back to Butterworth.

The boys were generally fretty this trip (Julian kept saying he wanted to go home) as they were actually not feeling very well. Julian developed a cough two days before the trip and Justin caught it from Julian in Camerons. The weather was cool and there was intermittent rain, which made going out a bit more cumbersome. Only in the night did the temperature get cold. Julian flat refused to wear his sweater, while Justin wore his only during the trip to the night market. Justin was mostly dressed in long sleeved tops while Julian was in his regular T-shirts when we went out. The apartment had Astro so the boys watched cartoons on the Disney channels. They also played with their Ah Kong and Poh Poh.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Fight For Mummy

What do you do when both children want mummy's attention at the same time?

More than once, Julian has gotten up from sleep crying and wanting Mummy to comfort him. The problem is it takes him a while to calm down and sometimes Justin is awakened by his crying. Oh me, oh my, when that happens because then Justin also wants Mummy to get him back to sleep! Justin's ultimate 'weapon' is he wants 'nen nen' (to feed). Julian will insist (practically screaming by now...) Daddy should carry Justin or he doesn't want Justin. The thing is if Julian doesn't get back to sleep, Justin can't fall asleep either with all the wailing! And as long as Justin is awake he will insist (also screaming) he wants Mummy too! We get into this catch-22 situation and neither boy wants to share. The one-lap-each offer gets no takers.

Daddy tries to help as best he can...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Julian at 40 Months

Julian turned 40 months on 28 September 2010. Here are his updates:
  • He still watches a lot of TV. His current favourite is the Magic School Bus. He's able to manipulate the player independently, including 'skipping' the trailers at the beginning. He only needs us to turn on the main switch.
  • He still likes to play on the computer and has progressed to showing preference for Daddy's laptop because of the Internet connection. His favourite website is www.starfall.com, an educational website. This site can keep his attention for quite a long time.
  • He has begun to show some interest in books again... thank goodness!
  • He likes to 'help' when we are washing milk bottles. Read: play with soap water!
  • He shows some sense of logic. One day we told him that there was no 'grey computer' (laptop) at home. Immediately, he took a toy (which resembles a bag) and headed for the door. When asked where he was going, he replied, "Buy grey computer." Talk about consumerism!
  • He still throws tantrums.
  • Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night crying and is difficult to pacify.
  • He has this bad habit of holding water in his mouth. When asking him to swallow doesn't work, we would ask him a question so he would have to swallow in order to answer. Sometimes he tries to answer with the water still in his mouth *slap forehead*
  • He can be quite defiant. When we ask him to hold his pencil/crayon in the correct pencil grip, he would purposely hold it in a 'fist' grip.
  • He often insists that he is correct. A typical conversation would be:
    Julian: There's a crane. Got stick.
    Daddy: The crane has an ARM.
    Julian: No, not arm. STICK! (recently, however, he said that the crane has an arm :-))
  • When we correct his pronunciation, he would sometimes insist we "stop", e.g. "Daddy, stop!" while holding out his hand towards Daddy.
  • When he is scolded, he would switch to his 'don't want' mode: "I don't want Mummy/Daddy" (whoever has scolded him).

Julian on the computer
[Julian on the computer]

Julian eating marshmallow
[Julian eating marshmallow]

Julian spraying water
[Julian spraying water]

Julian chair-camping
[Julian chair-camping]

Justin at 14 Months

Justin turned 14 months on 25 September 2010. No check-up at the government clinic this month.

He has been developing quite a bit this past month. Here are his updates:
  • His 8th tooth has erupted at the bottom.
  • He can feed himself finger food. He is keen to feed himself porrigde/cereal as well, but can't do it independently yet.
  • He is able to slot a coin into the piggy bank slit.
  • He likes to press buttons especially those on the DVD player *slap head* and remote controls. Obviously this interferes with the viewing pleasure of others...
  • He can bring his hands together when it's time to say "Amen".
  • He likes to throw things down when he's sitting in his baby chair. Mummy doesn't like this!
  • He wants a share of almost anything Julian has/does/gets. This is especially so with snacks and the computer.
  • He is able to entertain himself with his toys. The stacking cups are still one of his favourites. They seem to be able to hold his attention for quite a while.
  • He likes stickers.
  • He likes to drink from his water bottle, and he especially likes to chew on the straw.
  • He seems able to communicate to us what he wants/likes or doesn't want/like. He would nod his head when he wants something we point to, or when we ask him if what he's eating is good (and he likes it). He would shake his head when he doesn't want something (e.g. his cereal!). He could even communicate to Mummy that he wanted the Mickey Mouse sticker which was stuck in the book, and not the star sticker, which he was given to play with.
  • He would resist having something taken away from him, and express displeasure (scream/cry) when it is taken away. He's apparently stomped his feet as well at the babysitter's.
  • He can say 'deh deh' (daddy, and sometimes for mummy as well!), 'mama', 'oh oh' (when something is 'wrong', e.g. the show on TV ends, something drops), 'wok wok' (walk), and 'nen nen' (any forms of food). Very often he would say 'bok' when he wants us to open something for him, e.g. a bottle cover, or to unbuckle him from his car seat.

Justin
[Justin]

Justin and Grandma
[Justin and Grandma]

Justin and Gramdpa
[Justin and Grandpa]

Justin and the coinbox
[Justin and the coinbox]

Justin eating marshmallow
[Justin trying a marshmallow]

Justin climbs up a ladder
[Justin climbs up a ladder]

Holiday Treat

16 Sept 2010 was a public holiday so we decided to have a baking activity for Julian. We invited his friend, Ryan (and his parents, of course) to join us.

We prepared the cookie dough the day before to speed things up. We rolled out the dough and the Julian and Ryan used cookie cutters to cut out the cookies for baking. The boys' participated in the project but were quite often distracted by other toys and the TV... Julian was more interested in sprinkling the flour than in cutting the dough!

We also made pizza for lunch. Once again, the pastry was made in advance. The boys helped to put the pizza topping.

We had fun, although the cookies turned out HARD (think I added too much flour)! Still, the boys managed to eat it :-P Julian and even Justin seem to like the taste.

Rolling out the dough
[Rolling out the dough]

Cookie cutting time!
[Cookie cutting time!]

Pizza
[Let's make pizza!]

Cookies
[Cookies ready to eat]