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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hiking at the Penang National Park

We took the boys to the Penang National Park on 27 November 2011. Angie and I are no strangers here but it was ages since we last visited. We arrived at the visitor's complex at about 10.45am. After registering ourselves, off we went on our little hike in the direction of Teluk Aling.

For the boys, getting to the destination didn't mean anything to them. They just enjoyed going on a hike, stopping anywhere or at anything that caught their attention, e.g. the beach, the wooden/rope swings, the bridge, thick overhead vines, etc. Hence, we got nowhere near Teluk Aling, but it was time well spent nonetheless. We showed the boys the interesting coastal screwpine plants (pandanus odoratissimus) which had fruits that looked like pineapples. We also spotted a skink climbing a tree.

[Justin having a break on a branch]

[Julian hot on the trail]

Panang National Park bridge
[Justin testing the bridge]

Walk to Teluk Aling
[Destination: Teluk Aling, or so it seemed]

Playing by a swing
[Beach-side swing]

[Julian and Justin at the signpost]

It was about 12.45pm and scorching hot by the time we got back to the car. We headed straight to a restaurant not far from the visitor's complex for lunch.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Js Duet

On the night of 18 December 2011, Julian and Justin sang their first duet.

Julian: Twinkle, twinkle little...
Justin: Star
Julian: How I wonder what you...
Justin: Are
Julian: Up above the world so...
Justin: High
Julian: Like a diamond in the...
Justin: Sky
Julian: Twinkle, twinkle little...
Justin: Star
Julian: How I wonder what you...
Justin: Are

Daddy and Mummy just had to applaud... even though it was bedtime and they should be in bed! :-)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

We're Pregnant, Yet Again!

We're expecting our third baby! Angie is now 25 weeks along and baby is due end of March 2012.

Unlike when we were expecting Julian and Justin, Angie had some cravings for certain food.

This time, we decided that we wanted to know baby's gender. From our two previous visits to the gynaecologist, baby is a girl! :o)

Baby3 at 11 weeks
[Baby at 11 weeks]

Baby3's face at 25 weeks
[Baby's face at 25 weeks]

Friday, December 09, 2011

Goodies from Italy

Mom and Dad went on an 8D5N trip to Italy (5-12 November 2011). They brought back lots of goodies such as big sausages, wooden Pinocchio toys, pasta, pasta sauces, chocolates, coffee, T-shirt, and rosaries. During their transit at Abu Dhabi, they bought some pistachio nuts. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Goodies from Italy
[Italian stuff]

Read about their trip: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Double Horsey Again

Here are some recent photos of the boys taken in November 2011.

Boys cooking
[What's cooking?]

Boys with balloons
[Boys with balloons]

Double horsey with Daddy
[Double horsey with Daddy]

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Julian at 54 Months

Julian turned 54 months (4 years 6 months) on 28 November 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • He can read quite well now. I think we did not mention this in his earlier blog entries.
  • He now eats more varieties of food. He is more open to eating (certain) noodles but would opt for rice anytime. He would happily eat fish, meat, and of course egg and tofu. No veg still, but he will eat certain fruits. He generally refuses porridge and anything mushy like mashed potatoes.
  • He's not very adventurous with food, often declining new food offered.
  • After dinner at home, he would always say "I need a surprise". Translation: "I want a treat" (chocolate/box drink/any other goodies).

Julian sleeping in a box
[Julian sleeping in a box]

Julian eating in a box
[Julian eating in a box, or is he at a fish spa?]

Julian phone cooking
[Modern cooking, the handphone way]

Julian and aeroplane
[Julian the pilot-wannabe]

Speaking of airplanes... Julian had a tendency to look at things from the corner of his eyes when pointing at something. We told him to not to do this, and to look straight... otherwise, he couldn't be a pilot when he grows up (because pilots are supposed to have good eyesight). So, one day, this conversation ensued...
Daddy: What is the pilot doing?
Julian: Looking straight!
Daddy: ?!?!

Justin at 28 Months

Justin turned 28 months on 25 November 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • He can recognise all the letters of the alphabet, both capitals and small letters.
  • He can pretend to sleep, complete with snoring!
  • He likes to ask "what you doing (mummy/daddy)?"
  • He is friendly with others and would willingly say, "hello aunty/uncle".
  • He likes jigsaw puzzles.
  • He can 'fill in the blanks' for a few Christmas songs: Jingle bells (his favourite), Deck the Halls (the Fa la la part) and We wish you a merry Christmas.
  • He can spoon-feed himself quite well - when he wants to.
  • He can express his preferences and is talking a lot more now. Picking up fast from big bro!
  • He is now strong enough to open the fridge door at home! *horrors* He likes to rummage for - what else - chocolates (or any other 'goodies')!

Justin standing on Daddy's head
[Justin on Daddy's head]

Justin on the stairs
[Justin on the stairs]

Justin on the stairs again
[Justin on the stairs, again]

Justin on the bicycle
[Have wheels will travel]

Justin with the Angry Bird
[Justin doing the Angry Bird squint]

Julian's 2011 Kindy Concert

Julian's kindy held their annual concert on 19 November 2011 at the school premises. Grandpa and Grandma, and Ah Kong and Poh Poh were amongst those in the audience.

He was involved in a dance (to the song Choco Latte), and in a play set according to Disney's version of Beauty and the Beast. He played the baker in the market scene (he called himself the "roti man"), and was later part of the mob.

Choco Latte
[One, two, three! Cho-co Lat-te...]

Julian the Roti Man
[There goes the "roti man" with his tray like always...]

Julian with a rolling pin
[Part of the mob, armed with a rolling pin]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Botanic Boys

The boys went to the Penang Botanic Gardens on 5 November 2011 with Ah Kong & Poh Poh.

Giant Water Lilies
[The Giant Water Lilies]

[Julian: Oops! Wet patch on my T-shirt...]

[Justin: Can I touch these?!]

Boys on the tram
[The boys on the tram]

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Sarong Party!

Here are some recent photos of the boys.

The boys baking
[The boys baking... supervised of course!]

Ayer Itam Dam wall
[The boys on the wall of Ayer Itam Dam]

View from Ayer Itam Dam
[Mummy and the boys at Ayer Itam Dam]

Sarong party
[The Sarong Party Boys]

Julian at 53 Months

Julian turned 53 months (4 years 5 months) on 28 October 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • Lately he has not been willing to compromise on things. For instance when he wants something which we can't give him (e.g. a biscuit which has finished) he would not accept alternatives. He would exclaim "mai!" (don't want) to almost every offer.
  • He is getting 'friendly' with the other residents we meet especially in the lift. He would always ask them, "What number are you?" (going up) or "Where are you going?" (going down).
  • He loves to answer "Sure!" or "Of course!" instead of "yes" to questions like "Can [person] come in your car?" or "Can I have some of your biscuits?"
  • When he is not sure of an answer or if he wants to avoid answering a question, especially one in which he has been asked to choose between two options, he would say, "I'm thinking about it/I'll think about it." or "I don't know."
  • He has moved to the questioning stage. His favourite questions are "What?", "What is that?" and "Where are we going?". With the last question, he can continue asking non-stop. For instance:
    Julian: Where are we going?
    Us: Dinner.
    Julian: After dinner, where are we going?
    Us: After dinner, we go home.
    Julian: After go home, where are we going?
    Us: After we go home, we go to sleep.
    Julian: After sleep, where are we going?
    Us: After sleep, we get up.
    Julian: After get up, where are we going?
    And this would go on and on until he is satisfied or we think of a distraction to end his line of questioning!

Julian inspecting grass
[Julian inspecting the grass: What's that?!?]

Justin at 27 Months

Justin turned 27 months on 25 October 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • His speech continues to improve and he is becoming more conversant. On our way to see aeroplanes, he asked Julian, "Ko-ko, airplane" (Ko-ko you want to see aeroplanes?). He would even ask us to ask him a question so he could answer. He would say to us, "Tin doing!" to which we are expected to say, "Justin, what are you doing?" He would then answer, "teeth" (brushing teeth) or any other response depending on what he is doing at that time.
  • He has a rather cute way of saying "oh-kay!", and he is able to say "sorry" and "thank you" in the correct contexts.
  • He can recognise most of the the letters of the alphabet, both capital and small letters, but not in order.
  • He can count till 19.
  • If Julian prevents him from getting what he wants, he would hit and/or bite Julian (whichever suits him) *roll eyes* Yes, we reprimand and punish him for it. This behaviour has been going on for some time...don't know when it will end...

Justin at the dam
[Justin at the Ayer Itam Dam]

Justin eating chocolate
[Justin getting messy again with chocolates]

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

New Room for the Boys

Julian and Justin moved to their own bedroom on 14 October 2011. We mentally prepared Julian for it several days before by telling him that he would move to a new room on Friday night. Since we couldn't tell how well they would sleep in the new room, we decided that the move would be done over the weekend - just in case we ended up like zombies the next day.

The first night, Justin slept pretty well. Julian got up crying. When we asked him why he was crying, he said he thought we were 'lost'. He managed to sleep the whole night in his room but waking up on and off.

The first week was the most difficult as the boys were adjusting to the new environment, waking and calling for us off and on throughout the night. We, too, had to adjust to the new routine of having to literally get out of bed to attend to the boys. When we were co-sleeping, we just had to turn or stretch out our hand to reach them!

The boys have more or less settled down in their room now. Justin wakes up for his night feed as usual and sometimes wants me to accompany him on his bed towards the morning. Julian can generally sleep through the night now.

Our challenge now is actually getting the two of them to sleep at the same time. Justin thinks it's play time when he gets to the room and sees Julian still awake. He would climb onto Julian's bed to play or play peekaboo at the bedrail. Currently, we have to let Julian sleep first, then let Jusin in. This, of course, means that Justin ends up sleeping quite late - about 11pm. Hopefully things will improve soon...

All this in preparation for a new addition... :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweets From All Over

We were recently given some interesting foodstuff to try. We were given some desserts from Iraq: mann al-sama (manna from heaven - tasted like a soft nougat), sohan (a pistachio brittle spiced with saffron), and naher khoz (crumbly texture and tasted of peanuts). Then we tried some bika ambon (something like our local bee-hive cake), and coffee from Medan. Closer to home, we were given some delicious tarts from Kampar, Perak. Finally, we tried a kind of wafer, and cake from China.

Iraq sweets
[Iraqi sweets, clockwise from right: Mann Al-Sama, Sohan, and Naher Khoz.]

Bika ambon
[Bika Ambon]

Medan coffee
[Medan coffee]

Kampar tarts
[Tarts from Kampar]

China round wafer
[Round wafer with filling]

China eight cakes
[Beijing Eight Cakes]

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Living in a Jet Plane

We enjoy our conversations with Julian nowadays because his responses can be quite amusing. Here are a few samples:

Julian: Yesterday we eat ice-cream.
Daddy: Yes, we can buy the ice-cream because it is cheap.
Julian: Like Chip & Dale!

Daddy: Julian, where is your aeroplane going?
Julian: (silence)
Daddy: Is your plane going nowhere?
Julian: No! Got where!

Daddy: Julian, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Julian: A pilot!
Daddy: Julian, when you grow up, where do you want to live? Do you want to live in Penang?
Julian: No...
Daddy: Do you want to live in (names a few other places)?
Julian: No...
Daddy: Then where do you want to live?
Julian: In the cockpit!

Julian at 52 Months

Julian turned 52 months (4 years 4 months) on 28 September 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • He no longer sits on the baby chair - whether at home or outside. He insists on sitting on the 'big boy' chair which normally means two chairs stacked together. At home he sits on a stool.
  • Sometimes he would protest when Justin copies him. He would tell Justin "You don't follow me. Only I do!"
  • He wants to have whatever toy Justin is having and would often simply take the toy away from Justin. This, of course, leads to a feud of sorts. We're teaching him to ask Justin for the toy and sometimes he does (Justin, can share with me?) but very often Justin's response is a flat "mai!". We also taught him to barter trade with Justin. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
  • He is able to converse more now. Recently while shopping, he pointed out a particular baby bath and told us that the baby sitter was looking it. We found out later that he expressed his interest in the bath (thanks to TV ads) to the baby sitter so she said she would buy it for him (but couldn't find it).

Julian wearing sarong
[Julian wearing a sarong]

Julian eating ice-cream
[Ice-cream... my favourite!]

Julian showing tongue

Justin at 26 Months

Justin turned 26 months on 25 September 2011.

Here are his updates:
  • He is speaking more now. He can now say "What you doing, Mummy?", "Pease (please), mummy/daddy", "mai swan" (mai - hokkien for don't want - this one), "ku (thank you) mummy/daddy" or "ku... much... (thank you very much)", "me too", "my turn" and "gone" (when he notices something missing).
  • He can answer simple questions e.g. "What animal says quack quack?"
  • He often parrots Julian and copies Julian's actions/antics almost all the time.
  • He is able to put on his 'crocs' shoes on his own.
  • He is getting better at feeding himself at mealtimes :-)
  • He is completely off the breast but requires night bottle feed (usually once, occasionally twice). However, we suspect that he still craves the breast and would readily latch on if given half the chance!
  • He no longer sits on the baby chair at home preferring to sit on a stack of two stools - thanks to Julian's influence!
  • When it comes to sharing, he's not very consistent. Sometimes he would readily hand over a toy to Julian, while at other times he would adamantly say "mai!" (much to Julian's frustration, of course)
  • On more than one occasion, when we ask him something (e.g. "Do you want to listen to 'Barney'?" - when we're in the car) he would say "mai'. But almost immediately after that, if Julian asks him the same question, he would say "yes'/"ya"! Hmmm....


Justin wearing sarong
[Justin trying on a sarong]

Justin sleeping on plane
[Justin taking a snooze]

Justin with starballoon
[Justin with a giant star balloon]

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Langkawi in the Rain

We were in Langkawi from 9-11 September 2011. Papa and Mummy came along. All of us boarded the lunch-time AirAsia flight from Penang and landed in glorious sunny weather.

We stayed at the Federal Villa Beach Resort which incidentally is a government-owned resort. Our 2-room suite was well-furnished with a living area, dining area, a spacious master bedroom (with a king-sized bed), and a smaller room (with 2 single beds). It was RM264 for 2 nights excluding breakfast and complementary beverages. Federal Villa is managed by Holiday Villa Beach Resort and Spa just next door and so, we got to use their facilities.

Trolley ride
[Free ride]

On the first day, it was "first things first" - the beach. The boys had a good time playing with the sand and sea. Dinner that night was at Rootian Seafood Restaurant in Kuah town.

Playing sand
[Sand, sun, and sea]

Boys with Ah Kong
[The boys with Ah Kong]

On the second day, we ventured out in cloudy weather. We decided we would explore Langkawi's less popular attractions this time in view that all four of us adults have more or less "been there, done that" in Langkawi, and the two kids would better appreciate the popular attractions when they are bigger. First, we visited the Buffalo Park Langkawi where the boys got to feed the buffaloes. After that we proceeded to visit a cheese factory nearby called Friendly Farms. Unfortunately they weren't making any cheese that day as there were no orders. However, we did sample some mozarella cheese and some yoghurt. We bought some mozarella cheese to take home. After that we went back to the buffalo park to sample ice-cream made from buffalo milk. While there, we were rained in for a while. At the first opportunity, we headed to Kuah town for lunch and some shopping.

Boys feeding buffaloes
[The boys feeding the buffaloes]

Eating ice-cream
[Buffalo milk ice-cream... yummy!]

Friendly Farms
[Friendly Farms cheese factory]

Justin with goat
[Justin with Friendly Farms' friendly goat]

From then onwards, We were pretty much rained in for the rest of our stay. That evening we had dinner at the Cactus Restaurant located just opposite the entrance to Holiday Villa. It's quite popular amongst the tourists because the food is not bad and the price is very reasonable.

On the last day, we managed to take the boys to Holiday Villa's kids playroom in the morning. Later, we had to delay our checking-out as it was raining so heavily to the extent that even the bellboys could not get to us. After we finally checked-out, we headed to town for lunch and some shopping. After lunch, we took an aimless and rather pointless round-the-island drive in the rain to while away the time. Our return flight to Penang on Firefly was only scheduled at 7.55pm (but delayed by about half-an-hour) that night.

We finally arrive home at about 9.45pm.

Boys on trishaw
[The boys on the trishaw]

Boys on giant chess board
[If only they could settle their disputes over a game of chess!]